GrowNYC Added to Governor's NYC Regional Economic Development Council

On July 29, 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the New York City Regional Economic Development Council, and named GrowNYC's Executive Director, Marcel Van Ooyen, as a member.

From the press release:

"Today we are taking a new approach to economic development that will send a clear message that New York is open for business," said Governor Cuomo. "For too long, one-size-fits-all economic development plans have ignored the unique assets and challenges of regions like New York City. With the Regional Councils, we will empower individual areas to chart their own course for job creation and growth."

The Regional Councils represent a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to economic development, from a top-down development model to a community-based approach that emphasizes regions’ unique assets, harnesses local expertise, and empowers each region to set plans and priorities.

Read the Governor's press release.

Greenmarket celebrates 35 years

On this day, 35 Years Ago…

On August 1, 1976, The New York Times was reporting on the successful rebirth of farmers' markets in New York City, citing quotes from enthusiastic shoppers and farmers who played equal parts in the success of the first Greenmarket at E. 59th St. and Second Ave. The customers were raving about the fresh peaches, beefsteak tomatoes, and summer corn that the local farmers brought in for sale.

"'I get goose bumps just looking at these farmers coming from where there are real trees and plants,' said a woman clutching her chicory lettuce. 'It’s a real breath of fresh air. Everyone’s so happy to have them here.'"

Read the rest of the article here , and visit your neighborhood Greenmarket (there are now 53 of them around the city!) to enjoy some of those summer staples we take just as much pleasure in eating today.

How to Compost at Greenmarket in 3 Simple Steps

First-time composters wonder about the best way to get their veggie trimmings to the compost collection. Here's our quick guide:

1) Get a storage container. Anything from a 32-ounce yogurt container or plastic bag to a covered pail will do the job. Check out our slideshow for more ideas.

2) Keep it cool. Store scraps in the freezer or fridge to reduce odors at home and at the Greenmarket.

3) Bring it to the market. Stop by the compost tent and empty your container into our receptacle. You can reduce waste by reusing the same container. After you shop you can drop in unwanted carrot tops, corn husks, radish greens, etc before leaving the market. That's it!

Learn more about what you can and can't compost.

Greenmarket's EBT numbers continue to climb

Greenmarket's EBT/Food stamps program continues to expand exponentially, with figures for the first half of 2011 coming in 3.5 times higher than in 2010.

2009 Markets accepting EBT: 23 EBT total, January to June: $5,102

2010 Markets accepting EBT: 40 EBT total, January to June: $38,652

2011 Markets accepting EBT: 43 EBT total, January to June: $131,938

Thanks to continued support from Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council, the number of Greenmarkets accepting EBT has risen steadily from 3 markets in 2005, to 23 markets in 2009, to the current 43 markets (including every Greenmarket in an outer borough) in 2011.

Greenmarket attributes a large part of the EBT program’s success to the NYC Department of Health's Health Bucks program. July through November, $2 Health Bucks are given out for every $5 an EBT customer spends at qualifying Greenmarkets market--representing a 40% boost in buying power.

Greenmarket's EBT program not only provides nutritious, local produce for all shoppers, it also makes a big impact on farmer revenues, providing 25-50% of farmer income in some cases.

Click here for more information about Greenmarket's EBT Program.

Compost in all shapes and sizes

GrowNYC just announced that our 4-month compost collection pilot at select Greenmarkets has been extended through December 31, 2011, so to celebrate the program and the 116,265 pounds of kitchen scraps New Yorkers have contributed, we thought we'd take a look at some of the most fun ways people have been storing and transporting compost.

Special thanks to volunteer Nicholas Knoll for sharing his photo skills!

Have a cool photo of your compost solution? Post it on our Facebook page!

Learn more about GrowNYC's compost program.

Early Summer Greens Available at Fresh Bodegas

We're thrilled to announce that Fresh Bodegas refrigerators are now stocked with spinach, collard greens, and strawberries, in addition to delicious Red Jacket Orchards juices.

Participating locations include:

Bedford Express Deli
1043 Bedford Ave.
(between Greene and Clifton)

Greene Ave. Deli
664 Greene Ave.
(at Throop)

Si Grocery
1082 DeKalb
(at Malcolm X Blvd.)

Learn more about Fresh Bodegas.

Grow to Learns kicks off Dining Out for School Gardens week

Today, GrowNYC and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City—co-founders of Grow to Learn: the Citywide School Gardens Initiative—were joined by Deputy NYC Parks Commissioner Larry Scott Blackmon, Chef Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern and staff and families at PS 154 in Windsor Terrace to highlight the critical nutrition lessons gardens provide and kick-off a week-long promo, Dining Out for School Gardens.

