This week we profile the eternally optimistic Barbara Rosen.

Who are you? Barbara Rosen, married to member Kenneth Griffin

What do you do? In my professional life (1967 – 1989) I was a teacher in the public elementary schools. I have always been an artist and writer — and I’ve had years of vocal training as well. My interest in animals, specifically in animal rescue, led me to begin sheltering stray dogs and cats in my home. These days it’s only cats (although we own a couple of aging dogs who were originally rescues). I’ve been doing that work all of my adult life — for over 40 years now.

Since I had to leave teaching (I became very ill and didn’t find out until years later that I’d had Epstein-Barr) I’ve had the time to garden extensively. I have got no turf of my own: I find odd corners that no one cares for and move in like an invasive weed. At the moment I’m caring for the small garden in front of my building, a large corner of the old Bowling Green at Caton and Coney Island Aves., the playground across the street from me and a traffic circle. I grow flowers, fruit and veggies. I think of it as re-establishing Eden.

The other things that I do for pleasure are perform with the Renaissance Street Singers, compose music (a relatively new skill, and one that I’m still astonished I have) and ride my bicycle (a very new skill indeed: I had my first lesson the day after I turned 62 and I’m now 64).

Where do you live? Parade Place in Flatbush

Where did you grow up? NYC

How long have you been a member? Since the beginning; this is my third year.

When you do your pickup where are you coming from? Home.

Where are you going to? Home.

What are you never without at pickup? Whatever I need, which includes the markers to post the big sign each week.

What time is it usually? I arrive early, set up, help David unload, make the sign — and take my loot home.

Who cooks your veggies/fruits? Me.

Who eats them? Both of us — and whoever we’ve invited to dinner.

What do you think you use the most?  I use everything except the hot peppers; I enjoy planning our menus around what we get.  But I can’t even be in the room where hot peppers are being cut: they attack me.

What’s the best part of the CSA?  The best? Ummm… The yummy food, the chance to help save the planet by buying local and organic, the trips to the farm… Did you say best?

Is there a fun fact about you that you would like to share?  Not fun, exactly, but I have a mild handicap: I have a perfectly awful time remembering names and faces. So if I fail to recognize you, don’t be offended.

If you were a fruit or veggie what would you be?  Why?  A tomato plant: they bloom and fruit up to the frost that kills them, never thinking that their time is almost up. They are eternally optimistic – and they never stop growing.

Check out Barbara’s website:

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