Seed Donation Drive for St. Vincent Farmers

June 15, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

St. Vincent & the Grenadines farmers were severely impacted by the recent volcanic eruptions at La Soufrière. Please help by donating seed packets. 

SEEDS THAT GROW IN A TROPICAL ENVIRONMENT NEEDED
*Please make sure the seeds are properly labeled and sealed 

Herbs: Basil, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Garlic, Thyme
Vegetables: Broccoli, Peas, Beans, Cucumber, Butternut Squash, Zucchini, ,Okra, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Pumpkins, Scallions, Onions, Spinach, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Lettuce, Sweet Corn, Arugula
Fruits: Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honey Dew

DROP-OFF LOCATIONS & DATES
Saturdays, July 24, 31

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket, Bk
Union Square Greenmarket, Mhtn 


Sunday, July 25
Cortelyou Greenmarket, Bk
Forest Hills Greenmarket, Qns 


Or mail seeds by July 31:
GrowNYC
c/o Seed Donation Drive 
PO Box 2327
NY, NY 10272

Organized by the Flatbush Caton Market and GrowNYC
Benefitting the Windward Islands Farmers Association

 

Notice of Voluntary Recall, Hudson Valley Fisheries

June 7, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Notice of Voluntary Recall, Hudson Valley Fisheries 

GrowNYC has received notification from Greenmarket producer Hudson Valley Fisheries that due to the possibility of contamination they are voluntarily recalling the following products sold at their farm stand and other retailers.

  • Cold-Smoked Steelhead (“Trout Lox”)

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with these products. This is a voluntary and precautionary recall initiated by Hudson Valley Fisheries. 

These products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

If you have an unopened cold-smoked pack that you purchased in May, please take a picture of it and send it to info@hudsonvalleyfisheries.com for a full refund.

Company Contact Information:
Hudson Valley Fisheries 
(914) 960-8549
info@hudsonvalleyfisheries

Letter from Hudson Valley Fisheries to their customers: 

We are reaching out because you recently purchased our Cold-Smoked Steelhead (“Trout Lox”). This week Banner Smoked Fish, the smokehouse that handles our cold-smoked trout, was issued a recall on all of its products smoked from May 8 - May 28 due to risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Our last shipment from Banner was on April 29. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recalling our cold-smoked items sold in May up to today. None of our other products are impacted by this incident. Rest assured, no illnesses have been reported and we have received no notice of contamination in our cold-smoked trout. We are taking all possible precautionary measures because our customers' health and safety are our top priority. If you have an unopened cold-smoked pack that you purchased in May, please take a picture of it and send it to us at info@hudsonvalleyfisheries.com for a full refund.

We apologize for any inconvenience and are here to address any questions or concerns you may have. Please feel free to contact us directly via email info@hudsonvalleyfisheries.com or give us a call at (914) 960-8549.

FDA Recall Notice 

 

Grown with Pride

June 2, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

These interviews were recorded in June 2019. 

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.

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

Third up in our Pride series is Lee Henessy.

Lee is the farmer and cheesemaker behind Moxie Ridge Farm. You can find him slinging cheese every Friday at GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket.

This is what Lee has to say about finding happiness and selling at Greenmarket, as well as how the solitude he’s found while farming has helped him get in touch with who he is:

“I’m a first generation farmer, and I got into farming through sheer force of will. Before I was doing a lot of creative and corporate work. I hadn’t found happiness through trying to be successful, so I decided to focus on happiness first then work on the success part later. And that’s what brought me to goat farming.

I joined GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket in August 2018. I’m a little bit fanboy about the Greenmarket because it is such an important and influential market. I was a little starstruck when I started to be selling with producers that helped to start it. It means a lot to me to be a part of this community -- in an emotional way but also as a point of pride, like ‘hey look, this little farm in Argyle NY with this crazy person who makes these ridiculous cheeses is standing shoulder to shoulder with these other producers.’ The market is also the backbone of my farm. It’s why I drive 3 hours and 45 minutes every Friday morning at 3am with my product that I have to pack up for an hour before I leave. I do it because it allows me the flexibility and support financially to make the types of cheeses and do the type of farming that I want to do.

