Grown with Pride

June 7, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and, essentially, the birth of the Pride movement in the United States. 

Since the opening of the first Greenmarket in 1976 at 59th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan, GrowNYC has endeavored to create community spaces where everyone is welcome. At the Greenmarket, neighbors gather not only to buy fresh food, but to mingle and check in on each other. It creates a feeling of belonging; the composition of the many Greenmarket communities throughout the City reflects the invigorating diversity of NYC itself.

We are honored to count a number of LGBTQ Producers and stand workers among our farmer community.

Members of Transgenerational Farm, City Saucery, Moxie Ridge, and Rise & Root Farm have graciously shared with us their experiences as LGBTQ farmers, and every Tuesday during Pride Month, our Union Square Greenmarket publicity team will post one of their stories on the Union Square Greenmarket Instagram account.  

You can also read the unedited versions here on our blog. We’ll be updating it every week as they come in.

Our first Pride Month profile is with Jayne of Transgenerational Farm. Here’s the complete transcript:

GrowNYC:  How did you become a farmer?

Jayne: I come from a long line of conventional farmers in rural Kansas. My dad is a county extension agent, and as a kid my two older sisters and I were always involved in 4-H from ages 7-18.  I grew up in southwest Kansas where the prairies and wheat fields are so vast and flat you can see your dog run away for a week. My first jobs were working on local farms, and I learned how to drive a tractor before I could drive a car.

When I was a sophomore in college my uncle, a farmer, passed away from cancer most likely caused by conventional chemicals, and my family moved to the northeast part of the state to take over the farm. We grew conventional corn, wheat, soybeans, and beef cattle. I spent countless hours fixing fences, checking cows, cutting hay, tilling fields, and drilling grains. While I loved this work, and excelled at it, this was also the time that I was beginning to understand my feelings of gender dysphoria and starting down the long and difficult road of transitioning. I always felt like I didn't have a future in rural Kansas. While I had found a small and close trans family at college (Rock Chalk Jayhawk -- go KU!!) there were no trans farmers; people like me didn't exist in rural Kansas. So when I was offered a job with AmeriCorps in New York City, I jumped at the chance, hoping to find queer and trans community. I spent seven years in the city working at various non-profits and eventually found my way to GrowNYC where I worked as a Fresh Food Box coordinator. Being involved in food access and food justice and seeing the farms in the Hudson valley reinvigorated my passion for agriculture.

Suddenly I could see a future where queer people grew food for each other and worked the land and used our magic to nourish our community, and I wanted that. So I took the FARMrots program at GrowNYC, and then was accepted into the pro-farmer program at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, where I am now in my third year. The pro-farmer program allowed me to make connections with Sustainability Farm through a mentorship program, and now I am co-stewarding land with them in Accord, NY, in the shadow of the beautiful Mohonk Ridge with clear slight of the Mohonk Mountain House, and a stone’s throw from the Rondout Creek!   

How long have you been a Greenmarket farmer and what is your experience as a part of the market community in NYC?

This is my first year selling at Greenmarket and I am EXTREMELY excited to be a part of the Greenmarket family. I have a long history with GrowNYC, and now to see that relationship come full circle and reunite as a producer feels like coming home!

How has your experience as a part of the LGBTQ community informed your experience as a farmer?

One of the main driving forces and philosophies in my work is the desire to connect people with agriculture who are traditionally excluded from it. As a rural queer I felt a lack of safety in my home rural spaces which ultimately left me to leave. LGBTQ people should know that we have a right to rural life as much as anyone.

****************************************************************************************************

Next, we heard from Michael at City Saucery.

GrowNYC: How and why did you start your business?

Michael: Back in 2010, our careers were going nowhere (our backgrounds are both in design--me furniture/interiors and Jorge with graphic design--so we're both very visual). At the time, my Italian mom, a native of Calabria (who is an artist in the kitchen), started cooking at a local restaurant and gained kind of a cult following, so we started cooking classes. Jorge and I would both organize and promote these events to get our minds off of our (then) aimless careers, and my mom would teach--people just loved her. One thing led to another and people started inquiring about the sauces that we would pair with the food my mom cooked. That inspired us to create more sauces. After operating out of a shared incubator for several years, and a short stint with a poorly managed co packer, we finally decided to take back 100% control and get our own facility. Luckily, we found one in South Brooklyn, and the country’s first Saucery was born. The idea was (and still is) to produce specialty food products with a modern twist since we are, after all, a modern family.

