GrowNYC COVID-19 Schedule Changes & Resources

March 31, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC

If there are changes to GrowNYC programming or operations due to COVID-19 this blog post will be information central for up-to-the-minute schedule changes.

GrowNYC Greenmarkets and Farmstands
Most Greenmarkets and some Farmstand locations are open and operating on schedule, changes to the schedule are listed below. Follow us on social media (links below) or GrowNYC's Union Square Greenmarket app for real-time updates about Union Square. *Collections at all food scrap & clothing drop-off sites are cancelled until further notice.

Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory
Many Greenmarket producers are offering a variety of ways to purchase their products, from allowing customers to pre-order and pick up at a market, to direct home delivery and shipping products from their online stores. All of that information is available in one place at GrowNYC Greenmarket Alternative Sales Directory 2020

CLOSED GREENMARKETS & FARMSTANDS:
Greenmarket at the Oculus
Bowling Green Tuesday & Thursday Greenmarket
Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday Greenmarket
City Hall Park Tuesday & Friday Greenmarket
Staten Island Ferry Tuesday & Friday Greenmarket

Food Scrap Drop-Off and Clothing Collection 
Collections at all food scrap & clothing drop-off sites are cancelled until further notice.
Sign up for Food Scrap Drop-Off Alerts
Read our blog post - How to Keep Composting in NYC during COVID-19

GrowNYC Fresh Food Box

Open

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: Tuesdays, 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 1:30 pm - 2:30pm

 

Project H.O.P.E.: Wednesdays, 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm

 

Uptown Grand Central.: Wednesdays, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

East Harlem Health Action Center: Thursdays, 2:30 pm - 6:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 1:30 pm - 2:30pm

 

Bed-Stuy (at Peaches, 403 Lewis Ave):
RELOCATING TO Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church, 228 Decatur Street
No longer accepting new participants; join our waitlist
Saturdays, 11:00 am - 3:30 pm.
Courtesy Hour (for customers at higher risk of infection): 10:30 am - 11:00 am

Suspended Hunter College
Brooklyn Army Terminal
1 Centre Street
Department of Health


Volunteer Orientations
All GrowNYC volunteer orientations have been postponed until further notice. 

Student and Adult Tours and Field Trips 
All scheduled adult market tours and DOE school field trips are officially cancelled until further notice

GrowNYC Farmer Assisstance
POSTPONED: Farmer Assistance La Nueva Siembra Business Training Course
CANCELLED: Eastern New York Farmworker Master Class and Blueprint Racial and Social Justice Training at Soul Fire Farm

GrowNYC Wholesale
GrowNYC Wholesale (formerly Greenmarket Co.) is operating and providing wholesale distribution to our customers and partners.

Follow us on social media or the app for real-time updates:
GrowNYC Facebook // Instagram
Union Square Greenmarket Daily List of Producers in Attendance // Union Square Greenmarket App
Manhattan Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Queens Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Brooklyn Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Staten Island Greenmarkets Facebook // Instagram
Fresh Food Box Facebook
Farmer and Producer List and Social Media Links

GrowNYC's Distance Learning Resources

March 29, 2020

Due to school closure and social distancing measures, our Education Programs are currently not operating our Zero Waste and Food & Nutrition programs in schools, School Garden workshops and giveaways, Greenmarket tours or Teaching Garden field trips. For a list of all COVID-19 related program changes, please click here.

BUT we miss seeing the students and educators we work so closely with throughout the year! We’re in awe of teachers and students as they undertake the immense task of continuing to teach and learn through new distance learning platforms. To provide some continuity for Green Teams and all those who do so much to promote sustainability work in their schools, we have created a Distance Learning Resource page with online activities, lessons and “virtual” field trips.

We look forward to seeing you all in person soon!

Go to GrowNYC's Distance Learning micro-site!

Keeping Up Composting During COVID-19

March 28, 2020

[Updated 4/21/20]

Due to the need to limit person-to-person contact and redirect personnel to essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak, all food scrap drop-off sites in the city, including the ones managed by GrowNYC, are closed until further notice (please see this Important Notice on the Suspension of GrowNYC’s Recycling Programs).  Beginning Monday, March 23, any food scraps left at closed Food Scrap Drop-off sites will be disposed of as trash. GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets remain open for food access purposes only, so while you can continue to get fresh, local produce at our markets, you can’t compost there for now.