I came out as bi when I was 19, and it was very recently, at 38, that I came out as a trans man. It wasn’t until I started farming and gave myself the space and support I needed running the farm that I was able to make some realizations about who I am. I’m not sure being trans or bi affects my farming more than any other part of me. What I hope people understand is that it’s more of the effects of living as a queer person in this world that affect my farming and business decisions. There’s a difference.

I can’t really say that being queer has affected my farming. I think good farmers are very individual. Being a bi, trans man has informed me as an individual, and that’s how I farm. That’s how I raise my animals, that’s how run my business. But I would say farming has affected my ability and strength to be out and queer in a weird way. It’s all connected somehow.”

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

For our final installment of this series during Pride Month, we talked to Michaela Hayes of Rise & Root Farm. Here’s what she had to say about farming as a member of the LGBTQ community:

Rise & Root Farm is in the Black Dirt region of Orange County, NY. We moved here from NYC in 2015 to start the farm. My wife Jane and I, along with our partners Karen Washington and Lorrie Clevenger, started the farm together. We all met through urban farming and community gardening in NYC. One of our farm goals is staying connected with our NYC communities, and being at GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket is a big part of how we have been able to do that. Another way we stay connected is finding ways to bring people to the farm. We hold monthly community work days and lead tours. This year we've started hosting events, and on June 29th, we are holding a Farm Pride Tea Dance to bring together our farming and LGBTQ communities.

We're not afraid to do hard things - being gay and out where we live, being farmers, starting a business, running a cooperatively-owned farm that is interracial and intergenerational, gay and straight. Every step of the way we have chosen our path because we believe in it. We're proud to be who we are and to expand the representation of what farmers look like in the U.S. We started our farm in large part because of our commitment to social justice and our belief that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food. We know we can't work that out on our own - we need widespread, systemic change to make this reality come true. Growing our farm in a way that models the world we want to live in is one way we contribute to that change. 

We picked the name Rise & Root Farm for a lot of reasons, but the visual that we need to root down while rising up runs deep with us. Our roots make us who we are - the communities we come from, the people who came before us that helped us walk our path, the activists who fought for our right to exist and have agency, the people who have taught us what we know, our families and our ancestors. Our roots are growing to include our new neighbors, other local businesses, our farmer neighbors, and our market community. These are the roots that we rely on to help us thrive.

We started out at Greenmarket with our sister fermentation business, Crock & Jar, in 2012 at GrowNYC’s Fort Greene Greenmarket. In 2015, we started selling at the Friday Union Square Greenmarket, where we have stayed since. The other NYC-based market you can find us at is La Familia Verde Farmers Market in the Crotona/E. Tremont neighborhood in the Bronx. 

Rise Up and Root Deep!

Jazz Foundation at GrowNYC Greenmarkets

April 28, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Come out and hear Jazz Foundation musicians playing at GrowNYC Greenmarkets this summer (full schedule below)! 

The Jazz Foundation of America, a non-profit organization based in Manhattan, provides retired professional jazz musicians with the opportunity to continue performing.

Through their "Gig Fund," the Jazz Foundation produces free, “pop-up” performances for underserved audiences. The shows take place in public spaces as opposed to traditional and costly venues, and engage new audiences who would not otherwise have the chance to hear these accomplished players. We are thrilled to announce the schedule of performers coming out to GrowNYC Greenmarkets. 

SPRING SCHEDULE JAZZ FOUNDATION
AT GROWNYC GREENMARKETS 

 April 24

    7th Ave Sunset Park Saturday Greenmarket

    Jerry Griffin

 April 24

    Brooklyn Borough Hall Saturday Greenmarket 

    George Braith

 May 2

    Bartel-Pritchard Sunday Greenmarket (Opening Day!)

