Grains News & Events



From the latest newsletter:

September 2020, Pandemic Baking and Regional Grain Resilience

It has now been six months since COVID-19 upended life as we knew it here in New York City. Now, as we catch our breath, one word in particular keeps coming to mind: adaptable.

Greenmarket farmers, staff, and customers alike have had to adjust to new conditions and protocols, facing disruptions to nearly every aspect of daily life. As staff, we are grateful to GrowNYC for keeping the markets open and operating smoothly during this time. Farmers markets are a lifeline to both farmers and consumers, and although we get to work here, we are also eaters and the market is a special community that constantly inspire us.

Back in early February, long before the shelter in place order took effect (on March 20th), we felt as if the ground were trembling beneath our feet as consumers began loading up on grains, beans and flours. A lot has happened since then and we wanted to share a few reflections on the past few months at the Grainstand.

Starting in mid- March, our lines at market began an hour before opening. For six weeks, we heard from consumers who reported that area grocery stores were out of flour, and then, out of yeast. And thus began the sourdough deluge. Bread flours were in high demand, along with rye flour to feed all those new starters. Pre-orders, especially at our neighborhood markets increased fivefold as folks started making their own bread. Over the course of six months, we moved just shy of 80,000 lbs of local grain, including 6,000 lbs of beans and grains through World Central Kitchen's food box relief efforts.

We have been humbled by the opportunity to provide this crucial service in a time of need and by the patience and flexibility of our customers whose weekly market shopping experience was turned upside down. This pandemic has proven how resilient our local food system can be, as well as how crucial small grains and other staple foods are in rounding out both our farming systems and our pantries.


Read the rest of this newsletter here.

Newsletter Archive


Cornell Cooperative Extension

Local Grain Economy: Bakery Tour of Philmont Community Bakery & Hawthorne Valley Bakery

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 7:00-8:00PM EDT

Register online by noon October 6. 

More information here. 

The Grainstand

Our retail booth for local grains, flours and beans

Union Square Greenmarket, Wednesdays and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Check here for the weekly pop-up schedule and here for our rotating craft beverage guests!



Articles that both inform and shed light on our work.

September 2020
Grub Street: At Mel, Heirloom Grains and Fresh-Milled Flour are the Norm

August 2020
The Seattle Times: These California Grain Geeks Want to Boost Your Immune System With True Whole Wheat

August 2020
Medium: Finnriver Farm & Grainery’s pandemic-inspired grain boxes deliver a sense of security — and stashable, adaptable wheat berries​

August 2020
Medium: This True Whole Wheat Changed How I Bake

July 2020
The New Yorker: New York City’s Cornucopia of Bread to Go

July 2020
Huffpost: Why People Baked So Much Bread During Quarantine: An Explanation​

July 2020
Grub Street: Life After Sourdough

July 2020
New York Times: That Flour You Bought Could be the Future of the U.S. Economy

June 2020
CNN: This Farmer Says Amateaur Bakers are Saving his Business

May 2020
The Atlantic: Foodie Culture as We Know It Is Over​

May 2020
The New York Times: Spoiled Milk, Rotten Vegetables and a Very Broken Food System

May 2020
Acadiana Advocate: When we remember this quarantine, it will smell like sourdough

May 2020
The Atlantic: Americans Have Baked All the Flour Away

May 2020
Food & Wine: The 100 Best Bakeries in America

April 2020
Medium: Bread Clubs Are Still Going Strong During Quarantine

April 2020
The Late Show: Jake Gyllenhaal on Sourdough

April 2020
The Hill: Tyson Foods takes out full-page ad: 'The food supply chain is breaking'​

April 2020
The Counter: Yes, #quarantinebaking has caused a temporary flour shortage. But not for the reasons you think. 

March 2020
The Boston Globe: Coronavirus Pandemic Should Shift Our Focus to a More Locally Sourced Food Supply

February 2020
Medium: Growing Chestnuts in the Northeast US: a Value Chain Perspective 

February 2020
New York Times: The Whole Grain Grail: A Sandwich Bread With Mass Appeal

February 2020
WBUR: The Beer, Booze and Bread Community is Organizing A Northeast Grainshed

Press Archive



The Story Behind Breuckelen Distilling's NY-Grown Single Malt Whiskey

Learn how one farmer's "bad crop" became a distiller's dream ingredient, thanks to masterminds Brad Estabrooke of Breuckelen Distilling, grain farmer Thor Oechsner, and maltsters Andrea and Christian Stanley of Valley Malt.

GrowNYC is proud to participate in Rye Week, a yearly celebration of rye as an agricultural product in New York State, which will take place from October 17 – 25.

  • Food Access & Agriculture

    Our network of Greenmarket farmers markets, Youthmarkets, Fresh Food Box pick-ups, and Greenmarket Co. ensures that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.

  • Conservation

    We provide food scrap drop-offs, clothing collections, Stop 'N' Swap® community reuse events, and zero waste trainings to make resource conservation easy for all.

  • Green Space

    We build and rejuvenate community & school gardens in all 5 boroughs, and support even more gardens through volunteer days, technical assistance, school garden grants, & more.

  • Education

    We foster future environmental stewards by providing 66,000 children each year with programs that provide meaningful interactions with the natural environment.