The good news?  The heroes at the NYC Department of Sanitation continue to deploy core operations to keep the city safe and sanitary, including curbside refuse and recycling collections.  While the Curbside Composting program is not yet available to all New Yorkers, it remains available in current neighborhoods through May 3. The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will temporarily suspend curbside composting service beginning on Monday, May 4, 2020. The suspension is currently planned through June 30, 2021.


How to Keep Composting When Food Scrap Drop-Off Sites are Temporarily Closed

1)      Reduce Food Waste

Creating less waste is always best.  Learn how to store produce, check the shelf life for fruits and veggies, use up or preserve what you can’t use right away, get creative with your cooking, and learn some foods you can regrow from scraps

2)      Compost at Home

Compost the way New Yorkers did “back in the day” with a home composting system.  Dust off your backyard bin,or order an indoor worm bin.  Either way, composting is a great activity to keep busy, teach kids science, and finally get that pet you’ve been wanting! 

Outdoor Composting

If you have access to private outdoor space, this is an option for you! If you already have an outdoor compost bin, all you’ll need to get started are some leaves and food scraps.  Brush up on outdoor composting with this guide from the NYC Compost Project.  If you don’t yet have a bin, you can purchase online, find plans to make your own, or simply drill holes in a metal trash can. Remember that composting is an active, controlled process that requires effort beyond simply separating your food scraps and putting them outside. Scraps must be covered and properly managed--especially important in an urban environment! 

             Indoor Composting

No outdoor space? Do not despair! You can feed your food scraps to red wigglers, the most adorable and most voracious worms out there.  If you have a lidded plastic bin and a drill, this can be a very cheap DIY project for just the cost of some red wiggler worms, which you can purchase online. If you’d rather buy a ready-to-use worm bin, search online for a bin that suits your needs and style.  

To get started composting with worms, check out the NYC Compost Project’s  indoor composting guide and keep a troubleshooting guide handy for reference as you go.  We recommend freezing fruit scraps to prevent fruit flies and adding small amounts of food at a time as your worms adjust (Note: worms can be picky. They love apples, but aren’t so fond of citrus rinds).  Stick with it and you’ll have fun watching the process and creating food for your plants. 

 

NYC Zero Waste During COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has suspended many of the zero waste programs New Yorkers have come to rely on, including GrowNYC’s zero waste programs, DSNY’s curbside compost program, and the citywide network of food scrap drop-off sites. 

While GrowNYC’s zero waste services are not currently operational, we know our community continues to care about the long-term sustainability of our city and looks to us for information.  The resources and updates below are subject to change--please check host information before you go and be patient as the city works through this public health crisis.  Remember, it's great to recycle and rot, but it's best to reduce and reuse to prevent waste!

Household Recyclables

  • NYC’s curbside recycling program is still in effect. Thank a sanitation worker, and make sure to check recycling rules and rinse containers! 

Food Waste

  • Read our blog post: Keeping Up Composting During COVID-19.
  • Reduce food waste by learning about expiration dates, food preservation, using up leftovers, and other tips from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Curbside Composting is suspended until at least July 2021, and Food Scrap Drop-off Sites are cancelled until further notice. 
  • Some NYC microhaulers and commercial vendors are providing residential food scrap pickup for a fee:
    • BK ROT – Servicing North and Central Brooklyn
    • Reclaimed Organics – Serving Manhattan from Canal St to 86th St
    • Commercial haulers offering organics collection for residential buildings (contact for details):
      • Avid Waste
      • Boro-Wide Recycling
      • Century Waste
      • Liberty Ashes
      • Mr. T Carting
      • Royal Waste
      • RTS
      • Waste Connections

Clothing + Textiles

Electronics

Reusable Items

Farmers Markets Deemed Essential Businesses

March 24, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC

Dear GrowNYC Greenmarket Community,

Many of you have heard recent calls by elected officials to further increase social distancing at parks and other outdoor gathering places. Be assured that GrowNYC is committed to implementing stringent social distancing at our food access points; it is a vital action everyone must take in our shared efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Also please know that the safety of our customers, our staff, our farmers – and all New Yorkers - remains our number-one concern during this extremely difficult time. These are not just words. We have taken (and will continue to take) decisive action to create the safest places to access fresh produce. We have been ahead of the curve. Our current protocols are being used as a model for farmers markets across the nation.

To give just a few examples, we have already banned the public from touching produce, and we require that only gloved farm staff handle the selection and bagging of products. We’ve discontinued product sampling and reconfigured our markets, barricading food from direct public access and dictating additional space for social distancing. (A full list of our current food safety and social distancing protocols, as well as those we are in the process of implementing, are listed below.)

