Announcing #GMKTnyc and the Official GrowNYC Hashtag Guide! 

April 28, 2017
Posted in Greenmarket

There are so many ways to connect with us at market and online, but now we want to see all your best photos in one place. We’re happy to introduce #GMKTnyc. 

GMKT stands for Greenmarket, and nyc is, well NYC: this phenomenal city where we operate over 50 Greenmarkets. We want to see your peak produce photos, what seasonal recipes you’re cooking, what farmers are farming, and more. Throughout the week we'll regram our favorites across all our accounts. (P.S. Be sure to follow them all here!)

In addition to using #GMKTnyc, tag us in other ways,  whether you’re shopping in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, or the Bronx! 

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#GMKTDogs
For all those shots of your darling dog shopping with you at market. 

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#GMKTHolidays
Cooking for a holiday with market ingredients? Snap a pic and share it! 

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#OhSNAPnyc
Did you buy something delicious with SNAP benefits or Health Bucks? Maybe you cooked a delicious meal with it. Tag us!

#letsGrowNYC
Tag GrowNYC in your photos and show us how you live sustainably in NYC!

#YMKTnyc
GrowNYC operates 18 Youthmarkets throughout NYC. Include #YMKTnyc on your photos featuring this magnificent program that brings fresh, affordable local produce to neighborhoods throughout the city while at the same time empowering NYC youth.

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#growtolearnnyc and #learntogrow
Gardens can be particularly photogenic. Photos of Grow-to-learn school gardens have an innate quality of determination. Spread the joy with either of these hashtags. 

Adaptive Farms: Resilient Tables

April 4, 2017

GrowNYC staffer Maria Rojas of Greenmarket's FARMroots program gave this incredible speech at the United Nations Development Program's Adaptive Farms: Resilient Tables event on April 3, 2017. 

My last four years of work at GrowNYC have been dedicated to preserving family farms, strengthening the local foodshed, and keeping our rich agricultural land in production. I first became interested in farming at my grandparents’ farm in Colombia. There I was exposed to the beauty and the hardship of farming. Before I was born, a volcano had swept through my family’s town and destroyed everything my grandparents had built -their home, their friends, their farm. They, like other farmers before them, chose to rebuild and it was this thriving farm where I spent my days.

Farmers have always been on the frontlines of nature and political whim. They hold the distinction of being highly vulnerable to climate change and at the same time offering a solution to the problem.

Despite these and many other challenges farmers remain stewards of the land, feed others, and build communities around them.

Over the past 120 years there has been a 2.4-degree increase in average temperatures in the Northeast. We have added 10 more frost free days to the season and have had to redraw our hardiness zone map to reflect that winters are now warmer that they used to be. Spring’s arrival is happening 4-13 days earlier, and we have had a 5-inch increase in precipitation, yet last year we had a severe drought in many parts of the state. The warmer winters might seem like a benefit to many, but not to farmers who lost 40-60 percent of their apples and almost 100 percent of their peaches and plums last year due to unprecedented temperature fluctuations. The average New Yorker would not be able to tell you that frost now comes 10 days later than normal, but a farmer would!

These changes are not insignificant and, unfortunately they are only the beginning of a wave of high impact deviations that the changing climate is set to bring. With it we can also expect changes in pest and weed pressure andplant and animal disease, as well as variations in crop yields. It is, by and large, a bleak picture as farming is set to become increasingly harder as our climate crisis worsens.

Farmers, although they operate as individual businesses, make up the agricultural foodshed upon which we rely on every day--increasingly so in times of disaster. When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, it was this network of farmers that got into the hard-hit places and provided much needed food relief to the families that had been impacted. In the days following the storm, groceries stores were empty or closed but the farmers’ markets were up and running within 72 hours. The mobile terminals at the market used for processing EBT were some of the few places a family on a limited income could use their SNAP benefits. Farmers brought in 180,000 lbs of food which with the help of volunteer organizations was turned into hot meals. They brought not only food but also much needed fuel to help power up our trucks to make last mile deliveries to New Yorkers in need.

This is not a one-way relationship. When storms and other disasters have affected farmers, the community that has built around them has not stood by the wayside. In 2011, when Hurricane Irene swept through the northeast and flooded many of our farmers’ fields, New Yorkers came together to help them rebuild. In one-month, Greenmarket shoppers raised $135,000 that was then redistributed to 33 of the hardest hit farms. These small grants helped farmers keep the lights on, the fuel running, and jump start the rebuilding process.

