Grow Your Garden with EBT

March 24, 2016

Spring is here and it's time to start getting your backyard and window sill gardens planted! Greenmarket producers offer a variety of plant starts for a small window herb garden or more extensive gardens of fruits and vegetables. Shoppers using their EBT cards are also able to purchase any seeds or plants that produce food. Growing your own food is a great way to have fresh produce on hand even when you can't make it to a Greenmarket. Here are five more reasons why you should grow your own produce:

5 Reasons to Grow Your Own Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs

1.  Improve Your Health
Homegrown vegetables, fruits and herbs are more nutritious than store-bought ones—the less time that passes between harvesting produce and eating it, the fewer nutrients lost. Fresher taste better too!

2.  Know Your Food
The best way to gain control over where your food comes from is to grow it yourself. Growing your own food ensures that your vegetables, fruits and herbs are not exposed to the harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers that are often used on industrial farms.

3.  Save Money
Growing your food can save you money. Gardens require minimal start-up equipment, and each plant can yield many vegetables and fruits. Compared to the cost of the seeds or seedling, vegetable, fruit, and herb plants are a great bargain.

4.  Teach Your Kids
A great way to teach children about where food comes from or how it’s grown is to show them firsthand. And, you can incorporate science, math, nutrition, and even history lessons—all while playing in the dirt.

5.  Have Fun
Growing food is fun! Watching a seedling transform into an edible plant, nurtured by the sun and your work, is incredibly satisfying. In a time when many of us spend hours in front of a computer every day, the chance to get your hands dirty can be a welcome and fun hobby.

Be a Greenmarket Market Manager!

February 20, 2016

Greenmarket is currently hiring seasonal market managers to manage our 53 Greenmarkets throughout the five boroughs. Click here for the job description, and read below for a first hand account of managing a Greenmarket from former Market Manager, Kathleen Crosby. 

From the streets of New York, our market manager Kathleen Crosby reports back on a typical day in the life managing the Tompkins Square Greenmarket, which has been transforming a corner of the East Village into a neighborhood center of sustainability every Sunday since 1997.

4:45 a.m.: Alarm goes off. I decide not to hit the snooze button this morning, and disable two other back-up alarms. I make a strong cup of tea and breakfast: Ronnybrook maple yogurt with peaches, bee pollen, chia seeds, and grape nuts.

5:25 a.m.: Carry bike downstairs and head off. It is not light out yet and the Brooklyn roads are empty.

6:05 a.m.: I arrive at the market site, before any of the farmers. Humidity is at about 80% and Tompkins is smelling RIPE.

6:50 a.m.: The first producer of the day, Red Jacket Orchards, arrives at market.

7:20 a.m.: I set up the market info table and tent. The Greenmarket van is filled to the BRIM today with equipment. A 40 pound kettle ball falls out as I open the back door, then work to cram my 10x10 ft. tent into a 7 ft. space between a tree and sign post. Decide on which recipes to display and put out our many pamphlets and handouts. Today we’re featuring tomatoes, so I go grab a bunch of heirlooms for a display.

7:50 a.m.: Harry arrives on the scene. Harry is a long time resident of E. 7th St. and knows all the best spots in the East Village. He usually wears a hat that says "stud" but not today. I'm thinking I should get him a little button that says "Honorary Mayor of Tompkins Square." Each week, Harry helps Jimmy Stannard of Stannard Farms set up and break down, gives breaks to workers throughout the day, and greets people he knows well by howling like a wolf. His friend "Red" walks by. He howls and she howls right back.

9:00 a.m.: Plaster farmers' stands with signage promoting EBT, Health Bucks, frequent shopper promotion signs, plus signs about our upcoming Salsa-off event.

9:15 a.m.: Pam from Ronnybrook feeds me ice cream (it's a tradition we have). Today's flavor is stracciatella.

9:30 a.m.: Do the market report. Today, all the farmers have complied with the rules: on time, farm sign out, price signs out, product labels on honey, meat, eggs, etc; tents weighted down, boxes of produce not sitting directly on the ground, meat, eggs and dairy chilled. Everything is in order. While at Norwich Meadow's stand, one of the Tibetan workers hands me a hot samosa.

10:00 a.m.: Quetsy from Meredith's Bakery needs a bathroom break. I sell a few scones and gluten-free loaves of bread.

10:15 a.m.: Now to work on my a-frame sign. First the letters are too big. Erase. Then too small. Erase. A regular comes up and talks to me for 20 minutes about the history of the East Village. How it has changed!

