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2. Introduction / Purpose of meeting (Al Krautter): To bring together a coalition of ideas and individuals who would be willing to buy into or invest into buying or leasing Sprainbrook Nursery with the intentions of preserving it as an organic Agricultural entity rather than allowing it to be demolished and turned into brick mortar and stone. Set up a committee to come up with a outline for a business plan to satisfy the needs of those present and to make it a profitable venture for all.
3. Have each person in the room introduce themselves and state what they can bring to the table.
4. Discussion: This will be an open discussion to follow after everyone has had the opportunity introduce them selves.
5. Conclusions to be drawn from the group and decide which people would like to proceed.
6. Come up with a plan to move forward and give assignments.
7. Schedule next meeting and keep things moving forward
This was a letter sent to me by Steve Yarabek a well known Landscape Architect intended for the local newspapers.
There was a time that a resident of Westchester County could be enraptured by the scents of what felt like being at the center of millions of African violet blossoms. A myriad of varieties intrigued and delighted the eye. Each individual variety having been painstakingly selected and nurtured for the discerning palate. The genius behind this enterprise was a woman that I affectionately called Mama Krauter. A compact fire brand she nurtured us all for over seventy years Sprainbrook Nursery, a stones throw from Washington’s headquarters, was revolutionized by Mrs. Krauter’s son Al, over twenty years ago when he like Rachel Cason witnessed the crack in our fabric of life and pioneered methods to wean the nursery business from chemicals. After a century of craftsmanship and care Sprainbrook Nursery is schedule to close due to these blood sucking economic times.
I am an heir to several generations that chose to dwell in Dobbs Ferry and Tarrytown. When going to visit my Tarrtown family as a child we passed seven farms along Broadway. We dined at Leightons, the Water Wheel Inn, and Patricia Murphy’s all places firmly rooted in the rich heritage of our community and now all gone. When the historic woods and streams of Dobbs Ferry yielded to condominiums and pavement, I asked why did growth have to mean destruction? I chose to become a Landscape Architect so that I might help to preserve the historical and ecological threads that supported the unique tapestry that is our landscape. Our landscape is physical and spiritual and worth a dedicated perseverance to protect it.
Our community is rich with those whom stewarded places like Sprainbrook, Nabels, Niilsons, the village drug store, grocery store…institutions that are handed from one generation to the next that seemed to have a perpetual place in our community. What legacy do we leave our grandchildren from whom we have borrowed this place?
In hindsight I must admit to failure in my mission. As a Landscape Architect I should have specified in my contract documents that all products must be obtained from local family owned business. How much do we as society or individual gain by patronizing box stores that certainly hire locally but invest elsewhere while driving those community enterprises that disproportionately share the tax burden that support our communities, out of business
Sprainbrook Nursery will close when cold sets in. The glass houses will be susceptible to winters wrath. We as a community have an opportunity to harness our collective energy to create a sustainable future for this pioneering green enterprise. There must be those among us whom can think holistically to re-envision this resource. A Community Supported Agricultural Nursery Model? An extended care/community garden facility? An organic farm restaurant similar to the Stone Barns? Let’s come together for a Community barn raising. If you are interested please contact me at SAY@hudsonpacific.com. Any and all ideas are welcome. In the meantime, visit the Nursery and purchase high quality indoor and outdoor plants at extraordinary sale prices.
It may just be time for Al to pass the torch and time for the community to reinvent our past for the future.