The community that forms around local food is at the core of what makes the NYC foodshed resilient. The exchange of support and ideas and the determination to thrive together is the truest definition of community. At the markets, farmers bring with them not only produce, meat, cheese, and cider, but also news of the weather--of how their soil responded to last week’s rain event. They bring news of how their rural communities are being impacted by policy. They tell tales of what the farm was like when it started in 1921. In return, a NYC shopper originally from the Dominican Republic might bring a farmer some seeds of cilantro macho for the farmer to try, or tell the farmer of how her family depended on moringa in times of drought. A few might begin volunteering at the farm on weekends hoping to one day leave the city life to try their hand at farming themselves. This exchange is as rich as the soil the farmers grow on, and it is key to the existence of each. The farmers' market is a catalyst for community connection and for reconnecting with food that is not only good for us but also for the planet.

Tonight’s event is another model for how the building of communities and the exchange of ideas is critical to our survival in the face of a changing climate. The United States, having caused a disproportionate amount of emissions to the rest of the world, has a moral responsibility to transfer wealth, knowledge, and technology to developing countries. The United States also has a moral responsibility to listen to and learn from the climate change adaptation projects represented tonight and from farmers across the world who have always been the stewards of the land.

When I think about sustainability and food security, I think about the people that make up these systems. And as people who eat, we all do! I think of the neural-like system of influence traveling up and down the Hudson Valley--much like neurons, those connections are what forces us to grow, to change, and to adapt. And as we reinforce those pathways and human connections, we can only become ever more resilient.

Join the April Plastic Cleanse!

March 30, 2017

Help Greenmarket go plastic-free by bringing your own bags while shopping in the markets. New Yorkers dispose of 9.37 billion carryout bags a year, most of which are not recycled. Made from petroleum, plastic bags are contributing to environmental degradation around the world, clogging our oceans, and are an enormous waste of money. Pledge to bring your bags when shopping at Greenmarkets and help us go plastic-free! 

Tips for going plastic-free: 

1. Take the GreeNYC Pledge to bring your own mugs, water bottles, shopping bags and receive a free mug, bottle, or bag to get you started. 

2. Bring a variety of bags. One sturdy, large canvas bag and a few sizes of smaller reusable bags (canvas, mesh, cotton, ect). 

3. If you plan on buying fish, bring a reusable container, like a glass container with a plastic cover. Bring a cooler, lunch bag to store frozen or fresh meat.

4. Buy loaves of bread and instead of taking paper bag/plastic bag, store bread in a cotton bag and slice at home.

5. Compost! Close the loop by collecting your food scraps and dropping them off at our compost sites at most Greenmarkets. Collect your food scraps in an airtight container or a paper bag. Store your food scraps in the freezer to avoid unwanted smells.

6. If you forget to BYOB, you can buy reusable produce bags at the Market Information Tent. 

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

8. Say no thank you if you are offered a plastic bag - you brought your tote so you don't need one! 

9. Go #foamfree and quit using styrofoam for good. Learn more here

Join us for these additional special events and activities to help celebrate the April Plastic Cleanse!

Bag Sales at all Greenmarkets
Canvas tote bags and reusable produce bags will be for sale at most Greenmarkets and availble online. Purchase a starter kit of 1 canvas tote and 4 reusable produce bags for just $15!

GreeNYC at Greenmarkets 
April 3: Union Square Greenmarket 
April 6: Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket 

Plastic Bag Buy Back! 
April 8 & 15: Union Square Greenmarket 
Return your clean/dry and non-biodegradable/compostable plastic bags and receive 5 cents per bag! Participants will participate in a short survey about recycling habits. 

Project Farmhouse Open House on April 29th!

March 16, 2017
Posted in GrowNYC

Join us for the official opening of Project Farmhouse, NYC's newest center for sustainability and education!

Festivities begin at 11 am with the ribbon cutting of the Boffi Soho Teaching Kitchen, followed by cooking demos by Gaggenau Chef Eric Morales, and Chef Peter Hoffman; refreshments donated by Whole Foods, Cava and Bread Alone; raffle for goodies from Breville and WÜSTOFF; a Greenmarket photo booth; take-home DIY planters; recycling games; environmental action center; and much more!

Saturday, April 29
11 am - 4 pm
GrowNYC's Project Farmhouse
76 East 13th Street (Manhattan)
NY, NY 10003

 

Kathleen Merrigan at Project Farmhouse

February 20, 2017

On Monday, February 13th, in an event co-hosted with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pace Law School, GrowNYC’s Project Farmhouse welcomed Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability at the George Washington University and former Deputy Secretary of the USDA, in a conversation about the evolution of food law and policy.