10:30 a.m.: Finish setting up the info table. Grab some peppers and tomatoes to decorate my stand with. Swiping EBT & Debit/Credit cards and giving out tokens and health bucks. Checking off frequent shopper cards. Try to get more people to sign up for the Salsa-off.

10:45 a.m.: Pam literally spoon-feeds me some of her second batch of ice cream, strawberry this time.

11:15 a.m.: A couple of neighborhood residents who are trying to start a CSA next week approach me about fruit. I introduce him to Jimmy Stannard and they work out prices.

11:30 a.m.: Go pick up some ingredients for the cooking demo. Since we're featuring tomatoes, I grab some ripe juicy ones, a few ears of yellow corn, a bag of okra, and some hot and sweet peppers. All donated by the farmers. Arielle, my helper, chops away. I run to the local Chinese take-out join to pick up a quart of rice to serve the dish. We'll call it...a summer stew.

12:00 p.m.: Do a little social media. Walk around and see what looks good. The sun is hitting Norwich Meadow's beautiful tomatoes just right. Post to instagram, check. Post to twitter, check. Post to facebook, check.

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Hand out samples into tiny cups until it's all gone. I think we have some okra converts. The key is slice it thin and toss it in the pan for a few seconds at the very end. Man is it getting hot.

2:10 p.m.: Samples are gone. Now we get to lunch. I'm having some zucchini pasta ribbons with basil, almonds and pecorino.

2:45 p.m.: Harry comes over with an idea. He thinks we should put together a little box of goodies from the market and give it to the owner of the Odessa restaurants across the street. The Odessa Cafe and uber dive-y Odessa Bar have long been fixtures of the EV, but unfortunately Odessa Bar had to close its doors a few days ago. The people at Odessa Cafe have been good to the market over the years letting us use their bathroom and serving up cheap iced coffees. I grab a crate from Jimmy and fill it up with an assortment of produce, bread, pie, and juice from all the vendors. Harry escorts me over and introduces me to the owner. He apparently doesn't come to the restaurant often, so I'm glad to have the opportunity to thank him. He happily accepts.

3:30 p.m.: An indie film location scout approaches us about using farmers' stands in a scene they're shooting in Tompkins Square park.

4:00 p.m.: Look at the salsa-off list and 3 more people have signed up!

4:30 p.m.: Haifa from Norwich Meadows finds out that I don't really eat meat. "You'll have an amino acid deficiency when you get older!" she exclaims, and thrusts some chicken into my hands.

4:45 p.m.: City Harvest arrives on the scene. They double park on 7th. I meet this week’s volunteer and give them some bags to collect unsold produce from farmers to donate to pantries.

5:05 p.m.: The first of Toigo's three trucks arrives from Carroll Gardens, soon followed by their second, much larger truck from Stuytown. Pura Vida packs up a little late, so these two trucks are double parked on 7th. I move my van and Acevedo's small truck so I can fit the smaller Toigo truck in.

5:15 p.m.: Pura Vida leaves but Toigo's big truck can't make that wide turn from 7th onto Ave A because of the City Harvest truck that is still double parked. I ask the CH driver if he can kindly go around the block to let Toigo through. He's cool about it.

5:20 p.m.: All the farmers have packed up for the day except for Meredith's, so now it's my turn. Play van-tetris for a half-hour getting all of the weights, tables, tents, bins, a-frames, racks, and banners in order.

5:50 p.m.: Forgot about the a-frame I have on 1st Ave. Run over and pick it up.

6:00 p.m.: Get a few bags of peaches, plums, and nectarines from Toigo, who are usually the last to leave.

6:10 p.m.: Say my goodbyes and start packing my backpack and bike panniers. Got too much stuff again, have to bungee some squash and peppers on the top of my bike rack.

6:15 p.m.: DANG! Somehow a peach got into my bag of EBT supplies and smashed right up against the keys of my terminal. Classic!