How long have you been a GrowNYC Greenmarket producer and what is your experience as part of the Greenmarket community in NYC?

This is our third season with Greenmarket, and it has been one of the best experiences we've ever had as producers. The platform we are so fortunate to access weekly has helped us gain significant brand awareness and a level of customer interaction wholesale could never provide.

How has your experience as part of the LGBTQ community informed your experience as a business owner/GMKT producer?

Well, as proud members of the LGBTQ+ community, we understand that money equals both freedom and sustainability, so we decided to start our own business to help navigate our future together as both business and life partners. I would never leave our future in the hands of politicians, and no member of the LGBTQ+ community should.

As producers, it’s fueled our creativity further by inspiring us to recreate what it means to be a pasta sauce honestly. The classic sauces are great so why touch that? It’s not our style or inspiration, so we produce a very familiar pantry item …but with a modern twist. This is why you’ll find very unique flavor profiles at our Greenmarket stand and never the classic sauces typically found in grocery stores that are produced for celebrity chefs and inaccessible restaurants. The American pantry needs some updating, and we’re here for it.

 

 

 

Seasonal Jobs at GrowNYC

May 22, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC

GrowNYC Seasonal Jobs
Thank you for signing up for GrowNYC's Seasonal Job Fair. As a follow-up we want to make sure you have all the information you need to apply for a job with GrowNYC, our farmers, and/or our partners.

GrowNYC Job Opportunities
All GrowNYC job opportunities get posted here and more will be added in the coming months.

Greenmarket Farmers
Greenmarket farmers hire for their individual farm stands and on their farms. Listings are here and there's also a Facebook page.

GrowNYC Partners Seasonal Jobs
NYC Department of Health
The NYC Department of Health is hiring part-time Nutrition Educators, Culinary Educators, and Bilingual Educators (Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese speakers) to provide Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Stellar Farmers Markets (JSY SFM) nutrition education and food workshops at farmers markets serving low-income New Yorkers. The goal of JSY SFM is to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by building knowledge and skills about healthy eating.
Stellar Farmers Markets Nutrition Educators
Stellar Farmers Markets Culinary Educators
Stellar Farmers Markets Bilingual Educators (Bengali, Mandarin/Cantonese, Spanish)
To receive more information, please email Margaret at mdunncarver@health.nyc.gov.

Wearable Collections
Wearable Collections is a NYC based company focused on keeping clothing, textiles and shoes out of landfills since 2004. We are seeking applicants who are self motivated,
team oriented, courteous and friendly to join our team. We are looking for individuals who enjoy being outside, have an attention to detail and are dedicated to customer
service.
Job listings are here. ​Please apply to info@wearablecollections.com with your resume/experience and specify which position(s) you are interested in. Must provide a brief description of why
you want to join the Wearable Collections team.

Plastic Cleanse Photo Contest!

April 6, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

PLASTIC CLEANSE PHOTO CONTEST! Show us how you shop plastic-free at the Greenmarket (lots of tips here) and you could win this Ultimate Plastic Cleanse Kit for #zerowaste shopping, supplied by our friends at @packagefreeshop and @beeswrap In NYC alone, plastic bags generate about 1700 tons of residential garbage on a weekly basis. Join us in our annual plastic cleanse and inspire others to change this environmentally damaging habit! Take photos at market or at home of your plastic-free shopping, for a chance to be regrammed by us, and one lucky winner will receive the Ultimate Plastic Cleanse Kit!⁣ 

⁣Contest rules:⁣
-Take a photo and post it to your Instagram account of your plastic-free shopping supplies before heading to market, a plastic-free interaction at market, or of your plastic-free market haul after shopping. ⁣
-Tag @unsqgreenmarket and hashtag #GMKTnyc #PlasticCleanse to enter.⁣
-Dates to enter are 4/6 - 4/31/19. ⁣
-GrowNYC and Greenmarket staff, volunteers, farm staff, or farmers, or family members are not eligible to win.⁣
-Open to NYC residents. Contest ends at 11:59:59 PM ET on 4/31/19.⁣
-On 5/1/19, GrowNYC will pick 1 winner to win the ultimate Plastic-Free Shopping Kit!⁣ ⁣
This April, we’re taking our annual #plasticcleanse to another level with weekly events and guests who inspire us to live a more #zerowaste market lifestyle! Our takeovers, demos, and special events will all have an emphasis on wasting less in your market routine.

