Monthly Archives: April 2012

Earth Day 2012

On Sunday April 22nd , KM will donate 10% percent of sales to Ecostation: NY in support of their latest project, Farm-in-the-Sky.

Rooftop Gardening in Brookyn, New York

What a beautiful piece of land! The rooftop of 119 Inraham Street.

Three flights up on the roof of our offices at Brooklyn Fireproof East, a farm is breaking new ground.  Farm-in-the-Sky, will convert an otherwise desolate industrial space into a commercially-viable rooftop farm. The goal is to improve access to fresh produce, to connect the community more closely to farms and food production, and to encourage urban farming as a viable enterprise and livelihood.

On May 5th, farmers and volunteers will begin transforming the 17,800 square foot roof in earnest, building catchments for rainwater harvesting and bins for composting, and bringing soil and seedlings up the five flights of stairs to the roof.

Empty Rooftop Spaces in Brooklyn

Our neighbors also have the potential for a beautiful farm.

Your purchases will contribute to Farm-in-the-Sky as they gather materials and plan for the infrastructure needed to start growing.  It’s like they say, change starts in your own backyard.

For questions and or additional information please contact alexis@kaufmann-mercantile.com.

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Concord Grape

A close-up of Concord grapes

Concord grapes ripe and ready to eat. (Photo by Andrew Morrell)

Humans have been eating and making wine out of grapes for a very long time. The Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and of course, Romans were all notable grape-growing cultures. But grapes also have a history in the New World. According to the medieval Saga of Erik the Red, the Norseman Lief Erikson was so enamored by the profusion of wild grapes growing in the southernmost of his North American encampments that he called the site “Vinland,” or Wine-Land, an area thought to be between Newfoundland and New England. It is known that American Indians had been eating indigenous varietals there long before the next batch of Europeans (the British) finally arrived in the seventeenth century. Unfortunately, these colonists’ European grape varietals all failed because of mildew and New England’s too-short growing season.

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Haptics

Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo

A detail of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Haptics is the study of touch, perhaps the most enigmatic yet essential of our senses. Touch is directly linked to emotional development and health, which is why the rise of digital communication presents such a troubling paradox. On the one hand, social media, email, and texting bring people in greater contact with each other than ever before. On the other hand, such forms of contact lack the most fundamental element of connection — actual touch. While plenty have postulated about the social repercussions of this new paradigm, its actual health implications are only now coming to light. Taken together, this new understanding is leading the digital communications industry to reintroduce haptics in unexpected ways.

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How is Kaufmann Mercantile Doing?

We would love to get your feedback on Kaufmann Mercantile.  Do you have time for a short call so we can hear your thoughts?

What brought you to the store?  What do you like? What do you find lack-luster? How is our website working?  Is the product you bought what you expected? Do tell.

This information (the good, the bad and the ugly) will help us not only improve your next visit to the store, but will also help us to become better.

If you’re interested please call us at 347 529 5122 or email lauren@kaufmann-mercantile.com to schedule a time to talk.

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How Are We Doing?

We would love to get your feedback on Kaufmann Mercantile.  Do you have time for a short call so we can hear your thoughts?

What brought you to the store?  What do you like? What do you find lack-luster? How is our website working?  Is the product you bought what you expected? Do tell.

This information (the good, the bad and the ugly) will help us not only improve your next visit to the store, but will also help us to become better.

If you’re interested please call us at 347 529 5122 or email lauren@kaufmann-mercantile.com to schedule a time to talk.

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Maintain a Cutting Board

A butcher block gets planed

Planing the butcher block before using.

Nils Wessel’s Brooklyn Butcher Blocks began as a hobby in a friend’s basement, so it’s little surprise that he now runs his workshop in a cramped studio within a nondescript building in the industrial Gowanus area of Brooklyn. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so they say. Filled with woodworking tools covered by a thin veneer of sawdust, the cave-like space features a wooden staircase pivoting up to a self-constructed second floor. In this cozy den, Wessel fashions thick slabs of butcher block under the label Brooklyn Butcher Blocks. His latest creation features a brickwork pattern, with “bricks” made from end-cut walnut and thin pieces of mahogany “mortar.”

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