GrowNYC Programs -- Extreme Heat Weather Update

June 19, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

GrowNYC Greenmarkets & Food Scrap/Textile Collections 

GrowNYC Greenmarkets are OPEN during the heat wave on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 19-21. Food scrap and clothing collections will be open as scheduled.

Some producers may call out and some may leave before closing time so be sure to shop early. And don't forget to hydrate hydrate hydrate!

Stop 'N' Swap

Saturday, July 20 - Concourse  CANCELLED DUE TO EXTREME HEAT
12pm-3pm, St. Simeon's Episcopal Church Outdoor Lot* (map) (flier
1020 Carroll Place, Bronx
*Outdoor event, subject to cancellation with inclement weather. Check website for updates. 

Sunday, July 21 - LES Chinatown POSTPONED DUE TO EXTREME HEAT
11am-4pm, Chinatown ADA Weekend Walk* (map) (flier
Mott Street between Pell Street and Bayard Street, Manhattan
*Outdoor event, rain or shine

Stay cool with this Peach and Arugula Salad from Kitchn

Peach and Arugula Salad

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces peaches (about 2 regular or 3-4 Saturn peaches)*
  • 5 ounces arugula*
  • 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey*
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot*
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped tarragon leaves*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata, shaved or crumbled*
  • 1/4 cup toasted pistachios (optional)

*Ingredients available now at your neighborhood Greenmarket. 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. Thinly slice peaches and place in a large bowl with arugula.

  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, and shallot. Slowly add the olive oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Stir in the tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Add dressing to peaches and arugula and toss. Divide salad between plates, sprinkle with ricotta salata and pistachios, and serve.

 

 

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.

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

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!

Greenmarket Schedule Changes for Independence Day

June 3, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

Please note that that all Thursday GrowNYC Greenmarkets, and a couple of Friday markets, will be closed for the holiday. They are:

Thursday, July 4th 
•    Columbia Greenmarket 
•    Tucker Square Greenmarket
•    175th Street Greenmarket
•    Bowling Green Greenmarket 
•    Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket

Friday, July 5th 
•    Fordham Plaza Greenmarket
•    Staten Island Ferry Greenmarket 

Wishing all of our Greenmarket shoppers a happy holiday!
 

Plastic Cleanse Photo Contest!

April 7, 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.

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

Severe Weather Schedule Changes

January 30, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket

Inclement weather in the city or in the greater region does affect markets; markets may close early, or farmers may not be able to make it into the city. If there are changes to the market schedule due to inclement weather, this blog post will be information central for up-to-the-minute schedule changes. 

Sign up for Food Scrap Drop-Off Alerts

Sunday, July 21st: LES Chinatown Stop 'N' Swap is POSTPONED due to extreme heat. 

Saturday, July 20th: Concourse Stop 'N' Swap is CANCELED due to extreme heat. 

Monday, March 4th: Union Square Greenmarket is OPEN. Food scrap collections are open; textile collections are canceled. 

Follow us on social media or the app for real-time updates:

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

Farmer and Producer List and Social Media Links

Fresh Food Box
Facebook

 

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.

Visit GrowNYC's First Indoor Greenmarket!

January 18, 2019
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged farmers market, Manhattan

Greenmarket at the Oculus

It’s been a big week for GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets – the first day of our first indoor market was wonderful!

On Tuesday, January 15th, the Greenmarket at the Oculus moved indoors to the delight of downtown residents, tourists, shoppers, and commuters crossing through.

You can find Greenmarket producers including Samascott Orchards, Meredith’s Bread, Francesca’s Bakery, 1857 Spirits, Riverine Ranch, and (soon) Roxbury Mountain Maple inside the Oculus every Tuesday this season.

Come on by! 

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)

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