Meet the Modern Farmers: Abra Berens and Jess Piskor - Modern Farmer

Meet the Modern Farmers: Abra Berens and Jess Piskor

Jess Piskor met Abra Berens 10 years ago while they were serving bowls of matzo-ball soup and pastrami sandwiches at Ann Arbor’s legendary Zingerman’s deli. At the time, Piskor happened to be sitting on his family’s four fallow acres bordering Lake Michigan. Berens was less interested in farming than in finding a venue for her […]

Abra Berens and Jess Piskor on their farm in Michigan

Jess Piskor met Abra Berens 10 years ago while they were serving bowls of matzo-ball soup and pastrami sandwiches at Ann Arbor’s legendary Zingerman’s deli. At the time, Piskor happened to be sitting on his family’s four fallow acres bordering Lake Michigan. Berens was less interested in farming than in finding a venue for her seasonal dishes. Today, the pals’ Bare Knuckle Farm benefits from a food-forward business model – Berens’ “dirt-to-table” dinners fetch $65 a head for meals featuring Piskor’s produce – but the partners had to learn a few lessons the hard way. “My ‘screw this’ moment came last year,” Piskor says, “when I found myself hand-washing carrots in a tub of ice water. I paid staffers $2,000 to help before I realized I could invest in a root washer.

“A lot of farmers hate working with other people,” he says, “but it’s my favorite part of the job. The most important thing is providing a quality place for employees to work and learn how to grow.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Related
Farm Favorites
Read the latest reviews on our favorite products.
Immigrants Feed America

Immigrants Feed America t-shirts are back – find them at the Modern Farmers Market

Things We Love: AKUA Kelp Jerky

If you told me there was a jerky snack made out of kelp - yes,... (more)

Things We Love: CleverMade Snapbasket Cooler

It can keep up to 50 cans chilled for up to 36 hours and collapses... (more)

Things We Love: Republic of Tea Daily Greens Single Sips

It's like green juice: but way easier.

More shopping