    Rick Fiori

 May 6

    Norwood Farmstand Greenmarket Thursday

    Dave Colding 

 May 15

    Sunnyside Saturday Greenmarket

    Michael Flythe

 May 15

    St George Saturday Greenmarket

    George Braith

 May 18

    Brooklyn Borough Hall Tuesday

    David Colding Quartet

 May 22 

    7th Ave Sunset Park Saturday

    Willie Martinez

 May 22 

    Brooklyn Borough Hall Saturday

    Eric Wyatt

 June 1

    Bronx Borough Hall Tuesday (Opening Day!)

    David Colding Quintet

 June 6

    Domino Park Sunday (Opening Day!)

    George Braith

 June 11 

    Parkchester Fridays (Opening Day!)

    Annette A. Aguilar
 June 15      Astor Place Tuesday     Art Baron & Friends

 June 20

    92nd Street Sundays

    Rick Fiori
 June 22      Elmhurst Hospital Tuesday      Michael Flythe


Presented in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America, with partial support from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council

Sign our Petition to Restore Funding!

April 1, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Have you signed our petition yet? Right now, our local elected officials are negotiating NYC’s annual budget. Help us ask the City Council and Mayor to:

  • Restore GrowNYC's compost program to pre-COVID funding levels
  • Increase City Council's support for our food access programs

If you’ve already signed, THANK YOU! Please share our petition widely and follow SaveOurCompost on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram for updates.

Goodbye Plastic T-Shirt Bags April 1!

January 28, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Beginning April 1, GrowNYC Greenmarkets, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box locations are banning single-use plastic t-shirt bags.

What is banned?

Greenmarket Producers, Farmstands, and Fresh Food Box locations will no longer be providing single-use plastic and compostable bags with handles.

Tips for going plastic-free: 

1. BYOBs! Bring your own reusable tote and produce bags while shopping. Don't forget to pack a big general tote bag and smaller bags and containers for individual items.    

2. Carry a few extra reusable totes with you at all times.  

3. Reduce before you reuse or recycle. It costs money and energy to produce and recycle plastic bags. 

4. Take the Commit to Bring It Pledge to bring your own mugs, water bottles, shopping bags.

 

New York Seafood Summit

January 26, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged seafood

New York Sea Grant, in collaboration with industry, academic and other professional seafood stakeholders, including GrowNYC, is hosting its annual New York Seafood Summit virtually this year, in English and Spanish.

The goal of the summit is to convene a group of enthusiastic professionals with vested interest in seafood to build active communications between the various sectors of New York's seafood industry. 

Each year at the summit we try to highlight some of New York’s bountiful seafood supply and introduce participants to the delicious, diverse, and versatile seafood’s available locally. 

Participants must register in advance for panels and discussions. Registration information here.

NOTE: Click Here to view in Spanish (haga clic aquí para ver en español)

The 2021 Seafood Summit will be going virtual!

Monday, February 22nd 3-4 PM
Culinary Discussion and Demonstration with Chef Victoria Blamey | Register Here

Tuesday, February 23rd 3-4 PM - Flyer (PDF)
Recirculating Aquaculture in New York with John Ng of Hudson Valley Fisheries | Register Here

Wednesday, February 24th 3-4 PM
New York Fisheries with Captain Peter Haskell | Register Here

Thursday, February 25th 3-4 PM
Seafood Retail in NY with Fishmonger Warren Kremin | Register Here

Friday, February 26th 3-5 PM
Participant Lightning Talks
Any participant interested in sharing a program, project, or resource with the summit audience is welcome to submit a 2-3-minute lightning talk (Click Here). These talks will need to be pre-recorded and submitted to NY Sea Grant.

Industry Panel on Resilience to Crisis | Register Here
Industry and agency panelist will discuss the challenges of the 2020 pandemic, how it affected different sectors and how different sectors did or could adapt to the significant economic changes and be more resilient in the future.

We hope to see you at the 2021 Seafood Summit!

You can check out a news archive that highlights previous seafood summits.

