Old Italians Get Back to the Land in Howard Beach


This month’s Brooklyn Rail catches up with some old-fashioned Howard Beach Italians who really and truly grow their own food. Anna Neerman visits the Trinchesi family who, though their garden only covers a “large corner plot” of their home, raise enough tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, grapes, cucumbers, zucchini, flat beans, figs, etc. to sustain themselves and many relatives. They even have a wine press in the basement. Unlike other urban farmers, the Trinchesis don’t sell their produce, they just eat and share it. So these Howard Beach Italians, living among “chain link fences” and “ceramic Madonnas,” are more like hippies than your average hipster is. Does that even count as ironic anymore?