Buy a Local Tree or Wreath at Greenmarkets Across the City

December 7, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

Get your locally grown Christmas trees, wreaths, and boughs from a local farmer. A list of markets where you can stock up on holiday greens follows:

Christmas Trees
Manhattan:
Union Square SaturdaysKeith's Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Wednesdays: Keith's Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Tuesday 12/22 only: Trumansburg Tree Farms
Union Square MondaysVan Houten Farms
Union Square FridaysVan Houten Farms
Tucker Square Thursdays & SaturdaysPrimrose Hill Farm
Brooklyn:
Grand Army Plaza SaturdaysTrumansburg Tree Farms
Brooklyn Borough Hall SaturdaysHurds Family Farm
Fort Greene SaturdaysHurds Family Farm 
Queens
Jackson Heights SundaysPrimrose Hill Farm

Wreaths and Garland
Manhattan:
Union Square SaturdaysJames Durr Wholesale Florist, Fiori Di Fenice, Keith's Farm, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Stokes Farm, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Wednesdays: Keith's Farm, Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Trumansburg Tree Farms, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Fridays: Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, The River Garden, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Mondays: The River Garden, Van Houten Farms
Union Square Tuesday12/22 only: Trumansburg Tree Farms
Dag Hammarskjold WednesdaysRexcroft Farm
Tucker Square Thursdays & SaturdaysPrimrose Hill Farm, Stokes Farm
Brooklyn:
Brooklyn Borough Hall SaturdaysHurds Family Farm
Fort Greene SaturdaysHurds Family Farm, Rexcroft Farm 
Grand Army Plaza SaturdaysLebak Farms, Trumansburg Tree Farms
Cortelyou SundaysNewgate Farm
Queens: 
Jackson Heights SundaysPrimrose Hill Farm

Make sure to bring your tree to one of the city's mulch fest locations once the season is over. 

Greenmarket Holiday Gift Guide

December 1, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged greenmarket, holiday, Gifts


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

NON-FOOD ITEMS
Greenmarket Merch: Tote Bags, Bread Bags, Reusable Produce bags, Baby bibs, Tea Towels, Bamboo Spatulas, Note Cards, Mugs, Recipe Cards at Union Square Greenmarket Merch Tent  
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.
The New Greenmarket Cookbook: Available for sale at Union Square Greenmarket and various other markets, as well as on www.grownyc.org/cookbook.
Soaps 
Sachets, salves, lip balms, lotions, and body oils
Yarn from Catskill Merino, 3-Corner Field Farm, B&Y Farm and Rosehaven Alpaca
Herbal Tinctures from Violet Hill Farm, Thy Herb Collective, Tweefontein Herb Farm 
Wreaths
Decorative Garlic Braids from Keith’s Farm
Poinsettias, Paper Whites, Orchids & Other potted plants
Succulent & Cactus plants

FOOD GIFTS

Jams and Preserves
Hard Cider
Honey 
Wine
Cookies, Pies and Baked Goods
Maple Syrup, Maple Cotton Candy & Maple Candies
The Bronx Hot Sauce Gift Box from GrowNYC
Chicken Liver Bourbon Pâté from Yellow Bell Farms 
Soppresetta from Flying Pigs Farm
Egg Nog from Ronnybrook Farm
Gluten Free Babka from Las Delicias
Spirits: Gin, Corn Whiskey, Vodka, Unaged Single Malt Whiskey from Orange County Distillery
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 from Eckerton Hill and Oak Grove Plantation 

 

Affordable Eats Cooking Demos

November 2, 2015

Who doesn't like a delicious dinner done for a dime? Eating on a budget at your local Greenmarket doesn't have to break the bank. At GrowNYC, we pride ourselves on serving the community of New York City by offering fresh, healthy and local fruits, veggies, dairy, baked goods, meats and more. This holiday season we're making it easy for shoppers to make tasty and affordable dishes for two or twenty! 
 
Every Monday starting at noon at our Union Square Greenmarket we’re highlighting special cooking demonstrations we’re calling Affordable Eats. It's a Greenmarket series that addresses the concerns of shoppers that are working to feed their families healthy meals on a fixed budget. After visiting the market for an Affordable Eats demo, shoppers will come away with a host of ideas for simple, market-fresh and affordable meals that average around $2.50 per serving. With the holiday season fast approaching, we understand many shoppers are conscious of where every dollar of their budget goes. Let us make cooking dinner easy for you by picking the ingredients, highlighting the low cost and offering instructions on how to prepare it. We can help you elevate your plate without emptying your wallet!
 
Stop by on Mondays to catch an Affordable Eats cooking demonstration and see for yourself how tasty and affordable shopping at a Greenmarket can be.

 

Pass on Plastic

October 9, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

Every year New Yorkers throw away over 10 billion single-use plastic bags. Plastic bags are not easily recyclable and they don’t decompose. They end up in landfills and pollute rivers and oceans where they do irreparable damage to wildlife.

We need to make a change. That’s why GrowNYC commissioned a full line of reusable bags to sell at our Greenmarkets. Many of our producers are selling these new tote bags, bread bags and produce bags at their farm stands.  