Also, there's a story map highlighting the New York Seafood Summit, which began in 2016 as a means of highlighting seafood efforts across New York and provide an opportunity for cross sector collaboration.

Notice of Recall, Maine Grains

January 26, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

January 26, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Product Recall

Allergy Alert of Undeclared Soy in Organic Yellow Peas

GrowNYC is recalling Organic Yellow Peas from Maine Grains, Inc. of Skowhegan, Maine because it may contain undeclared soybeans. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy run the risk of serious or life- threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

This recall affects Organic Yellow Peas purchased from GrowNYC between 10.17.2019 and 12.31.2020 and is limited to Organic Yellow Peas sourced from Maine Grains, Inc. Please check your product’s source label to confirm the origin or contact us for further assistance.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that organic soybeans of similar size, shape and color to organic yellow peas were mistakenly labeled as Organic Yellow Peas and shipped to GrowNYC for further packing. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by supplier error.

Consumers who have purchased Organic Yellow Peas sourced from Maine Grains are urged to return the product to GrowNYC for a full refund. Customers with questions may contact GrowNYC at grains@grownyc.org with subject line, “Recall”.

Please see the attached notice from Maine Grains for further information and contact.

Best,

Marcel Van Ooyen
President / CEO

 

Women of Greenmarket

January 26, 2021
Posted in Greenmarket

Madalyn Warren 
Kimchi Harvest

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field? 

Major challenges in agriculture are not gender specific, nature does not discriminate.  Personal challenges are with cultivating diversity everyday and fighting my own inertia and compulsion to over simplify.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

My mom and mother earth.

What do you love about your work and farming?  

I love working with nature and keeping up with the seasons.  Every year i get stronger, the ecosystems on the farm become more complex and the honor and responsibility to feed people nutritious food and support dreams deepen.

-----------------------------------

Shereen Alinaghian 
Ardith Mae

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

I spoke to other females, female farmers, and the girls that work for me about this question. It’s kind of funny because I don't find that there are any challenges for women more so than for men, at least in our group. I think it’s difficult for everybody. Farming is really tough for everyone. I actually think that as a female, it might be a little bit easier when dealing with livestock because you have a better understanding of the female anatomy. You might be a little more delicate when it comes to having to intervene in a difficult labor as well as aftercare. We all kind of have the same basic parts, and so we have a better understanding of what it's like to produce milk and the different literal growing pains the animals go through. 

I think it might actually be a little bit easier for women. Especially in the Hudson Valley, female farmers are so common now. Nobody really thinks differently in dealing with men or women. I think, overall, most farmers and those people dealing with farmers are looking for somebody who's knowledgeable about what they're doing. That's where they start to kind of gain respect for you. When I started farming, I was farming in northeastern Pennsylvania, which is very different than the Hudson Valley. There were some challenges because we were starting construction on our first facility. The contractors, and even the men that I would buy hay from, would say things like,  “Let me talk to the boss” and “we'll see what he says.” The boss, who was my husband at the time, would come to me and I would say,  “Just tell them I am the boss!” They could talk to me, or we can play this telephone game. But once they realized that I was on the farm and building the farm with the contractors inside, it was fine. I think that most men in certain areas just aren't really used to seeing a female that is as knowledgeable as a lot of men in the industry. 

What woman has influenced you in your work?

I don't have anyone in particular other than my mom. My mom is the most independent, kind of badass woman that I know. She always taught me that I didn’t need a man to carry luggage or to paint a room. She's always really encouraged me to be the tomboy that I've always been. My mom always supported me in farming. When things got really tough and I was having a really hard time financially or just managing the farm on my own, she was very supportive. She's always inspired me to be totally independent of a partner. I think that's helped tremendously in molding who I am. 

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

Never. That's the beauty of farming. As soon as you think that you’ve hit your stride, something happens and it's a real lesson. But that's one of the reasons I love farming so much. It’s never boring. There's always something to learn and you can always grow to become more mindful of what you're doing short-term and long-term. There is no stride - I'm always pushing to do more and have a positive impact on all the people around me. Farming is so humbling,  I would be afraid of what would happen if at any point I were to hit my stride. I never want to feel that way. I always want to be on my toes and remain proactive.

