Be a Greenmarket Market Manager!

February 20, 2016

Greenmarket is currently hiring seasonal market managers to manage our 53 Greenmarkets throughout the five boroughs. Click here for the job description, and read below for a first hand account of managing a Greenmarket from former Market Manager, Kathleen Crosby. 

From the streets of New York, our market manager Kathleen Crosby reports back on a typical day in the life managing the Tompkins Square Greenmarket, which has been transforming a corner of the East Village into a neighborhood center of sustainability every Sunday since 1997.

4:45 a.m.: Alarm goes off. I decide not to hit the snooze button this morning, and disable two other back-up alarms. I make a strong cup of tea and breakfast: Ronnybrook maple yogurt with peaches, bee pollen, chia seeds, and grape nuts.

5:25 a.m.: Carry bike downstairs and head off. It is not light out yet and the Brooklyn roads are empty.

6:05 a.m.: I arrive at the market site, before any of the farmers. Humidity is at about 80% and Tompkins is smelling RIPE.

6:50 a.m.: The first producer of the day, Red Jacket Orchards, arrives at market.

7:20 a.m.: I set up the market info table and tent. The Greenmarket van is filled to the BRIM today with equipment. A 40 pound kettle ball falls out as I open the back door, then work to cram my 10x10 ft. tent into a 7 ft. space between a tree and sign post. Decide on which recipes to display and put out our many pamphlets and handouts. Today we’re featuring tomatoes, so I go grab a bunch of heirlooms for a display.

7:50 a.m.: Harry arrives on the scene. Harry is a long time resident of E. 7th St. and knows all the best spots in the East Village. He usually wears a hat that says "stud" but not today. I'm thinking I should get him a little button that says "Honorary Mayor of Tompkins Square." Each week, Harry helps Jimmy Stannard of Stannard Farms set up and break down, gives breaks to workers throughout the day, and greets people he knows well by howling like a wolf. His friend "Red" walks by. He howls and she howls right back.

9:00 a.m.: Plaster farmers' stands with signage promoting EBT, Health Bucks, frequent shopper promotion signs, plus signs about our upcoming Salsa-off event.

9:15 a.m.: Pam from Ronnybrook feeds me ice cream (it's a tradition we have). Today's flavor is stracciatella.

9:30 a.m.: Do the market report. Today, all the farmers have complied with the rules: on time, farm sign out, price signs out, product labels on honey, meat, eggs, etc; tents weighted down, boxes of produce not sitting directly on the ground, meat, eggs and dairy chilled. Everything is in order. While at Norwich Meadow's stand, one of the Tibetan workers hands me a hot samosa.

10:00 a.m.: Quetsy from Meredith's Bakery needs a bathroom break. I sell a few scones and gluten-free loaves of bread.

10:15 a.m.: Now to work on my a-frame sign. First the letters are too big. Erase. Then too small. Erase. A regular comes up and talks to me for 20 minutes about the history of the East Village. How it has changed!

10:30 a.m.: Finish setting up the info table. Grab some peppers and tomatoes to decorate my stand with. Swiping EBT & Debit/Credit cards and giving out tokens and health bucks. Checking off frequent shopper cards. Try to get more people to sign up for the Salsa-off.

10:45 a.m.: Pam literally spoon-feeds me some of her second batch of ice cream, strawberry this time.

11:15 a.m.: A couple of neighborhood residents who are trying to start a CSA next week approach me about fruit. I introduce him to Jimmy Stannard and they work out prices.

11:30 a.m.: Go pick up some ingredients for the cooking demo. Since we're featuring tomatoes, I grab some ripe juicy ones, a few ears of yellow corn, a bag of okra, and some hot and sweet peppers. All donated by the farmers. Arielle, my helper, chops away. I run to the local Chinese take-out join to pick up a quart of rice to serve the dish. We'll call it...a summer stew.

12:00 p.m.: Do a little social media. Walk around and see what looks good. The sun is hitting Norwich Meadow's beautiful tomatoes just right. Post to instagram, check. Post to twitter, check. Post to facebook, check.

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Hand out samples into tiny cups until it's all gone. I think we have some okra converts. The key is slice it thin and toss it in the pan for a few seconds at the very end. Man is it getting hot.

