Sometimes an endeavor is so big that three heads, not two, are better than one.
Such is the case with Crossroads Farm at Grossmann’s and its brio trio — Rick White, Brian Lewis Jr. and Carl Prizzi — three tireless, hands-on Malvernites who have been instrumental in the farm’s success, who have given it their heart and soul, and who are our choice for the Herald’s People of the Year.
For the past several years, White, Lewis and Prizzi have not only labored to make the farm a key source of fresh, organic produce for thousands of people and businesses, but have turned it into something beyond this noble undertaking. Thanks to their efforts, and those of the employees and volunteers they supervise, the farm is now a venue for concerts, wine tastings and fall festivals. It’s a 5½-acre destination for educational farming programs for schools and the disabled, children’s birthday parties and holiday events. It’s home to numerous farm animals — goats, turkeys, pigs, ducks, ponies, roosters and more — that are visited by scores of children every week. It’s also an abode to one of the village’s biggest celebrities, Malverne Mel.
The farm’s transformation from land that was almost taken over by an apartment complex into a favorite destination in the village and beyond is nothing short of remarkable, especially given the relatively short time in which it took place.
White has been volunteering at the farm for nearly three years, and since 2013 he has been chairman of the Nassau Land Trust, a nonprofit that works to conserve, enhance and protect open land, farms and natural resources. Crossroads Farm is the trust’s biggest undertaking.
White is also chairman of the Crossroads Farm’s Advisory Committee, and farm employees and volunteers report to him. He is nothing if not hands-on, having been operations manager of the farm’s three main division: farming, education and retail. On its visits to the property, the Herald has usually found White hard at work, planning an event, driving a tractor, building an irrigation system. He arranged a permanent home for more than two dozen farm animals there, and orchestrated Crossroads’ first folk festival.