What do you like about being a farmer or about being in agriculture? 

With farming there's so much to learn-- it's really endless. Once you think that you have things figured out, there's more research on things like parasite management or new farming techniques. Cheesemaking is really fun, and we have the ability to be creative within that. It’s not just raising animals all the time. But the animals are what make it special for everybody. Goats are magical - they really test your patience but they all have such unique and individual personalities.

Farming is beautiful. I’m outside all the time. All of my views are of open pastures and animals grazing on them. It’s great being able to watch all of the seasonal changes.

-----------------------------------

Rebecca Rainville
Greener Pastures Farm 

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

Mostly, I'm pretty self-motivated and I can do a lot of stuff on my own. The biggest thing that I have trouble with right now is getting funded as a woman. I don't know if it's specifically woman-based, but I feel like when it comes to trying to get a loan, people don't think you really know what you're talking about. You kind of get that stereotypical response like, “You're not a man and you're looking for a farm loan?” I feel like we get a lot of that still. Like when I go to pick out a piece of equipment and people kind of look at me weird.I understand I'm a woman but, yes, I want to buy this tractor. It's sometimes hard to explain to people that I am a woman and I am in agriculture, and this is really what I do. Sometimes people just don't believe I’m a woman pig farmer. It's just not something you see. Usually people think that it’s your husband that's farming, and you are just the second half to the farm. But it's me. This is my farm.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

Mary from Five Marys Farms. She's out in the Midwest. I watch a lot of her stuff. Her’s is a woman-based farm and she has all daughters. So it's all women running the farm. 

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

Actually, last year I had finally figured it out, and then COVID hit. But I said, “You have been successful before and now you get to go and play in the bigger sandbox with all the different people.” People were focusing more on local, which was really nice--to be able to provide extra for people, accurately, effectively, and rather quickly. Pork and chicken have a very fast turnaround, so last spring was honestly probably my best moment. 

What do you like about being a farmer or being in agriculture? 

I love that being able to educate people about the different products, whether it’s from birth to processing to raising, but also the finished product. Teaching people how to cook and use every part of the product as well as other things. I've taught people how to render the product down to make lard and use it for a million different things, how to make soaps with lard. People don't usually think of that, so that's been really inspiring.

-----------------------------------

Chrissy Chiachia
Gaia's Breath Farm

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

Not being taken seriously as someone who can operate any piece of farm equipment or managing daily trials and tribulations of farming since to be a good farmer you have to be a good problem solver and manage stress appropriately.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

There’s three; my mother, Patricia Chiacchia, Julia Childs, and my first mentor, Leslie Revsen who was one of the first women to work in the kitchen at the Waldorf Astoria.

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

When I’m on the tractor in the middle of July and everything is growing and lush and we almost have a handle on everything. I feel like I’m ready to deal with any problems that come our way which they always do. I love walking in the potatoes and fields of other crops and feeling their energies.

What do you love about farming? 

Being able to fulfill my dream of practicing culinary arts using the best possible ingredients which we grow and raise on our farm. Everyday there’s something new! I love planting a seed and/or birthing an animal and seeing and reaping the rewards. Also there is nothing like the smell of the soil after the the winter thaw. I absolutely love to see the smile and joy on the faces of people who eat our food!