It was an educational and enlightening evening, with a conversation that included everything from the current state of American politics (in relation to food and farming) to crop insurance to the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill.

Watch the event in its entirety here:

Your Greenmarkets

January 19, 2017

If you're like us then you can't wait to take a break from the world and visit a market this weekend to give yourself an opportunity to breathe deep, take in all of the sights, smells, sounds, and flavors, and visit with your neighbors and farmers. We were recently reminded of a Wendell Berry quote that perfectly encapsulates our market communities. 

"A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves." - Wendell Berry 

All of Greenmarket's staff is going to the market this weekend...some of us just have to work, but all of us feel the pull to get out there. Here are our reasons and we'd love to hear yours

"Because the farmers market is where I go when I want to see my neighbors and be with my friends, whether to commiserate or celebrate."

"I'm going to the farmers market this weekend to be surrounded by my friends and my community and good food!" 

"Because our work - connecting urban and rural economies and communities - is particularly vital and meaningful right now."  

"Because I can ask the farmers questions."

“Because that’s where the food is.”

“Because my team – Go Steelers! – is in the AFC Championship and I need to pick up something to braise.” 

“Fuel the body, fight the power”

"Even when I'm not at work, I still visit my closest neighborhood Greenmarket because my local Greenmarket is where I feel connected to my community and neighbors. It's a place where we can convene around good food, talk recipes, and get excited for what we're about to cook."

"Because I want to connect with people who grow our food." 

"To get a new recipe."

"Because the brisk 20 mintue walk there is enough time to breath, clear my head and think about what I want to eat that week, but still leave room to get inspired if I see an ingredient I hadn't considered. And my compost bag is really full, gotta drop it off."   

"Because I wanna see what they’ll be cooking up at the market info tent!"

Greenmarket New Year's Resolutions

January 18, 2017
Posted in Greenmarket

With the new year just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about your resolutions. This year, why not make some resolutions you can actually stick to? Here are some of what we'll be doing to improve ourselves, our city and our environment in 2017.

1.   Say goodbye to plastic bags, for good. Greenmarket is committed to reducing plastic usage at our markets and several of our farmers are now offering reusable totes, bread and produce bags for sale. In 2017, make it a priority to make sure you always carry a reusable tote and produce bags and let's cut down on the amount of plastic we put into landfills.
2.   Drop off your food scraps. Since Greenmarkets began collecting food scraps for composting, we’ve collected over 7 million pounds of food waste that would otherwise be in a landfill. The rich compost created from these scraps is then used in community gardens, parks and other green spaces. Composting has never been easier with 22 of our year-round markets accepting food scraps.
3.    Clean out your closets AND your junk drawers. Old textiles can be dropped off at 20 year-round markets or find a Stop ‘N’ Swap in your neighborhood to bring unwanted clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books, & toys so they can find a home with someone else. You might also find something you need for your home!
4.    Become a Greenmarket Volunteer. Greenmarket hosts volunteer orientations every month and provides opportunities to help, both indoors and out in the elements, year round.
5.    Sign up for your first Winter Fresh Food Box. Our popular Fresh Food Box program has expanded the number of Winter Fresh Food Box sites to 10 this year. Pick-up locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan provide access to a pre-packed selection of affordable fresh produce from December to May. 
6.    Boost your workouts with ancient grains. The high-protein, low-gluten grains our Regional Grains Project sells at their stand are the perfect base for clean, simple meals after the indulgent holiday season. Try this wheatberry salad with kale and butternut squash for a healthy, protien packed lunch or dinner. 
7.    Introduce a friend to the Greenmarkets. Shopping at a Greenmarket is not just about fresh, healthy, local food, it’s about the community. Make a shopping date with a friend who has never shopped at Greenmarket and show them the enormous bounty our region has to offer right at their finger tips each week at their local Greenmarket.
8.    Eat at a restaurant committed to sourcing their food locally. For those nights you just don't feel like cooking (never, right?), there are many restaurants around NYC that purchase from Greenmarket and Greenmarket Co. all year long.      
9.    Get your hands dirty. Looking for a fun way to bond with your coworkers while doing some good? Get your company involved and sign up for a corporate volunteer day to help build or refurbish a community garden in the city.
10.  Visit Staten Island. A trip on the Staten Island Ferry is always a nice ride but it’s even more fun now that you can visit our St. George Greenmarket year-round.    

