THE KALE PROJECT
Soon after arriving in France, Kristen recognized a white space in the vegetable industry. The heirloom/los vegetable kale (chou plume) was no longer grown or sold. After months of primary and secondary research with farmers, vendors and chefs and identifying a niche market for the vegetable, The Kale Project launched in April 2012 as an initiative to re-introduce the leafy-green vegetable and légume oublié, kale, to France.
The goals were simple:
- When in season, kale will be available to buy in outdoor markets, health food stores and supermarkets.
- Encourage a few chefs to cook with it
- ONLY work with local farmers and encourage others to support local producers.
Through the passion and dedication to connect communities with local French farmers, The Kale Project took off. Today le chou kale, when in-season, is available at outdoor markets, organic supermarkets, specialty épiceries and large chain supermarkets like Monoprix, Carrefour and Le Grand Frais. While the project still only works directly with local producers, larger producers both organic and conventional now grow the vegetable as well. Enough of a market has been created in France where Rungis will import it from Spain when not in-season. In 2014, The expanded to Spain with two locations in Murcia and the Basque region.
Kristen and The Kale Project have been featured in the Glamour, Grazia, Elle, Elle à table, Madame Figaro, The Globe & Mail, Conde Nast Traveler, and more. Television appearances include programs like M6, Cuisine + and Canal +.
One of the pinnacle moments for The Kale Project was collaborating with the famous, Michelin-star chef, Alain Passard of L’Arpege. Passard, who is considered the King of vegetables in France, prepared a kale-degustation menu, which was featured in a September 2013front-page article in The New York Times. Kristen was deemed, “The Kale Crusader,” and since the name has stuck. Following the Times’ article, Kristen appeared in Whole Foods Market’s Online Magazine’s spring issue of “Revival,” with a mini-documentary that touches upon every aspect of The Kale Project including stories of markets, farmers, chefs, community and most importantly creating a new life in Paris.
Today, The Kale Project is more than just kale in France. It is a celebration of vegetables, markets, farmers and most importantly real food.
LADY MOON FARMS
Lady Moon Farms joined forces with Whole Kids Foundation in spring 2014 as the first producer partner in the program. With a donation of $40,000, Lady Moon Farms was one of the top contributors. Kristen managed the partnership to ensure there was sufficient online conversation about the farm’s involvement with the program.
Kristen also has worked with Lady Moon Farms on a website revamp, brand video and daily social media management.