-----------------------------------

Laurel Bell
Wood Thrush Farm 

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

The biggest challenge for me as a woman, is teaching myself to have faith in my knowledge and experience. I’ve trained for farming my entire life, I grew up on a farm in Virginia, was raised by artists, farmers, veterinarians, and a paleontologist. I have always grown food, whether it be in a field, a backyard, or on a stoop. It is what I know the best, and yet it’s easy to have self doubt or to compare myself unfairly to my male counterparts. It is frustrating, the awed responses from some men when I am able to complete a seemingly simple mechanical task, as if it’s a surprise that I have a brain. Between farming and my previous profession, working as a chef, I’ve dealt with a lot of patriarchal hierarchy in the last decade. I’m really proud to be a woman who owns a farm business, and little by little I can help break up the assumption, not all farmers are white men.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

I’m going to have to pull the mom card here.
My mother has always encouraged attention to nature. She once woke me up in the middle of the night when there was a Great Horned Owl outside her bedroom window. The Peterson’s Guide for Birds (on vinyl) often echoed throughout our house and she taught me the names of birds who frequented the feeders, the fields, and waterways. She took us on fossil digs, she encouraged my fascination of insects and provided terrariums to be converted into frog, fish, or praying mantis homes.. I did learn first hand what happens after praying mantises mate. Most of all, whenever I wanted a garden she would make it happen; I had flower gardens, vegetable gardens, and even a shade garden. One of our favorite activities was to visit the nearby nurseries so that we could find a new gem to add to our collection. Her love for plants was infectious and I learned that from an early age. I am who I am and can proudly call myself a farmer, because of my mother.

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

Over the recent years I’ve gotten several compliments from farmers who have been in the business for 30+ years. I was looking to them for advice and guidance, and then was told I was growing crops better or more efficiently than they were, it was a definite ah ha moment. I realized my desire to learn, my ability to adapt, and my ingenuity and love for puzzle solving finally had an outlet. Farming is all about trial and error, learning from mistakes and finding ways to improve. It is a lifestyle where I can combine all of my personal strengths and even flaws, and I thrive.

What do you love about farming? 

I love being outside, I love feeling, hearing, and tasting the changing of the seasons. I love being exhausted by summer and enjoying the downtime of winter. Previously, I went to school for holistic cooking, and as wonderful as it was to make good food for clients/customers, I always found myself stuck in a basement or a foreign kitchen. Being a market farmer allows me to know my customers in a much deeper and more reciprocal way. I’ve known our customers and fellow farmers for the last 8 years, and many of them are some of my closest friends. I love the reward of growing delicious food, and I also love the community we have as farmers.

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Sharon Burns Leader
Bread Alone Bakery 

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

The challenges are less now than at any time in the past so I would be remiss not to celebrate that fact before going further. Women and girls have more opportunity and threshold respect in education, STEM fields, and even at their local garage or hardware store!  Coming up, that was not how it was for me and for my female colleagues. Walking into any situation in a kitchen or supply store it was assumed that you did not know what you were talking about or did not have the grit to follow through.  Commercial Kitchens in the 70's and 80's were male dominated locker-room style juggernauts for women.  In public, if there was a man involved in the work then that man would receive all of the praise and acknowledgement and, at the time, many men did not share the spotlight easily. 

This has been changing as men and women have been evolving and, though there are still issues emerging whose roots are embedded in the darwinian model, there are a lot of women mentoring women and a lot of men who are publically celebrating their female role models and co-creators. This shift in open collaboration is something I am very thankful for!

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

Two women come to mind right away: Trine Hahnemann and June Russell.  Both are women that I met through grain!

Trine is a force of nature: a cookbook author many times over, a business woman, a baker, chef, mother, thought provoker, and fiercely loyal friend. Trine loves my native city New York as much as I love hers - Copenhagen.  Trine showed me that if you believe in something then you fight for it and you don't worry about what other people think about you or your decisions.  Her cafe in Osterbro, Copenhagen is one of the most lovely places to relax and enjoy the Danish experience of hygge.  Trine is always the most gracious and beautiful host and has more deep friendships in more cities in the world than anyone that I know!

June, as you know, sheparded in the Local Grains Rule for Greenmarket.  What sounded initially like a threat to our livelihood became the work that has defined my career. When I first came to the FCAC and met June I was the classic introvert - pretty much afraid to say anything to anyone.  June was so driven and smart but also completely comfortable admitting when she did not know something.  And when she wanted to learn about a thing she went out and talked to people in a way that made them open up and want to explain.  I really respect how June comes to the table as herself.  She continues to be an inspiration to me as I watch her grow into a leader in our shared work of figuring out how to feed people, help people build equity and do less damage to our planet!

