DIANE KOLACK


Diane getting ready to turn an old pumpkin into soup. (It was asking for it.)


Diane’s dog Queso Blanco prefers kale and duck hotdog over pumpkin, even though I told her that the soup is going to keep her warm.

“It’s liberating to open up your choices to eating what grew on the farm this week.”

This week Diane Kolack’s “box” contained one and a half pounds of string beans. While string beans are not her favorite vegetable, they embody a Weltanschauung that is dear to her heart and stomach.

“Definitely it could be a burden,” Diane said as we sat in her Celtic Park co-op enveloped by the smell of baked squash and fresh applesauce. “But it could also be exciting and fun. It’s liberating to open up your choices to eating what grew on the farm this week.”

As the founder of Sunnyside Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Diane knows where her string beans came from. Picked just a couple of days ago at the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm on Long Island, they were packed in individual boxes along with potatoes, squash and other vegetables in season and shuttled less than 80 miles West to Sunnyside Community Services. On Thursday between 5 and 8 PM, they were picked up by 150 “shareholders” ready (or not) for their bounty. The shareholders had signed up with the farm at the beginning of the season and paid $540 for 26 weeks of vegetables, or 26 boxes, each feeding a household of four.

Diane thinks that knowing the genesis of her string beans makes it harder to dislike them. “It also makes your cooking better,” she said, pointing out the delicious string bean salad she made last night. A student of sustainable food studies at CUNY, Diane went on to criticize the American obsession with choice. “It’s like ‘I want to eat this condiment with this food at this time and if I don’t get it, I’m very unsatisfied.’ ”

(Diane is married to Kevin Kolack.)

Listen to Diane’s interview