Giant Arch Pops Up in Union Square Greenmarket

Anyone walking through Union Square Greenmarket this Saturday will find themselves looking at a giant orange arch made from cardboard tubes – representing a peek of GrowNYCs newst venture, Project Farmhouse: a new center for sustainability and education in the heart of New York City.

The arch will be up for five consecutive market days (November 14, 16, 18, 20 and 21), and will allow visitors to lean about Project Farmhouse. Anyone who makes a donation of $10 or more has a chance to pick at random a thank you gift, ranging from JetBlue TrueBlue reward points, kitchen appliances by Breville, gift certificates to restaurants, Greenmarket Bucks to shop at Union Square Greenmarket and more.  The arch is generously sponsored by TD Bank and is the concept of Interbrand, designed by Shift Space Design and features recycled cardboard tubes manufactured for and donated by Pratt Industries.

Project Farmhouse will be public education space of nonprofit GrowNYC. Opening in 2016, the farmhouse is a place where people can come and explore sustainability issues with us through the lens of food, horticulture, art, architecture and more.  It’s a classroom of cultivation. A permanent, physical space dedicated to getting our hands dirty, planting ideas and nurturing healthier, greener decisions and actions.

To learn more, visit

Project Farmhouse Arch Installation is generously sponsored by TD Bank.

Project Farmhouse is supported by the following donors: Breville USA, Bridgewood Fieldwater Foundation, Charles Ramat, Eugene Schneur, Gotham Bar and Grill, Interbrand, JetBlue, Jo-Ann Makovitzky, One Five Hospitality , Karen E. Meara, Liz Neumark, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez ,Pratt Industries, Robert J. Kafin, TD Bank,The Caliban Foundation, The Durst Organization, The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, The New York Community Trust (Colin Gardner Fund),  The New York Community Trust (Himelberg Fund), and Whole Foods.

Arch Installation donated itams are from the following Donors: American Test Kitchen, Bluebonnet Nutrition, Bodi Licious, Breville USA, ChicoBags, Crafted Hospitality, Dream Hotel, DSW, Gothan Bar & Grill, Great Performances, Green Mountain, JetBlue, LiteWing Naturals, Museum of Natural History, NCM - America’s Movie Network, New York Jets, Room & Board, Schmidt's Deodorant, Shake Shack, Shutterfly, Signatureurban, Sweet Green, TD Bank, Terra Cycle, The Hain Celestial Group, Timberland, Trish McEvoy, Two Boots, Weleda, Workman Publishing, and World Policy Institute.

Happy Birthday To Us!

GrowNYC, the city's essential environmental resource, is celebrating 45 years of service with a birthday party at our most iconic project - the Union Square Greenmarket - one of 50 Greenmarkets we operate.

Why should you care?

Free cake and cool t-shirts!  Check out our new limited edition t-shirts featuring a throwback design by Robin Willis. This t-shirt could be yours for only $20 bucks at our 45th birthday part in Union Square Greenmarket on Monday, May 18 at Union Square Greenmarket! OR if you donate $100 or more today.

Big thanks to Robin Willis for his fab design. Check out more of his work here.

Watch GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen's TEDx Talk

Watch GrowNYC's Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen take to the stage to deliver a TEDx talk about scaling up local food distribution through Greenmarket Co., New York City's first and only food hub dedicated to supporting regional food producers by making their products available to wholesale buyers throughout the city.


GrowNYC thanks Governor Cuomo for his continued support of farmers and healthy food for all New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo announced a slate of initiatives at the "Upstate-Downstate Farm to Table Agriculture Summit" in Manhattan last Thursday, all focused on linking upstate producers with New York City in order to increase city dwellers’ access to fresh, New York State grown and produced foods. GrowNYC has played an integral role in increasing New York City’s consumption of New York State farm products while putting more money directly into the pockets of small and midsized farmers, and we look forward to working alongside the State to continue growing these initiatives.

“Currently, low-income communities throughout New York City and the state lack access to fresh, healthy foods and small to midsized farmers cannot fairly compete with industrial sized farms from the west coast and beyond,” says GrowNYC Executive Director, Marcel Van Ooyen. “We are extremely thankful to Governor Cuomo and the State for recognizing the importance of continuing our state’s rich agricultural tradition and for investing in the financial health of our family farmers as well as the physical health of New Yorkers of all income levels.”

“We are thrilled to hear Governor Cuomo is prioritizing so many programs that we see as integral to linking upstate and downstate economies and providing access to healthy food for all New Yorkers,” says GrowNYC Board Chairman, Robert J. Kafin, Esq. “New York State boasts some of the best farmers and food producers in the world and there is no better marketplace than that of the 8.5 million residents of New York City to help ensure they are able to continue their work and inspire the next generation of farmers, bakers, jam makers and beyond .”

For over 40 years, GrowNYC has worked hard to get New York State grown products to those who need them most, but there is still more to be done. We are grateful to the Governor for pledging financial support to help expand food box programs like GrowNYC’s own Fresh Food Box, which brings fresh produce at an affordable price directly to those who need it most. Additionally, we are grateful for his support to establish a Regional Food Wholesale Farmers Market along with a Regional Food Hub Task Force which will increase upstate farmers’ ability to access the vast New York City market while also increasing city dwellers access to fresh, local foods. With the generous support of the Governor and the State of New York, we look forward to continuing GrowNYC's efforts to ensure New York State makes farming and farmers an anchor of our economic and environmental sustainability.  

#GivingTuesday is almost here!

#GivingTuesday is back and we're proud to be a part of it for the second year in a row.

Coming after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday acknowledges that we don't just take, take, take. We give back too! This year, on Tuesday, December 2nd, be a part of this growing global movement by taking action in a way that is meaningful to you. #GivingTuesday is about doing what you can to give back. It's about showing that all of us can do so much more with our wallets than just consume.

