In 2011 and 2012, Jason Grauer spent two seasons at Stone Barns Center as a greenhouse apprentice. There, he had the chance to work with Michael Mazourek, Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University, and an important Stone Barns partner. Working together with Michael and Farmer Jack Algiere on breeding a new variety of purple pea helped shape Jason’s next few years. After leaving the farm, he developed and managed a hydroponic rooftop greenhouse for restaurateur Eli Zabar at his famed Vinegar Factory location in Manhattan. From there, Jason spent a growing season learning from Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch at Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. Next, the Tufts University graduate went to Cornell to assist with organic vegetable-breeding research and the development of a new four-season greenhouse classroom. Meanwhile, Jason and a partner launched Pick-A-Carrot, a tech startup that aggregates the seed industry’s offerings into a single search tool that helps farmers and home gardeners locate, compare and purchase seeds. It strives to be the most comprehensive seed resource on the Internet. In 2014, Jason, who hails from Manhattan, returned to Stone Barns as our Field Crop Manager and Variety Trial Manager. His enthusiasm for every new type of vegetable trialed, tested and tasted is contagious.
Originally published on August 1, 2015