Come support the vendors listed below who are doing their part to help make NYC greener - and see how easy it is to do your part, too.

Bags available include: Greenmarket Tote, Small Produce Bag, Large Produce Bag, Bread Bag

Bread Alone Bakery
Fishkill Farm
Glebocki Farm
Hot Bread Kitchen
John D Madura Farm
Lani's Farm 
Locust Grove Fruit Farm
Migliorelli Farm
Morgiewicz Farm
Oak Grove Plantation
Phillips Farms
Prospect Hill Orchards
Red Jacket Orchards 
Rexcroft Farm
Ronnybrook Farm
Samascott Orchards
Two Guys From Woodbridge
Wilkow Orchards 
Windfall Farms

Beer and Spirits of New York Pop-up

September 25, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

Thanks to funding from Empire State Development, GrowNYC is hosting a rotating cast of New York State brewers and distillers paired with a local restaurant at our Union Square and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets every Saturday until November 21. Each week shoppers will have the opportunity to sample and purchase beer and spirits made of local ingredients, taste market-fresh dishes that complement the craft beverages on offer and purchase regionally grown flours, wheat berries, pastas, and dried beans from our Greenmarket Regional Grains Project.

Over the past five years, the Northeast has seen a resurgence of interest in small grain production coinciding with innovative grain based product development in the food and beverage sectors. Consumer demand for local foods along with policy initiatives such as Governor Cuomo’s Farm Brewery and Farm Distillery legislation, and the work of Greenmarket’s Regional Grains Project have helped fuel the grain renaissance in New York State. 

GrowNYC is thrilled to provide a marketplace for these innovative craft brewers and distillers to introduce their New York State products to Greenmarket shoppers. Check the Beer & Spirits of New York Pop-up webpage for updates on each week's participants.    

In particular, the craft beverage industry has seen dramatic and unprecedented growth. Since 2011, the number of farm distilleries in New York State has increased 450 percent, from 10 in 2011 to 55 today. The number of craft breweries alone has more than doubled from 2012 to 2015, from 95 breweries in 2012 to 207 in January, 2015. GrowNYC was at the forefront of this surge when we partnered with Brooklyn Brewery to help source the ingredients to create a truly local beer. In 2013, Greenmarket Wheat was born and today it is one of Brooklyn Brewery's perrenial brews and is made with 70% local ingredients including NY State wheat, hops, barley and honey. 

The Beer and Spirits of New York Pop-up stand received funding through Empire State Development’s Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program, in coordination with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The program was created to increase the profile, awareness and sales of New York State produced wine, beer, spirits, and hard cider, and provides matching funds for the marketing and promotion of craft beverages. The Craft Beverage Marketing and Promotion Grant Program is administered in alignment with the Governor’s Taste NY initiative, and Taste NY branding will be used throughout the pop-up stand.

 

 

 

Union Square Greenmarket hosts Leanne Brown for a Signing of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day

July 1, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

GrowNYC's Union Square Greenmarket is thrilled to be hosting cookbook author Leanne Brown for a signing of her book Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day on Saturday, July 11 from 11 am to 1 pm. We asked the avid home cook and food-studies scholar what inspired her to write Good and Cheap and what she learned about cooking on a strict $4 a day budget, the average US food stamp budget. Even if you aren't working within a fixed food budget, Leanne's book has delicious, healthy recipes and she shared with us some great tips on how Greenmarket shoppers can get the most bang for their buck.  

Why did you decide to write Good and Cheap?

Good and Cheap started as my thesis project for my Master’s in Food Studies at NYU, and I wanted it to be something that would have a life outside of academia. You know, so that more than my Mom and advisor would read it. I came into the program wanting to spread my love of cooking, and that didn’t diminish with my studies. I have always been infuriated by injustices and I became very interested in the Food Stamps (SNAP) program and was constantly frustrated that the poor don’t seem to have much of a voice in the food movement. 

In short, if you don’t have much money, or you are on Food Stamps, there aren’t many resources to help you do that well. There are non-profits all across the country that are doing great work, but not everyone wants to attend a class or has time to do that. The working poor usually have two jobs and kids and not a lot of time and energy. 22% of children in America live at or below the poverty line! and 44% are classified as living in a low income household. I wanted to create a resource that was empowering, that people could use on their own time and in their own way. So I made Good and Cheap. And since it’s a cookbook for people who can’t afford a cookbook, it made perfect sense to release it online as a free pdf.