International Women's Day

March 8, 2019

People throughout the world are celebrating advancements in gender equality today, International Women’s Day.

At GrowNYC, we are thrilled to report that, as of last November, 54% of businesses that sell at our Greenmarkets are either owned or co-owned by women (nationally, women comprise 30% of farmers in America).

Check out this slideshow of female Greenmarket Farmers. You go, girl – today and every day!

Greenmarket International Women's Day

 

 

GrowNYC Grains Online Auction & Home Bakers Meet-Up

February 13, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged Grains

Break bread with GrowNYC Grains and your fellow home bakers! Bakers of all experience levels are welcome to swap samples with fellow grain geeks and share secrets on how to get a really crusty crust. Some of New York City's best professional bakers from Runner & Stone, Bread Alone, Lost Bread, and She Wolf will also be on hand to talk tips and techniques.

GrowNYC Grains Home Bakers Meet-Up
Monday, March 4
Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street (at 4th Avenue), MHTN
6-9pm
Tickets here

Visit our online silent auction to bid on incredible experiences and products, including a market shopping trip with Alex Raij and a Breville Mixer.

Bring a loaf of your favorite home baked bread, made with locally-grown grains and flours, and copies of your recipe and/or starter to trade with others.

Tickets include event entry and one drink.

Purchase grains and flours from the GrowNYC Grainstand at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and other locations listed here.

All proceeds benefit GrowNYC Grains.

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE

Family Storytime & Cooking March 9

February 12, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

MC Veggie Fresh Rocks the Mic + GrowNYC 
Storytime and Cooking Demonstration

Saturday, March 9
Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street (at 4th Avenue), MHTN
10-11:30am 
Tickets here Price: $14.00 for the first child, $7 each additional child. Parents FREE.

MC Veggie Fresh Rocks the Mic Workshop with author Shanon Morris and GrowNYC. Join us for a reading and interactive nutrition education workshop that will transform your little ones into official Veggie Fresh Crew members! The event is for children ages 5-11 years old.

In this workshop your child will participate in:

  • Interactive book reading and signing of MC Veggie Fresh Rocks the Mic. (Book is included in your admission price)
  • Hip Hop Nutrition activity
  • Recipe demonstration

MC Veggie Fresh Rocks the Mic is a blend of nutrition and Hip Hop that makes talking about healthy eating fun for children and the adults reading with them. The story follows a young girl named Clementine in Harlem as she struggles to figure out what to write for her Healthy Hero Election speech. As she overcomes her fears and battles her rotten competition, Edgar and his Junk Food Friends, she transforms into MC Veggie Fresh to rock the mic at the Healthy Hero Election.

Author Bio:

Shanon Morris is a Registered Dietitian, who has been working with communities from children to senior citizens for the last decade with the goal of making nutrition education relatable, accessible and enjoyable for all. Today, she holds the position of Senior Director of Community Impact at the American Heart Association. Shanon studied Nutritional Sciences at Howard University and Nutrition and Exercise Science at Columbia University, giving her the tools to influence behavioral change not only in her own neighborhood of Harlem but all of New York City

GrowNYC Seasonal Job Fair March 11

February 5, 2019
Posted in GrowNYC

Every day, GrowNYC employees see first-hand the impact they have on the environment and the lives of New Yorkers in all five boroughs. We’re a non-profit organization founded over 40 years ago, and we operate farmers marketsYouthmarketsfood scrap collection locationsFresh Food Box distribution points, and more.

We hire many seasonal staff starting in the early spring.

If you are interested in working for this dynamic organization to provide fresh food for all and reduce New York City's carbon footprint, come to our job fair and meet our team!

At the GrowNYC Seasonal Job Fair, you will meet staff from each of our programs, hear more about seasonal jobs available at GrowNYC, and get a chance to ask questions about working with GrowNYC.

You bring your resume, and we’ll provide the snacks. And raffle prizes!

GrowNYC Seasonal Job Fair
Monday, March 11
Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street (at 4th Avenue), MHTN
5:30-7:30pm
FREE event, please register here.

