2008 Power List: 12. The Hipster Farmer

Tomato, close-up

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Age: 29

His parents raised him on dolphin-free tuna. He learned the difference between schwag and hydroponic during his first year at Exeter. By grad school he was buying organic kiwis and flipping through Michael Pollan texts while sipping fair-trade lattes. Now he's filling the holes in his adult life with the radishes he planted outside his Silver Lake duplex. The number of organic farms in the United States has more than doubled in the past decade, and the average age of the farmer is plummeting—but then, you already know that, because last weekend a guy in a Radiohead T-shirt sold you apples from his upstate orchard. At that murky intersection where your green guilt meets your love for balsamic-marinated beets, the Hipster Farmer will find you. And you will believe. You attend his dinner parties. You follow the same foodie blogs. And yes, yes—buying local and organic does make sense. So now you find yourself joining a produce co-op and asking the man at the deli where the walnuts come from—behavior you would have found loathsome a few years back. Of course, this is not simply about food. Just as Perrier and raspberry vinaigrette signaled the coming of the yuppie, the whiff of organic sage from the Hipster Farmer's back yard announces your upwardly mobile taste.


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