This year we have an extra special treat: the first $5,000 that we raise on #GivingTuesday will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

The #GivingTuesday campaign is a platform for you to contribute to your community and to help make this the biggest giving season yet. Your donation to GrowNYC helps give schools the tools they need to get learning outside, brings NYC's youngest to experience the outdoors through field trips to different urban farms, offers community leaders the tools they need to keep growing, helps New Yorkers recycle smarter, and supports new farmers and Greenmarket producers.

All of us here at GrowNYC know that you care about making a difference, and that's why we invite you to join #GivingTuesday. Donate, spread the word, volunteer for groups you care about (we hope that includes GrowNYC!) and encourage your friends to to give in lieu of gifts or just because.

Mark your calendar for December 2 and take action in ways that mean something to you.

Together, #letsgrownyc!
To learn more go to
Be sure to follow us on twitter @GrowNYC and use #letsgrownyc. We'll be sure to retweet you!

Here are some sample tweets to get you started on spreading the word:

  • Be a part of a new worldwide tradition of giving. On #GivingTuesday, #letsgrownyc.
  • Black Friday. Cyber Monday. What about #GivingTuesday? Together, #letsgrownyc!
  • Remember, it's not how you give or what you give, it's THAT you give. For the second year, #letsgrownyc on #GivingTuesday! 

Happy Giving!

Grow to Learn NYC Congratulates Carson Daly and the Today Show for "shining a light" on the importance of school gardens

A statement by Marcel Van Ooyen Executive Director, GrowNYC

I want to personally congratulate Carson Daly of the Today Show for supporting our efforts to build a garden in every New York City School.  Since its launch in February 2011, Grow to Learn NYC has been working to connect NYC public and charter schools with the funding, training and materials needed for their students to dig in, connect to nature and build more positive attitudes towards healthy foods.

As a result of our partnerships with city agencies, funders and fellow non-profits, 436 schools have registered garden projects with Grow to Learn, giving them access to the garden mini-grants, training, material giveaways as well as opportunities and resources offered by greening and wellness partner organizations--with a focus on supporting schools in underserved communities like the South Bronx, Central and East Harlem and Central Brooklyn.

To date, Grow to Learn has distributed $517,000 in 331 garden mini-grants to schools. And one hundred percent of funds raised for mini-grants go directly to the schools to allow them to purchase what they need from local retailers so their learning garden programs can bloom.  

We are deeply grateful to Mr. Daly and the Today Show for highlighting the need to expand gardens to all schools and look forward to seeing more school gardens bloom around the city. 

GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen profiled by the New York Times

The New York Times recently profiled GrowNYC's Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen in its Sunday Routine column.

Check out what our boss is up to!

#GivingTuesday 2013 is coming…

How do you give back?

We’ve all heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about #GivingTuesday?

This year on Tuesday, December 3, GrowNYC is joining a national movement to celebrate and encourage giving: a day when charities, families, students, businesses, community centers, and others come together for #GivingTuesday - a day dedicated to celebrate giving and encourage more, smarter giving during the Holiday Season. Mark your calendar. #GivingTuesday 2013 is Tuesday, December 3rd.

#GivingTuesday is about doing what you can to give back. It’s about showing that all of us can do so much more with our wallets than just consume. Last year #GivingTuesday included more than 100,000 individuals participating in ways that matter to them.

All of us here at GrowNYC know that you care about making a difference, and that's why we invite you to join #GivingTuesday. Donate, spread the word, volunteer for groups you care about (we hope that includes GrowNYC!) and encourage your friends to give in lieu of gifts or just because.

So mark your calendar and on December 3rd take action in ways that means something to you.

#Giveback this #GivingTuesday!

To learn more go to

Be sure to follow us on twitter @grownyc, and share how you give back with #givegrownyc

GrowNYC Partners Launches!

GrowNYC is proud to announce the launch of GrowNYC Partners, a professional consulting service for food, farming, gardening, and recycling projects.

GrowNYC Partners will help businesses, foundations, and government agencies transform and empower their consumers and communities, spearheading sustainability througout New York City's private sector and beyond.  And as a non-profit with 40 years of success, we are dedicated to providing simple, cost-effective solutions.  

Whether you are interested in building a rooftop farm, a courtyard garden, or a citywide food systems strategy, GrowNYC Partners can help.

Learn more about GrowNYC Partners or email us for more info!

GrowNYC and Brooklyn Brewery Launch Greenmarket Wheat Beer

GrowNYC and Brooklyn Brewery are excited to announce the launch of Greenmarket Wheat, a beer collaboration between local farmers, malters, and brewers that captures the flavor of regional agriculture in a bottle.  

Greenmarket Wheat is a wheat beer made with raw wheat from North Country Farm in Watertown, NY, Pilsner Barley Malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, MA, and Wildflower Honey from Tremblay Apiaries, Chemung County, NY. 

The idea for Greenmarket Wheat grew from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2012 Farm Brewery License legislation aimed at expanding the growth of craft breweries and increase demand for locally grown products to brew beer statewide.

"Our Greenmarket Regional Grains Initiative works with regional farmers to devote more acreage to growing grains. Creating partnerships to move their product into the hands of bakers—and now brewers—has helped their businesses scale up production," said Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC. "Greenmarket Wheat is a collaboration of local growers, millers, malters and brewers who will all benefit from the sale of this new product, not to mention consumers who can purchase a refreshing ale they can feel good supporting. Shoppers come to the Greenmarket to eat local. Now they can drink local. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Brooklyn Brewery and our producers to bring local grains into the spotlight."

Greenmarket Wheat will be available for sale by the bottle on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Union Square Greenmarket.