2:10 p.m.: Samples are gone. Now we get to lunch. I'm having some zucchini pasta ribbons with basil, almonds and pecorino.

2:45 p.m.: Harry comes over with an idea. He thinks we should put together a little box of goodies from the market and give it to the owner of the Odessa restaurants across the street. The Odessa Cafe and uber dive-y Odessa Bar have long been fixtures of the EV, but unfortunately Odessa Bar had to close its doors a few days ago. The people at Odessa Cafe have been good to the market over the years letting us use their bathroom and serving up cheap iced coffees. I grab a crate from Jimmy and fill it up with an assortment of produce, bread, pie, and juice from all the vendors. Harry escorts me over and introduces me to the owner. He apparently doesn't come to the restaurant often, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to thank him. He happily accepts.

3:30 p.m.: An indie film location scout approaches us about using farmers' stands in a scene they're shooting in Tompkins Square park.

4:00 p.m.: Look at the salsa-off list and 3 more people have signed up!

4:30 p.m.: Haifa from Norwich Meadows finds out that I don't really eat meat. "You'll have an amino acid deficiency when you get older!" she exclaims, and thrusts some chicken into my hands.

4:45 p.m.: City Harvest arrives on the scene. They double park on 7th. I meet this week’s volunteer and give them some bags to collect unsold produce from farmers to donate to pantries.

5:05 p.m.: The first of Toigo's three trucks arrives from Carroll Gardens, soon followed by their second, much larger truck from Stuytown. Pura Vida packs up a little late, so these two trucks are double parked on 7th. I move my van and Acevedo's small truck so I can fit the smaller Toigo truck in.

5:15 p.m.: Pura Vida leaves but Toigo's big truck can't make that wide turn from 7th onto Ave A because of the City Harvest truck that is still double parked. I ask the CH driver if he can kindly go around the block to let Toigo through. He's cool about it.

5:20 p.m.: All the farmers have packed up for the day except for Meredith's, so now it's my turn. Play van-tetris for a half-hour getting all of the weights, tables, tents, bins, a-frames, racks, and banners in order.

5:50 p.m.: Forgot about the a-frame I have on 1st Ave. Run over and pick it up.

6:00 p.m.: Get a few bags of peaches, plums, and nectarines from Toigo, who are usually the last to leave.

6:10 p.m.: Say my goodbyes and start packing my backpack and bike panniers. Got too much stuff again, have to bungee some squash and peppers on the top of my bike rack.

6:15 p.m.: DANG! Somehow a peach got into my bag of EBT supplies and smashed right up against the keys of my terminal. Classic!

Environmental Ambassadors at NYCHA

February 12, 2016
Posted in Recycling | Tagged recycle, volunteer, NYCHA, recycling



Over the past year, an exciting thing has been happening: recycling is rolling out at NYCHA developments citywide.  As a partner in community engagement, GrowNYC has provided recycling education at workshops and events, aiming to change the way more than 400,000 New Yorkers take out the trash. 

This winter, GrowNYC is launching a new volunteer program for NYCHA residents who want to see this program succeed.  Through our Environmental Ambassadors program, we will train volunteers to educate neighbors about recycling at their developments.  After completing two, 2-hour workshops, Environmental Ambassadors conduct 12 hours of local outreach to encourage participation in the NYCHA Recycles! Program.  Volunteer benefits include field trips, gear, gift bags and a certificate of service signed by the DNSY commissioner and a NYCHA executive. 

Live at NYCHA and want to make a positive change where you live?  Learn more and register today!

GrowNYC's zero waste programs funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation. 

Greenmarket Winter Schedule Changes

February 12, 2016
Posted in Greenmarket

Inclement weather in the city or in the greater region does affect markets;  markets may close early, or snow-bound farmers may not be able to make it into the city.

There are no weather related updates at this time. 

Get real-time, up-to-date information here: 
Union Square Daily List of Producers in Attendance 
Manhattan Greenmarkets Facebook
Queens Greenmarkets Facebook
Brooklyn Greenmarkets Facebook 
Staten Island Greenmarkets Facebook

 

GrowNYC Builds 7 new gardens in 2015!

December 17, 2015
Posted in Community Gardens

GrowNYC's garden program had an eventul 2015, full of new gardens, rejuvenations of existing spaces, and several innovative garden projects that help make New York a greener city.