Typically, when we see recipes geared toward SNAP recipients or those cooking with limited budgets it seems that they are focused more on the quantity of food each recipe makes rather than the taste or enjoyment of eating what is prepared. In Good and Cheap, that is not the case. What was your inspiration for the recipes that made it into the book and was it challenging to make the recipes so diverse in flavor profiles while staying within the $4 limitation?   

It was challenging, but just required getting into the right mindset. Most foods, even some expensive foods, are affordable some of the time, whether it’s when they’re in season or when they’re on sale. The best thing about cooking is that it is possible to have so many different things with just small changes! It’s like magic. Think about eggs! You can have french style omelettes, spanish style tortillas, bake them in tomato sauce for shakshouka, cover them in chilies, scramble them with rice or noodles. Let alone what can be done when you add sugar to the equation and enter the dessert world. There is so much that CAN be done on $4 a day and while you might eat pb&j some days, other days you can have jambalaya.

You’re absolutely right though. The Good and Cheap perspective is about being careful about the bottom line and focusing on value for money rather than pure quantity. I think that the focus on quantity is a mistake that many budget cookbooks have made. People don’t stop having taste just because they are poor! And no one is going to choose to eat in a way that requires work and planning if it doesn’t have the pay off of tasting great and being satisfying! That’s why I say to buy real butter. It costs a little more than cheap oil, but it adds flavor, and you won’t have to use as much.

What are your top tips for a family that is eating on a very limited budget? Any resources they might find helpful in planning their shopping or meals?

1. Buy foods that can be used in multiple meals. If you love black beans and have 6 recipes that you love that use them, buy ‘em! If you can only think of one way you like them prepared then skip them. For me things I always buy and know I’ll always use are eggs, greens, dried beans and grains, cans of tomatoes and dried pasta. Some will keep forever and I know I’ll use them, and some I eat daily. Figure out what works best for you and your family. 

2. Buy in bulk. It’s just basic economics that buying in larger quantities often means better value. But remember to think about the #1 tip and only buy the stuff you will actually use and enjoy!

3. Start building a pantry slowly. If possible—and admittedly this can be difficult for people living on their own—reserve part of your budget to buy one or two semi-expensive pantry items each week. Things like olive oil, soy sauce, and spices (p. 166) are pricey at first, but if you use just a little with each recipe, they go a long way.
 
4. Think weekly/monthly and think seasonally. Eating well on a small budget generally means buying just a few things and making a few different things out of them. This can seem monotonous, but if you switch up your staples from week to week and month to month, following the seasons, and eating what is cheap, fresh and delicious you will have a varied and exciting diet!

5. More vegetables means more flavor and variety. Put the vegetables and fruits at the top of your list and prioritize them. Yes they are healthy, but they also make meals worth getting excited over! Who wants to eat a big plate of brown?

6. Don’t buy drinks. Simple as that. Prepared drinks are a waste of money. Water is all you need and if you want something else as a treat many drinks can be easily prepared at home.

Cooking Matters, a program of Share our Stength has all kinds of great advice online for eating well on a budget. Also check out stretchrecipes.com where my friend Lauren is designing an app that will help match your budget with a recipes and a meal plan, all using local market data.

What are some tips for Greenmarket shoppers on how to make the most of their dollars at the market?

My tips for farmers market shopping are very similar to those at a regular grocery store. Buy foods that you can use in multiple meals, and if you don’t have much to spend then focus on buying fruits and vegetables, and items in their most raw state rather than prepared foods, some of which can be quite pricy. Buy the local flour rather than the local bread, and the big bunch of carrots and mustard greens rather than the perfectly picked over blends of exotic greens. Those things are marvelous, but tough to fit into a small budget, and you can make great stuff out of your raw ingredients at home.

Another thing, ask the farmer or stand attendant what the best deal is. Just say that you’re trying to save money or don’t have much to spend and you want to make the most of it. Most of them will give great advice! Remember, the farmers aren’t rich themselves so they will know what they would spend on if they were in your position. Take a chance and be open with them and you’ll probably get great advice. Plus if you go often you can establish a relationship and make sure you’re getting the best deals on the best stuff.

What is up next for you and Good and Cheap? Will you keep putting out new recipes or write additional books?

Well I do plan to write another book, but I’m not sure quite what it’ll be yet. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to talk to so many different people all around the country and I plan to do a lot of listening.

The Good and Cheap project has taken on a life of its own and I want to help shepherd it and expand it. In comparison to the scale I’m currently looking at, the appetite for information on how to use limited funds wisely is almost limitless. I want to share more recipes, I hope that leaders in the food world will join with me to share recipes and tips for people with limited incomes. I want all the non-profits using Good and Cheap in their programs to be connected to each other and benefiting from each others experiences. 