Job Requirements:

  • We are looking for early-risers who can work outside in various weather conditions and lift heavy equipment.
  • Age 18+
  • Available May - November, including weekend days

Additional Skills Valued (but not required):

  • Proficient in languages other than English
  • Valid New York State Drivers license, and an interest in driving in NYC

GrowNYC positions (seasonal and otherwise) and Greenmarket farm and farm stand job opportunities are posted here: 
GrowNYC job opportunities and Greenmarket farm and farm stand job opportunities.

 

 

GrowNYC Grains 2018 Year in Review

January 25, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged Grains

Grains 2018 Year in Review

It was another action-packed year, with new projects sprouting up daily, as the staple crop revolution continues to take root across the country.

Our intrepid leader June Russell traveled the country to share lessons from the front lines at several key conferences, starting with her keynote address at the Cascadia Grains Conference in Olympia, Washington. We also attended:

We love sharing our story, offering lessons learned, and gaining inspiration from the many folks we meet.

2018 Year in Grains

In February, Greenmarket bakers – those who participate in our program and sell at our markets – met to learn about new resources for baking local, as well as to discuss increasing the percentage of local flour we require bakers to use from 15% to 25%. Greenmarket bakers average 38% local flour and use over 65,000 pounds of local grains and flour each month. We are proud of the progress they have made, and we’re excited that it gives us still more proof that supply and demand are steadily rising.

At the end of the month we relaunched our Home Bakers Meet-Up as an annual event, giving beginners and skilled home bakers a place to show off their goods, compare notes with their peers, and chat with professional bakers. This year we are hosting the annual meet-up on March 4th,. Click here for tickets and more information.  

Fields of grain in the City? Not exactly. But in 2018 we collaborated with GrowNYC’s Governors Island Teaching Garden and NYU Urban Farm Lab to plant several varieties of small grains. We were thrilled to see sheaves of grain in the most urban setting of all. We look forward to more collaborations, so keep an eye out for more GrowNYC mini-grain farms around the city.

In May we welcomed to market Ulli’s Oil Mill. Look out for Ulli’s high quality organic, local, cold-pressed oils--like hemp, camelina, and pumpkin seed--sourced from New York farms, coming soon to GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket and other weekend Greenmarkets. 

In June we moved our granary to Industry City. We now have more space to co-pack and stage for our markets. We are getting to know our amazing neighbors at IC, many of whom are emailing us for drop-in shopping appointments.

In July, the GrowNYC Grains team took an awesome road trip through the Hudson Valley. We explored the innovative ways farmers, brewers, and bakers are incorporating the burgeoning bounty of northeastern grains into their breads, beers, and fields. Check out our previous post on the grains scene of Columbia and Greene counties.

September brought the Culinary Breeding Network’s Variety Showcase to Project Farmhouse for a dazzling afternoon. GrowNYC Grains was thrilled to host, for the first time on the East Coast, this annual breeder-to-eater celebration, where chefs created dishes spotlighting over 20 breeding projects from around the country. Grains were well represented. Gramercy Tavern's Michael Anthony, who was a grant partner with us on a prior USDA project, featured emmer alongside wheat breeder Mark Sorrells from Cornell University. Pat Hayes and his team from Oregon State University, alongside Metta head Chef Norberto Piattoni, featured their work in hull-less (or “naked”) barley. We were also thrilled to have folks come out from The Bread Lab of Washington State University.

We took advantage of the time we had with our west coast colleagues by hosting a barley tasting the very next day. Guests at the special gathering at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn learned about the Oregon-based field trials of several varieties of naked barley and tasted the grain in both crackers and delicious malted barley tea. Mark Sorrells and his team at Cornell, also a partner on the naked barley project, harvested the first 1500 lbs from their research fields in Ithaca, NY. We introduced buck, streaker and purple barley to New York consumers. Look for more in the coming years as we scale up new varieties. 

October was all about rye. The second annual New York Rye Week fell mid-month, giving rye lovers exciting events around the clock. For our part, we hosted Rye Day at the Union Square Greenmarket. New York Distilling showcased its Empire rye whiskey, and others offered up an impressive array of rye beers, breads, and pastas.

In December, we were the lucky beneficiaries of a superb grains-themed dinner at Mettā, in Brooklyn. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Chef Norberto Piattoni, who thrilled us with dishes using ingredients from seven different grain farms and mills. And a huge thank you to Breukelen Distilling as well, for providing their rye whiskey as the base of a delicious Manhattan cocktail. And, of course, thanks to everyone who came out for this very special evening.