We built 7 new community gardens this year, giving the city 80,000 square feet of new open space.  These new gardens include:

Additionally, our garden program did major rejuvenation projects on 7 community gardens and 1 school gardens, totaling 72,000 square feet of existing green space that was transformed.  All of this work is done alongside great partners, including GreenThumb, 596 Acres, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, FDNY, and New York Botanical Garden's Bronx Green Up.  

Throughout 2015, GrowNYC built 12 new green infrastructure elements in gardens, including:

  • 10 new rainwater harvesting systems, in Crotona Park East (BX) East Harlem (MN), Governors Island, Greenpoint (BK), Mott Haven (BX), and Park Slope (BK).
  • 1 new bioswale, in East Harlem.
  • A new aquaponic shipping container at an urban farm in Far Rockaway.

GrowNYC completed our second year of programming at Governors Island Teaching Garden, an urban farm that provides free educational programming for public schools students and summer camp groups from March to November, as well as holds open hours for the general public on weekends during the general Governors Island open season.  

We made some great additions to our farm space in 2015, including a high tunnel greenhouse, a solar oven, a rain garden, and several rainwater harvesting systems.

This year's Governors Island Teaching Garden programming included:

  • Working with more than 2,500 kids from more than 60 school groups
  • Interacting with more than 5,000 visitors from the general public during weekend open hours.

This fall, GrowNYC helped build T5 Farm at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at JFK Airport.  The 24,000 square foot farm features more than 4,000 recycled milk crates growing blue potatoes - the same variety that TERRA gives away on JetBlue flights - as well as other herbs and vegetables.  T5 Farm was created in collaboration with GrowNYC Partners, a consultancy arm of GrowNYC that returns profits to the mission-based activities of GrowNYC - like the 7 new gardens we built this year.

We also continued our efforts to bring community gardening to affordable housing developments.  2015 marked our fourth year of working at Via Verde, where a 5,000 square foot rooftop garden is enjoyed by the building's residents.  GrowNYC also ran seasonal workshops about gardening, healthy eating, and much more.

In Long Island City, GrowNYC helped to design a 2,300 square foot rooftop farm on top of Queens' newest affordable housing complex, Hunter's Point South. The farm features 13 oversized raised beds and a beehive, and will also host a GrowNYC-run Fresh Food Box for building residents.

We'll be back working at T5 Farm, Via Verde, and Hunter's Point South in 2016, working to continue bringing innovative programming to each one.  We can't wait!

 

Have a More Sustainable Holiday

December 8, 2015

You've made a gift list and planned the menu, now here's your holiday recycling checklist:

  • Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard and other paper packaging can go out with other paper recycling (remove tape, ribbons and other decorations). 
     
  • Eggnog cartons, wine bottles, olive containers, cookie tins and hard-to-open rigid plastic packaging are easy to recycle alongside the rest of your metal, glass, plastic and cartons
     
  • Block Styrofoam and foam peanut packaging are not recyclable, but alternative paper packaging can be included in your recycling pile.  Styrofoam peanuts can be reused, and cornstarch peanuts can be composted. 
     
  • For those so inclined, even corks can be recycled--find drop-sites here 

Visit our Holiday Tips page for post-holiday tree collections, electronics recycling events and community swap events. 

For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit the NYC ZeroWaste page.

Buy a Local Tree or Wreath at Greenmarkets Across the City

December 7, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

Get your locally grown Christmas trees, wreaths, and boughs from a local farmer. A list of markets where you can stock up on holiday greens follows:

Christmas Trees
Manhattan:
Union Square SaturdaysKeith's Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Wednesdays: Keith's Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Tuesday 12/22 only: Trumansburg Tree Farms
Union Square MondaysVan Houten Farms
Union Square FridaysVan Houten Farms
Tucker Square Thursdays & SaturdaysPrimrose Hill Farm
Brooklyn:
Grand Army Plaza SaturdaysTrumansburg Tree Farms
Brooklyn Borough Hall SaturdaysHurds Family Farm
Fort Greene SaturdaysHurds Family Farm 
Queens
Jackson Heights SundaysPrimrose Hill Farm