I have a lot of big dreams so we’ll see what happens. I’d love to see Good and Cheap, or something like it, distributed with every EBT card. I’d like to see cooking and food shopping taught in schools and made mandatory. I’d like to see classes of kids cooking and sharing lunch together one day a week. I’d love to start a community-kitchen program, like a cooking library where people can borrow equipment and use the space for whatever they want. These kinds of food business incubators already exist and should be expanded, but I’d like to see the same model for people who want to feed their families or neighbors. The same benefits a food business gets from being able to use the big mixer once a week apply to people who would love to make a big batch of fresh pasta and freeze it.

Anything else you’d like to add for those trying to watch their food budgets or even for just any home cook?

There are so many messages everywhere, from our televisions to our grocery stores, that tell us cooking is hard. But cooking is not innately difficult; it’s just a basic skill that requires practice, and the benefits of that practice are a joyful and delicious life! Compare that with packaged foods, which offer little in the way of immediate pleasure, yet cause your health and wallet to suffer in the long term, not to mention your sense of self-worth. If we can change our national attitude about cooking, we can all be a lot more satisfied with the way we eat—oh, and healthier, too. Just start cooking and don’t be hard on yourself. Let yourself be imperfect and follow your own taste, you’ll get new pleasure out of eating if you just let yourself. 

Download a free copy of the cookbook, Good and Cheap:
http://www.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf

All Greenmarkets Are Open on July 4th!

June 30, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket


photo courtesy of  thelizabeth

All of our regularly scheduled Saturday Greenmarkets will be open on the 4th of July for all of your picnic and bbq needs. You may find some producers that are not present but we do anticipate an almost full line up at each market. The only market closed for the long weekend will be Staten Island Ferry on Friday, July 3. For those of you looking for Ronnybrook this weekend, they will only be at the following markets: Greenpoint/McCarren Park, Grand Army Plaza, Inwood and Jackson Heights.  

Summer has arrived at the Greenmarket so stop by and pick up everything you need to decorate this patriotic American Flag Cake. And don't forget to follow us on social media to see what's happening at all of our markets all season long. Happy 4th! 

 

GrowNYC Hosts USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden

June 5, 2015
Posted in Greenmarket

GrowNYC was thrilled to host US Department of Agriculture’s deputy secretary, Krysta Harden, for a tour of our Union Square Greenmarket and lunch on Monday, June 1. Despite the torrential downpour, Deputy Secretary Harden spent plenty of time walking around the market, sampling products and chatting with Greenmarket farmers about the challenges and rewards of farming in our region. 

Harden herself comes from three generations of farmers in southwest Georgia, and you can hear it in her accent. As Deputy Secretary, she has placed a large focus on ensuring the success of the next generation of farmers and recognizes that in today’s dynamic business climate farmers need more than just a passion for the land but also practical business training and access to land and capital.

GrowNYC's FARMroots Director, Christopher Wayne, introduced her to several graduates of our FARMroots beginning farmer training program, including Nestor Tello of Tello’s Green Farm in Coxsackie, NY, one of the very first graduates of the program, as well as Jane Hodge, Karen Washington, and Michaela Hayes, three of the women who now operate Rise & Root Farm in Chester, NY and recently graduated from the program. 

L to R: USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, Cheryl Huber (GrowNYC Greenmarket), Nestor Tello (Tello’s Green Farm), Christopher Wayne (GrowNYC FARMRoots), Jane Hodge, Michaela Hayes & Karen Washington (Rise & Root Farm),  Olivia Blanchflower (GrowNYC Wholesale and Distribution), Mark Izeman (NRDC), Dennis Derryck (Corbin Hill Farm), Marcel Van Ooyen (GrowNYC)

Additionally, Harden spoke with female farmers from Ole Mother Hubbard Dairy and Apple State Hilltop Family Farm who have worked with FARMroots to implement strategic marketing plans intended to help increase their at-market sales. These women shared their personal journeys into agriculture as well as some of their delicious products. She invited them to participate in the new Women in Agriculture mentoring program that she launched at the USDA to provide a forum for sharing experiences and best practices. 

On a more personal note, the deputy secretary loved the rainbow carrots she found at Norwich Meadows Farm and said turnips are her favorite vegetable. She remarked that the farmers market is one of the only places where you can get them with the delicious tops still attached!

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