 

Greenmarket Holiday Schedule Changes

December 23, 2016
Posted in Greenmarket | Tagged greenmarket, holiday

There are no upcoming holiday schedule changes for 2017.

The Union Square Greenmarket will be OPEN on Mondays, January 16th (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and February 20th (President's Day).

Handy tips for a sustainable holiday

December 1, 2016
Posted in Recycling

Making a list of how to green your holidays? Here are some of our favorite tips and events to cure the post-holiday blues.

Green Your Holidays

Sending cards?

Try e-cards or look for greetings made with recycled content (the more post-consumer content, the better). Include a note with your cards that they can be donated for reuse by sending to St. Judes Ranch for Children, where they will be repurposed into greetings for 2017. Other types of occasions are needed as well, so save those December birthday cards!

Giving gifts?

Show some style when shopping by bringing your own reusable bags. Choose minimally-packaged items made with recycled content and give items that will be treasured, not thrown out before the next holiday season. Consider giving experiences, homemade and vintage gifts. Find new joy in old favorites that are broken or need refreshing with Pop Up Repair. Get hundreds of toy-free gift ideas for a more meaningful holiday here and here. Remember to wrap it recyclable by using old newspaper, paper gift wrap, paper gift bags or reusable bags and containers that keep on giving all year. 

Preparing a holiday meal?

Look for items in recyclable packaging and buy minimally- or non-packaged fresh produce, like that from Greenmarket. Composting your vegetable trimmings is made easy with collections at select Greenmarkets and other drop-off sites. Prevent waste by making small changes such as using recyclable aluminum foil rather than plastic wrap for food storage. Serve your masterpiece on reusable plates and offer guests reusable flatware, glassware and napkins.

Stuck with clean up duties?

Wrapping paper, gift boxes, cardboard and other paper packaging can go out with other paper recycling (remove tape, ribbons and other decorations).  Eggnog cartons, wine bottles, olive containers, cookie tins and hard-to-open rigid plastic packaging are easy to recycle alongside the rest of your metal, glass, plastic and cartons.  If your collection day falls on Christmas and New Year's Day, here's when to set out recycling, garbage and organics (if participating).  Block Styrofoam and foam peanut packaging are not recyclable, but alternative paper packaging can be included in your recycling pile.  Styrofoam peanuts can be reused at select shipping centers and Manhattan Mailroom locations, and cornstarch peanuts can be composted.  For those so inclined, even corks can be recycled—find drop-sites here

Too many leftovers?

Check the shelf life of open and unopened food and get storage tips to make the most of food and create less waste at stilltasty.com

Post-Holiday Recycling Events to Cure the Winter Blues

Recycle Your Tree.

If you're putting up a real tree for the holidays, plan to chip in at MulchFest on January 7 & 8!  Trees (cleaned of stands, lights, tinsel and ornaments) will be collected and recycled into mulch for NYC parks at designated sites. Bring your own bag to select sites and take home mulch for your yard, garden or street tree. Find citywide drop-off sites and mulch pick-up locations here. If you miss MulchFest, the city will pick up trees (also stripped of ornaments, etc) curbside from January 3-14, barring any snow disruptions.

Recycle Unwanted Electronics.

When upgrading or unloading electronics, the curb is longer a disposal option.  Find recycling resources here and check in with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which runs the Gowanus E-Waste Warehouse in Brooklyn and hosts "After the Holidays" e-waste collections in all five boroughs.

Loosen Your Drawers.

Clear out ill-fitting, outdated and otherwise unwanted clothing, shoes, and linens and bring them to one of GrowNYC's weekly collections for reusable clothing and other textiles.

Swap Your Stuff.

GrowNYC's Stop 'N' Swap® is the ultimate re-gifting party. Bring reusable items to share (portable items only) or simply bring a tote bag or two to take home things you can put to reuse. Unstuff your home at one of 4 swaps in Decmeber, or find winter swap dates and locations at GrowNYC.org/swap.

 

From all of us at GrowNYC, thank you for helping green our city by taking our "recycling challenge" at community events, volunteering to help collect recyclables at public events, dropping off clothing and food scraps at our Greenmarkets, attending our Stop 'N' Swaps, and more throughout 2016. We look forward to seeing you out at many of the great recycling events that will kick off a sustainable 2017. Happy Holidays!

For more tips on keeping your holidays green and merry, visit the NYC ZeroWaste page.

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