Wreaths and Garland
Manhattan:
Union Square SaturdaysJames Durr Wholesale Florist, Fiori Di Fenice, Keith's Farm, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Stokes Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Wednesdays: Keith's Farm, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Fridays: Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Mondays: The River Garden, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Tuesday12/22 only: Trumansburg Tree Farms
Dag Hammarskjold WednesdaysRexcroft Farm
Tucker Square Thursdays & SaturdaysPrimrose Hill Farm, Stokes Farm
Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Borough Hall SaturdaysHurds Family Farm
Fort Greene SaturdaysHurds Family Farm, Rexcroft Farm 
Grand Army Plaza SaturdaysLebak Farms, Trumansburg Tree Farms
Cortelyou SundaysNewgate Farm
Queens: 
Jackson Heights SundaysPrimrose Hill Farm

Make sure to bring your tree to one of the city's mulch fest locations once the season is over. 

Greenmarket Holiday Gift Guide

December 1, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged greenmarket, holiday, Gifts


Holiday gift shopping for the Greenmarket lover is made easy with this list of popular holiday gifts from Greenmarket producers. Please note, not all of these items are sold at every market location so check the producer line-up to see what products are available at your local Greenmarket.

NON-FOOD ITEMS
Greenmarket Merch: Tote Bags, Bread Bags, Reusable Produce bags, Baby bibs, Tea Towels, Bamboo Spatulas, Note Cards, Mugs, Recipe Cards at Union Square Greenmarket Merch Tent  
Greenmarket Tokens: Wooden tokens can be purchased in $5 increments at the information tent at any Greenmarket using a credit or debit card. Tokens can be used like money at most vendors.
The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Available for sale at Union Square Greenmarket and various other markets, as well as on www.grownyc.org/cookbook.
Soaps 
Sachets, salves, lip balms, lotions, and body oils
Yarn from Catskill Merino, 3-Corner Field Farm, B&Y Farm and Rosehaven Alpaca
Herbal Tinctures from Violet Hill Farm, Thy Herb Collective, Tweefontein Herb Farm 
Wreaths
Decorative Garlic Braids from Keith’s Farm
Poinsettias, Paper Whites, Orchids & Other potted plants
Succulent & Cactus plants

FOOD GIFTS

Jams and Preserves
Hard Cider
Honey 
Wine
Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods
Maple Syrup, Maple Cotton Candy & Maple Candies
The Bronx Hot Sauce Gift Box from GrowNYC
Chicken Liver Bourbon Pâté from Yellow Bell Farms 
Soppresetta from Flying Pigs Farm
Egg Nog from Ronnybrook Farm
Gluten Free Babka from Las Delicias
Spirits: Gin, Corn Whiskey, Vodka, Unaged Single Malt Whiskey from Orange County Distillery
Bison Jerky from Roaming Acres
Beer from From the Ground Brewery including Pale Ale, Stout and Red Ale
Bitters from Violet Hill Farm
Dried & Smoked Chiles from Eckerton Hill and Oak Grove Plantation 

 

Christmas and New Year's Day Greenmarket Schedule

December 1, 2015



Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Friday this year, impacting all three of our year-round Friday Greenmarkets. See below for closings and rescheduled dates. 

FRIDAY
97th Street Greenmarket CLOSED Friday, December 25th and Friday, January 1st 
Staten Island Ferry Terminal Greenmarket CLOSED Friday, December 25th and Friday, January 1st 
Union Square Greenmarket CLOSED 
Friday, December 25th and Friday, January 1st; OPEN Tuesday, December 22nd and Tuesday, December 29th with Friday producers in attendance. 

SATURDAY
Abingdon Square Greenmarket CLOSED Saturday, December 26th
Brooklyn Borough Hall CLOSED Saturday, December 26th
St. George Greenmarket CLOSED Saturday, December 26th

Greenmarket New Year's Resolutions

December 1, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

With the new year just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about your resolutions. This year, why not make some resolutions you can actually stick to? Here are some of what we'll be doing to improve ourselves, our city and our environment in 2016.