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

This happens in little ways that are rather impermanent!  I can describe the first time that I baked bread and knew from start to finish that it would be amazing.  Having made thousands of sourdough loaves over the years there comes a time when everything flows nicely and comes together easily.  This is the craft of baking but I can also relate this 'confidence' to times when I am handling a difficult personnel issue or a production problem.

This is a good question, though at first I was not going to answer it! Upon reflection I think the moment when I felt comfortable was when something went terribly wrong with a plan that we had in place and I did not panic.  This happens now all of the time. I go into positivity mode and jump over the problem in my mind to see what the next best step or path to a positive outcome could be.  There is always a next step and at times when things seem bleak it is important to keep an active problem solving flywheel going!

What do you love about being a Greenmarket baker? 

Greenmarket feels like home to me. I can remember driving back from the market in the early days and over the GW bridge with an empty truck and looking back at the lights that were on in apartments.  I knew that I had brought over 800 loaves of bread with me that morning and that I sold every one of them.  I imagined the 800 kitchen tables that those loaves were on and the happy faces around the table and I knew that I had chosen my path well and that feeding people would be my expression of service - something that I had been looking for - what we would now call 'purpose'. 

When we first came to greenmarket in the 80's it was an extension of the wild life that we had chosen.  I do not mean wild in the sense of the 80's in manhattan but of the return to the wilderness of the Catskill Mountains. We were living in the most beautiful place on earth and we were making a life on our own terms - not part of the food scene or the corporate junket and yet we were able to bring our beautiful sourdough organic loaves into the greatest city in the world and sell them in a market surrounded by like minded producers.  People were (and are) so appreciative of not only our breads but of our lives!  That felt really heady to me because we worked really long and hard days and nights and it was amazing to have people appreciate what we did.

since Michael took over, I have to say that I have been additionally proud to be a producer in the market.  The work that the team that he led has been doing has been amazing to watch from the sidelines and really personally inspirational.  Not all of the initiatives worked - some of the markets in food deserts were improperly conceived but there was always a sense of transparency among the leadership and staff and pivoting to or away from failing decisions has been just part of the growth of the market.  Being part of the greenmarket now, for me, means that I am connected to a powerful voice for people whose voices are often not heard. People who want to be of service and to help but do not know where to start and also for people who have no power in the existing food system.  

-----------------------------------

Wendy Oakes Wilson 
LynOaken Farms 

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

Agriculture is still quite a man’s world. Especially conventional agriculture. Women have always been the “support” staff in agriculture, but there is not a well-respected farm out there that doesn’t have a woman pulling some strings behind the scenes!

There are more inherent possibilities to grow a new business with a woman at the helm (organics, niche producers, new products) but to lead a multi-generational, multi-income stream family business is always “interesting”. Men had been at the helm of LynOaken Farms for 100 years.

I am not out in the field and do not possess my family members’ green thumbs. I was actually the first to work for the farm without being expected to be in the field. For the first 5 years, it was mentally exhausting --- you don’t always see the “fruits” of your labors when you are streamlining accounting, opening up sales avenues and prioritizing human resource work.

I think one of the hardest things to get used to is “this is the way things have always been”. As general manager, I had to develop a strong sense of purpose and direction for the company that was a huge departure from the past.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

As part of Generation X, we are really the first generation to both have to make changes and be able to enjoy the change. I look at my mother – she took a second seat to my father making sure that the farm books were done, running a picking crew and that their 5 kids were well taken care of. She didn’t need accolades or worldly possessions but she always had great respect for a job well done.

My mother worked for years not making a paycheck – simply doing what needed to be done to keep the business and the family going. At 91, she still is a force of nature. In effect, my mother gave me the grace to respect the work and the product but the impetus to make sure all abilities were appreciated and remunerated.