And, with the support of the city, we are doing more each day to increase social distancing. This includes spreading our farmer tents further apart; taking over additional public space to expand market footprints; increasing safety signage; and redeploying staff from our other programs to enforce social distancing. We are working hard on all of these and other safety protocols. In fact, GrowNYC is temporarily pausing (for two days only) its Greenmarket operations until this Wednesday, March 25, 2020. During this time, Greenmarket staff will prepare additional measures we can take to ensure your safety, as well as that of our farmers and staff.

While it may be easy to confuse our essential operations at parks and other public spaces with non-essential public activities that have been prohibited or discouraged, it is a simple fact that people must eat -- even in a crisis, especially a crisis that has shuttered many usual food access points.

Healthy, fresh produce is more vital today than it ever has been. For example, our markets process over $1 million in SNAP/EBT (formally known as food stamps) and Health Bucks (a city SNAP incentive program) each year, as well as $2 million in Farmers Market Nutrition vouchers, which serve WIC recipients and seniors. These programs are only redeemable at farmers markets like Greenmarkets and cannot be used online or at grocery stores. (Go here for more information on these programs.)

It is important to note that under Governor Cuomo’s recent Executive Order, food outlets like our Greenmarket Farmers Markets and GrowNYC’s other food access outlets are designated as an “essential business.” (A copy of the governing language is copied below, and the full Order can be found here.)

We are in constant contact with state and city health officials, and we continue to adapt and modify our operations. We believe that open-air farmers markets, with transparent chains of custody, reduced travel times from farm to table, and proper safety and social distancing, are critically important places for the public to access the food they need. And we are making them safer and better each day.

Our farmers and staff appreciate the outpouring of support that we’ve received over the past several days on social media regarding our intense efforts to keep our markets open as a way for New Yorkers to get fresh, healthy food during this crisis. We’re also taking note of all concerns that have been expressed and folding them into our evolving safety measures and policies.

These are difficult times for everyone. It’s important that we all support each other and treat each other with respect and kindness.

Thank you for your support in these challenging times.

We invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns at info@grownyc.org.

 

Stay safe and be well.

Marcel Van Ooyen

President/CEO GrowNYC

 

GrowNYC’s/Greenmarket’s Safety and Social Distancing Protocols:

In addition to the already implemented safety protocols listed below, we are planning further safety measures. At all markets where we have the ability to spread out (down a sidewalk or into other adjacent vacant space), Producers’ tents will be separated at least 10 feet from one another. For those markets where this is not an option (like the Union Square Greenmarket), we will reconfigure markets and limit the number of customers shopping at any given time. At all markets we will provide clear demarcations to keep shoppers at least 6 feet apart, and we will engage additional staff on the ground to help customers and Producers navigate these new systems.

Already implemented safety protocols:

  • Only Producers and their staff may handle products. Customers must not touch any produce or products until after they have purchased (as mentioned above)
  • Market staff will separate farm stand spaces with at least 2 feet of distance between the tents, more where possible, to reduce congestion
  • There is no sampling of products at markets until further notice
  • There is no selling of apple cider by the cup
  • All Producers must wear protective gloves
  • All farm stands must use vinyl or plastic table covers for easy sanitizing
  • All producers need to be sanitizing their stands regularly, primarily wiping down tables, terminals, cash boxes, etc.
  • All GrowNYC staff and Producers must stay home if they are sick
  • All staff processing credit/debit/snap transactions must wear protective gloves
  • We will provide hand sanitizer at our market manager stations

Please respect our market staff on the front lines and the farmers behind the stands who are coming into the city to feed us.

Governor's Executive Order

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22. Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIESincluding any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Business," means:

4. Essential Retail, Including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer's market
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

GrowNYC Celebrates 50 Years of Earth Day

March 22, 2020
Posted in GrowNYC | Tagged Earth Day

On this day 50 years ago, 20 million people across the country joined together to fight for a better future for our environment in what became the first Earth Day. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC), now GrowNYC, was born out of the spirit of that day in 1970. 

CENYC was initially a policy-based organization, writing comprehensive reports about quality of life issues like air pollution, traffic, and noise. Our city has changed a lot since then and so have we. As the largest and most established environmental organization in NYC, we are proud to have played a pivotal role in helping New York City transform over the past five decades. 

Now, 3 million New Yorkers each year participate in our programs. We envision a New York in which every New Yorker can flourish. Every garden. Every school. Every street. Every neighborhood. Every borough. 