Last but not least… at the end of December, after three and a half years with GrowNYC Grains, Henry Blair worked his last day with us before heading off to new and exciting career projects. Henry was instrumental in helping launch and stabilize our retail program. During his tenure, he developed many relationships with chefs and bakers at market, assisting them to integrate local grains into their products. We will miss him and wish him the best in his new pursuits.

Deck the Halls - Christmas Trees + Holiday Wreaths at Greenmarkets

November 30, 2018
Posted in Greenmarket

Your locally grown Christmas trees, wreaths, and boughs will stay fresher longer and smell amazing. A list of markets where you can stock up on holiday greens follows:

Berried Treasures: Wreaths (79th Street Sunday and Union Square Wednesday/Friday/Saturday)
Durr Wholesale: Wreaths (Union Square Saturday) 
Hurds Family Farm: New York Grown & Certified Trees (Grand Army Plaza Saturday)
Keith's Farm: Organic trees and wreaths (Union Square Wednesday and Saturday)
Lebak Farms: Wreaths and boughs (Grand Army Plaza Saturday)
Luna Family Farm: Wreaths and bouquets (Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday; Stuy Town Sunday; Union Square Wednesday)
Mountain Sweet Berry Farm: Wreaths, garland, and princess pines (Union Square Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)
Rexcroft Farm: New York Grown & Certified Trees (Fort Greene Saturday); Wreaths (Dag Hammarskjold Wednesday; Fort Greene Saturday) 
River Garden: Dried flower wreaths (Union Square Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)
Stokes Farm: Herb wreaths (Tucker Square Thursday and Saturday; Union Square Saturday)
Van Houten Farms: Trees and wreaths (Union Square Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday)

Greenmarket Gift Guide

November 30, 2018
Posted in Greenmarket

Holiday gift shopping for the Greenmarket lover is made easy with this list of popular holiday gifts from Greenmarket producers. 

NON-FOOD ITEMS
Greenmarket Merch: Tote bags (many farmers also tell totes!), reusable produce bags, The New Greenmarket Cookbook 
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. Out of town but want to purchase tokens for family and friends living in New York? Call our office at 212.788.7900 and ask about purchasing tokens. 
The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Available for sale at Union Square Greenmarket and various other markets, as well as on 
www.grownyc.org/cookbook.
Greenmarket Producer Cookbooks: 
The Fisherman's Wife by Stephanie Villani; The Hot Bread Kitchen CookbookBread Alone Cookbook
Soaps 
Sachets, Salves, Lip Balms, Lotions, and Body Oils by Lavender by the Bay 
Beeswax Candles from various honey producers
Yarn, Hats, Scarves from Catskill Merino and Rosehaven Alpaca
Herbal Tinctures, Teas, and Tisanes from Violet Hill Farm, Furnace Creek Farm, White Pine Community Farm, Tweefontein Herb Farm 

Wreaths
Decorative Garlic Braids from Keith’s Farm
Poinsettias, Paper Whites, and Orchids
Succulent & Cactus plants


FOOD GIFTS
Jams and Preserves
Artisanal Cheeses
Hard Cider
Beer and Spirits
 from GrowNYC's 
Craft Beverage Pop-up
Honey 
Wine
Herbal Tinctures, Fire Cider, Teas, and Tisanes
 from Violet Hill Farm, Furnace Creek Farm, White Pine Community Farm, Tweefontein Herb Farm 

Jerky and "Meat Lovers" Cured Meat Pack from Lowland Farm
Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods
Maple Syrup, Maple Cotton Candy & Maple Candies

Popcorn from Wildraft Farm and Oak Grove Plantation
Chicken Liver Bourbon Pâté from Yellow Bell Farms 
Soppressata and Cured Chorizo from Flying Pigs Farm
Duck Salami and Prosciutto from Hudson Valley Duck Farm
Egg Nog from Ronnybrook Farm and Ole Mother Hubbert 
Gluten Free Babka from Las Delicias
Spirits: Gin, Corn Whiskey, Vodka, Unaged Single Malt Whiskey from Orange County Distillery, 1857 Spirits and Hickory Ledges
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 & Ginger from Eckerton Hill and Oak Grove Plantation, Lani’s Farm, Campo Rosso, Conuco Farms, Evolutionary Organics, Bradley Farm

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.

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