1.   Say goodbye to plastic bags, for good. Greenmarket is committed to reducing plastic usage at our markets and several of our farmers are now offering reusable totes, bread and produce bags for sale. In 2016, make it a priority to make sure you always carry a reusable tote and produce bags and lets cut down on the amount of plastic we put into landfills.
2.   Drop off your food scraps. Since Greenmarkets began collecting food scraps for composting, we’ve collected over 5 million pounds of food waste that would otherwise be in a landfill. The rich compost created from these scraps is then used in community gardens, parks and other green spaces. Composting has never been easier with 22 of our year-round markets accepting food scraps.
3.    Clean out your closets AND your junk drawers. Old textiles can be dropped off at 20 year-round markets or find a Stop ‘N’ Swap in your neighborhood to bring unwanted clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books, & toys so they can find a home with someone else. You might also find something you need for your home!
4.    Become a Greenmarket Volunteer. Greenmarket hosts volunteer orientations every month and provides opportunities to help, both indoors and out in the elements, year round.
5.    Sign up for your first Winter Fresh Food Box. Our popular Fresh Food Box program has expanded the number of Winter Fresh Food Box sites to 7 this year. Pick-up locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan provide access to a pre-packed selection of affordable fresh produce from December to May. 
6.    Boost your workouts with ancient grains. The high-protein, low-gluten grains our Regional Grains Project sells at their stand are the perfect base for clean, simple meals after the indulgent holiday season. Try this wheatberry salad with kale and butternut squash for a healthy, protien packed lunch or dinner. 
7.    Introduce a friend to the Greenmarkets. Shopping at a Greenmarket is not just about fresh, healthy, local food, it’s about the community. Make a shopping date with a friend who has never shopped at Greenmarket and show them the enormous bounty our region has to offer right at their finger tips each week at their local Greenmarket.
8.    Eat at a restaurant committed to sourcing their food locally. For those nights you just don't feel like cooking (never, right?), there are many restaurants around NYC that purchase from Greenmarket and Greenmarket Co. all year long.      
9.    Get your hands dirty. Looking for a fun way to bond with your coworkers while doing some good? Get your company involved and sign up for a corporate volunteer day to help build or refurbish a community garden in the city.
10.  Visit Staten Island. A trip on the Staten Island Ferry is always a nice ride but it’s even more fun now that you can visit our St. George Greenmarket year-round.    

 

Greenmarket Schedule Thanksgiving Week 2015

November 18, 2015

It's almost our favorite food holiday, THANKSGIVING, and the markets are abundant with all of the ingredients you need for a delicious meal. We will have some schedule changes to accomodate shopping schedules, see below.  

*Market days with an asterisk mean it's a special market, rescheduled to Tuesday or Wednesday, normally held on a Thursday or Friday, so that customers have an opportunity to shop for Thanksgiving ingredients. Compost and textile collections are the same for regular and rescheduled markets, unless otherwise noted. 

Monday, 11/23: 
Union Square open 8am-6pm 

Tuesday, 11/24: 
Bowling Green open 8am-5pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall open 8am-5pm 

Bronx Borough Hall open 8am-4pm Last day for the season
City Hall open 8am-4pm 
*Columbia open 8am-5pm
Elmhurst Hospital open 8am-4pm
Ft. Washington open 8am-4pm Last day for the season
Hostos open 8am-4pm Last day for the season
Poe Park open 8am-3pm Last day for the season
Saint Mark's Church open 8am-6pm Last day for the season
Staten Island Ferry Terminal open 8am-7pm 
*Union Square open (Friday producers) 8am-6pm

Wednesday 11/25:  
*97th Street open 8am-2pm (No textile collections) 
57th Street open 8am-5pm
Bartel-Pritchard open 8am-3pm (no EBT/Debit/Credit)
*Bowling Green open 8am-5pm (no compost & textile collection)
*City Hall Park open 8am-4pm
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza open 8am-4pm
*Grand Army Plaza open 8am-4pm
Jacob Riis Youthmarket open 3:30pm-6:30pm
Learn It, Grow It, Eat It Youthmarket open 10am-3pm
Mount Sinai open 8am-5pm Last day for the season.
NY Botanical Garden open 9am-3pm Last day for the season
Tribeca open 8am-3pm 
*Tucker Square open 8am-5pm  
Union Square Wednesday open 8am-6pm

Thursday 11/26 & Friday 11/27:
All Greenmarkets closed. No textile or food scrap collection.

Saturday 11/28 & Sunday 11/29
Regular schedule

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