Students at PS 154 were outside participating in a cooking demo with Chef Michael Anthony and Whitney Reuling, Garden to Cafe Coordinator for the Office of SchoolFood, as part of Harvest Day, where students serve up what they’ve grown in the garden in their cafeteria.

PS 154 was recently awarded a Grow to Learn mini-grant to amend garden beds, purchase composters and lights so they can grow seeds indoors. After registering their garden on www.nyc.gov/growtolearn, they received donated plant materials and technical assistance from Grow to Learn Partner Green Thumb, and their Harvest Day and other nutrition curriculum comes from participating in Garden to School Café, another partner in Grow to Learn.

From June 24 – 30, you can visit participating restaurants and help NYC youth gain better skills, habits and knowledge about growing, eating and preparing food. All of the Dining Out for School Gardens restaurants, will donate a percentage of the sales of one or more menu items towards supporting school gardens.

A new farm for the Tellos

It’s been almost twelve years since Nestor and Alejandra Tello first joined the New Farmer Development Project in 2000 as the project’s first farmers. They’ve now become one of the project's true success stories, growing from modest beginnings with a few hundred chickens to a flock of 4000 lay-ers, on-farm honey production, and some diversified vegetables to boot.

Most recently, after 10 years of renting land, Nestor and Alejandra were finally able to purchase their very own 25 acre farm in Coxsackie, NY late last year.

Tello's Green Farm keeps its loyal customers happy at 8 Greenmarkets and 3 CSAs throughout New York City.

Click here for more info about the Tellos and the New Farmer Development Project.

Dining Out for School Gardens

Grow to Learn NYC: the Citywide School Gardens Initiative, a program co-founded by GrowNYC, knows that gardens, cafes and cafeterias are classrooms too, so we asked NYC chefs to lend their support and expertise.

Chefs are an integral part of shaping how we eat and how we view food so it’s only natural that they take part in GrowNYC’s Grow to Learn school gardens program. In gardens, in farmers markets, in schools and in restaurants NYC chefs are helping to advance the good food/good health movement by:

  • Teaching students how to prepare healthy school lunches, snacks, and meals using fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs
  • Encouraging healthy eating habits by demonstrating the natural deliciousness of farm fresh foods
  • Introducing young people on the cusp of adulthood to possible career choices

From June 24 – 30, you can visit participating restaurants and help NYC youth gain better skills, habits and knowledge about growing, eating and preparing food. All of the Dining Out for School Gardens restaurants, will donate a percentage of the sales of one or more menu items towards supporting school gardens.

Your participation will help ensure that New York City’s youth are getting outside and growing–and making the connection between what’s in the garden with what’s on their plates by visiting these restaurants:

MANHATTAN

Back Forty – Sauteed tokoyo turnips (side dish)

Elsewhere Restaurant – Eat Drink Local Week prix fixe menu

Gotham Bar and Grill – a special $25 Greenmarket menu

Gramercy Tavern – Eat Drink Local Week prix fixe menu

The Green Table – local artisanal cheese plate

Henry's – Greenmarket square meal

Hung Ry – Eat Drink Local Week prix fixe menu

I Trulli – special Greenmarket Tasting Menu

Má Pêche - mushroom + asparagus appetizer

Mae Mae Café - Veggie burger

Northern Spy Food Co.

Riverpark - Mascarpone Ravioli

Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto culatello locale

Battery Park City Shake Shack - summer blackberry cobbler milkshake

Trestle on Tenth - Greenmarket strawberry sundae and spinach gnocchi

‘wichcraft – Asparagus frittata, roasted free-range chicken, and marinated zucchini sandwiches

BROOKLYN

iCi - A special Eat & Drink Local Menu ($46)

Rose Water – Eat Drink Local week menu

The Vanderbilt – Fleischer’s Heritage Pork Loin

Interested in supporting Grow to Learn NYC?  Donate today!
(choose Citywide School Gardens as your program designation)

Grow to Learn is a program of GrowNYC and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Learn more at www.nyc.gov/growtolearn.

To add your restaurant to this promotion, contact Julie Walsh at jwalsh@grownyc.org.

Solar ovens in Union Square

This afternoon, teens from our environmental education program were out cooking food at the Union Square Greenmarket in their pizza box solar ovens. One oven went above 200 degrees!

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