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

I have not hit my stride yet – that would be boring! We are constantly thinking ahead; what varieties to plant, what packaging will work best, how do we hire the best people, how do we get another generation interested in farming…

In 1984, I was the 18 year-old that said “I will never work on this family farm again!!” I wanted nothing to do with our small town or growing apples. I didn’t see a future for me on the farm because there wasn’t a position that would utilize my skills.

However, after living abroad and in Florida, getting married and wanting to have a family, an opportunity to increase LynOaken’s consumer direct presence presented itself and my husband and I moved back and we haven’t stopped innovating since.

What do you love about farming? 

Farming is not for the faint of heart; we are beholden to Mother Nature (the real boss lady!), changes in environmental restrictions and immigration laws. We act as our own accountants and sometime lawyers. We are in the commodities business and need to know international trends and pricing structures. We have to stay on top of human resource training and tax implications.

BUT, agriculture allows the producer to feel pride in a job well done. At LynOaken we strive to produce the best quality, best tasting fruit our land and climate will allow. Seeing a smile on someone’s face when they bite into a Crispin in June (that was picked in October of the previous year) is a thrill that can’t be replicated on a factory floor!

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Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht
Garden of Eve 

What are the challenges of being a woman in this field?

To be honest, it’s great to be a woman in farming. I love being in a work environment where you’re not judged on your appearance, clothes, or female stereotypes. Once in awhile, there might be a man who underestimates my physical strength or feels like he has to do things for me that I can certainly do myself. I love being part of a community of farmer-colleagues in my town, and sometimes I am certainly conscious that I’m the only woman at the table or in the room.

What woman has most influenced you in your work?

When we were first getting started farming, we would go to winter conferences and some of the female presenters really became role models for me, when I found myself in their shoes – balancing farming and motherhood – just a few years later. One is Claudia Kenny of Little Seed Farms in the Hudson Valley, she has a great energy and has always been so open about sharing her journey with me – even though I only see her about every five years or so. She was homeschooling before I was homeschooling, then later she became involved in Mediation and Collaborative Communication, and I continue to find myself walking a similar path.  

Was there a moment where you felt you had hit your stride?  If so, please describe. 

When we started the farm I was about 28. I felt young and saw myself as a “young person”. Then I had my first baby at 31, and all of a sudden I realized that the 20-somethings who worked for us saw me as being so much older. Actually it was sort of a sad feeling for me to be isolated in that way, but I also realized that by taking on so much more responsibility, between the farm and raising a family, I was in fact maturing and turning into a different and more mature person.

What do you love about farming? 

I have always loved being outdoors, and preferred it to being inside. Nature is real and it helps you live fully in every moment. My college essay was about how I didn’t really want to go to college, I just wanted to live in the woods. Farming is about as close to “survivalism” as you can get, while sleeping with central heating and making a living in a cash economy. Childhood friends and relatives sometimes seemed surprised I ended up farming, because it wasn’t in my background, but in many ways I’m not surprised at all.

 

Holiday Greenmarket Schedule

December 10, 2020
Posted in Greenmarket

Happy Holidays! Greenmarket farmers markets, Fresh Food Box locations have some schedule changes the week of Christmas and New Year's, see below.

GROWNYC FOOD RETAIL SITES HOLIDAY SCHEDULE:
*Please note: some Greenmarket producers may be absent as they celebrate holidays with family and some may be absent due to inclement weather

All Fresh Food Box and Farmstand locations are CLOSED December 24th - January 4th

MONDAY, DECEMBER 21st

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22nd

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23rd

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24th - Christmas Eve

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25th - Christmas Day

  • All Greenmarkets CLOSED
  • All food scrap and clothing collections CLOSED

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26th & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27th 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 28th

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29th 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30th 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31st

FRIDAY, JANUARY 1st - New Year's Day 

  • All Greenmarkets CLOSED
  • All food scrap and clothing collections CLOSED

SATURDAY, JANUARY 2nd & SUNDAY, JANUARY 3rd

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