As we all do our part to stay home and stop the spread of the coronavirus, there are still many ways you can have a positive impact on the environment: 

We believe collective actions make a difference. Together we can create a city and a planet that are sustainable and resilient for generations to come. 

Happy Earth Day!

Women's History Month, Staff and Farmer Picks

March 5, 2020

For our celebration of Women’s History Month this year, we asked GrowNYC staff and producers to tell us about those women, famed or unsung, who influenced their passion for food, gardening, and/or the environment.

We’ll be adding more magnificent women throughout the month as submissions come in. Check back soon!

 

Maria (Baldassarre) Naglieri, (1902-1997) born in Santo Spirito, Bari, Italy, submitted by GrowNYC's Green Space Director, Gerard Lordhal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Eldest of five, my maternal grandmother was raised on a Mediterranean farm with olive groves, vineyards, and an almond orchard. She first introduced me to arugula, focaccia and dandelion and mint omelette. She lived through WWI, raised 5 children, four sons returned from WWII.

Her cooking secrets included: nothing out of a can, good Italian olive oil, semolina flour, anchovies, and sea urchins (to tease her grandchildren with), homemade cavatelli pasta, and, of course, her own homemade tomato sauce. Canning plum tomatoes, making wine in the fall and planting a spring garden with basil, arugula, and mint were annual events in my childhood.

Cipollini onions were her holiday favorite, which I would often find for her in the Belmont section of the Bronx."

 

Dolores Huerta, submitted by GrowNYC’s School Gardens Coordinator Laura Casaregola 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“When I moved to California for college, I was surprised to find that classes were canceled on March 31st for Cesar Chavez Day. I started looking into the farmworker labor movement in California in the 1960s and was inspired by a key figure: Dolores Huerta. She was at the forefront of the Delano grape strike and co-founded the United Farm Workers. She coined the famous organizing phrase, "Sí, se puede!" Her activism for a more just food system includes a fight for labor, civil, LGBTQ, immigrant and women's rights, and even at age 89 these days, she is still active on the scene. Although classes and work are not cancelled for it, California recently declared April 10 as Dolores Huerta Day.” 

 

Dorothy Darlene Donoghue Schupp Crawford, submitted by GrowNYC’s Communications Specialist, Catherine Crawford

“Growing up in the 80’s in the suburbs of San Francisco, Mom always had two huge compost piles going in our back yard.  All of our food scraps went in one of two bowls: dog or compost. I felt like the only 7-year-old in the Bay Area regularly brandishing a pitchfork after dinner (from the only family in town that had dogs but never bought dog food).”

 

Suzie Carollo, submitted by GrowNYC's Food Access and Agriculture Assistant Director, Liz Carollo

"While most of the other girls my age were learning important life lessons like how to dress and look presentable, my mom was cramming as many neighborhood kids as possible in the station wagon and taking us to the beach to fish and hunt for shells, or picking up a pack of raw chicken wings and teaching us how to set a trap for blue crab. In this photo she is leading a lesson for me on operculums."

 

Frances (Fannie) Griscom Parsons, submitted by GrowNYC’s School Gardens Director, Kristin Fields


“She started the first school garden in 1902 in Hell’s Kitchen, right next to the Hudson River railyard - aka "Death Avenue" -- and a bunch of factories, because she wanted to teach kids to be urban citizens. It was such a hit that there's still a garden on site today at De Witt Clinton Park.” 

 

Lynn Loflin, submitted by Lela Chapman, Sales and Relationship Manager for GrowNYC Wholesale


“Lynn is retiring from Lenox Hill Teaching Kitchen this year. She has been a huge partner to GrowNYC Wholesale and instrumental in helping NYC institutions incorporate more fresh food and a farm-to-table model.”

 

Wendy Rizzo, submitted by her husband, Joe Rizzo of Blue Oyster Cultivation

“She's the co-owner and founding farmer of one the farms that started the current wave of small mushroom farms. Twelve years ago, she quit her executive position in Manhattan, moved to the Finger Lakes and helped start Blue Oyster Cultivation from scratch.” 

 

Mary Emmett, submitted by Jodie S. Emmett de Maciel of Beth’s Farm Kitchen

“At two years old, my parents purchased 100 acres in SE Michigan and started planting apple trees. My father worked for General Motors while my mom transformed the land from an abandoned field to a thriving cider mill business.  I played under the table at farmers markets in the fall while she connected with all the growers in the Ann Arbor area - and eventually built not only a viable farm-based business but a cultural phenomenon that has created fond memories for generations of fall-time visitors."

 

 

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