Posts filed under ‘Farmers Market’
Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Heritage Farm had planned it for years. Last month, it finally happened. A one-acre field was tilled and covered with winter rye, hairy vetch and field peas and oats, marking the farm’s first official planting.
It was probably the longest-planned — or rather longest-delayed — planting ever, but Gus Jones, the farm’s newly hired full-time farm manager, wasn’t at all surprised.
The land was last used for agriculture 50 years ago, when cows grazed there, Jones explained. The forest had to be cleared, trees chopped and tree stumps removed. And compost — 1,000 cubic yards of it — had to be brought in. (more…)
The urban agriculture movement in New York City has made enormous progress this year. New legislation favoring urban farming was introduced. New farms opened. There’s even a new farm school. It all happened within the last nine months, all of it summarized here. (more…)
CSA Stands Strong Post-Irene
Tropical Storm Irene has tested the will of even the sturdiest farmers. In an interview with NPR, Cheryl Rogowski, owner of W. Rogowski Farm in Orange County, N.Y., talks about the considerable storm damage to her 150-acre farm. She lost 80 to 90% of her crops with most of the farm underwater at the time of the interview.
Rogowski’s farm is one of 15 CSA farms supplying New York City that suffered severe damage, said Jacquie Berger, executive director of the advocacy nonprofit Just Food, in the interview.
Irene may have knocked out half the city’s CSA farms (31 farms run CSA programs in the city) for the season, but it did little to diminish support for the concept of CSA (community supported agriculture). The tropical storm put CSA to the ultimate test, as CSA customers — shareholders in farm harvests — bore crop losses along with their farmers. (more…)
The temporary one-acre urban farm that opened in April at the Battery is not so temporary anymore. It will shift to a new location in the park when a planned bike path comes through in 2012, said Warrie Price, founder of the Battery Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to revitalizing the Battery at the tip of Manhattan.
“It’s been too much of a great positive thing for the neighborhood and for us as an organization,” she said as she made her rounds amid rows of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans and a riot of other crops on Saturday.
Since it opened, the farm has received a great deal of media attention with Inhabitat New York City naming it one of the city’s top five urban farms. It’s been a hit with neighborhood school children, Lower Manhattan residents and local community groups who “adopted” or planted half of the 100-plus vegetable beds. It also drew hundreds of volunteers eager to help the Battery run the operation.
“This is a dream come true,” said the farm’s manager Camilla Hammer, as a bevy of volunteers swirled around her with shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows. (more…)
© Photos by Margarida Correia. See captions at bottom of post.
Though bad weather destroyed most of their heirloom tomatoes, Eckerton Hill Farm still drew significant crowds to its stand at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday. The Pennsylvania-based farm had plenty of hot peppers — its second most popular crop — to compensate for the missing tomatoes, and an unusual seasonal show stopper: the jelly melon cucumber.
The oval-shaped cucumbers with protruding horn-like spines caught everyone’s attention.
“What,” most people asked, “IS that?” (more…)
Farmers Markets Grow Despite Bad Economy
If only the economy would grow as rapidly as the nation’s farmers markets. The number of farmers markets operating throughout the country grew 17%, from 6,132 in 2010 to 7,175 this year. The results were released in the USDA’s 2011 National Farmers Market Directory.
New York reported 520 markets, ranking second among the nation’s top 10 states with the most farmers markets. California, with 729 markets, ranked first.
The market listings were submitted to the USDA by market managers on a voluntary, self-reported basis between April 18 and June 24, 2011, as part of the USDA’s annual outreach effort.
Alaska experienced the most growth. It reported 35 farmers markets, up 46%. Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico, with 166, 130, and 80 markets, respectively, jumped 38%.
Mayor Bloomberg Signs Local Food Legislation
For the past two years the New York City Council has pushed to make more local food available to New Yorkers. On Wednesday its efforts paid off: Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed comprehensive legislation aimed at increasing the production and procurement of local and regional food. (more…)
Life is starting to look a little brighter for New York State’s family farmers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced a program to launch new farmers markets and expand others across the state. The new Fresh Connect Farmers’ Markets is part of Gov. Cuomo’s “Farm New York” initiative to invest in the state’s agriculture industry. (more…)
A clutch of enthusiastic gardeners — trowels and soil scrapers in hand — readied for the special planting that was about to take place at Drew Gardens in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx. One by one, they squatted by the side of a just-tilled garden bed and began to tuck peanuts into the ground.
Angel Valeri Nogue beamed. The peanuts, she blurted with pride, were “brought here to New York” from her grandmother’s plantation in West Cameroon.
“I used to stay on my grandmother’s plantation in the springtime for six months to help,” said Nogue, a refugee with the International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit organization that helps resettle refugees, asylees and victims of human trafficking.
Nogue’s face brightened as she recalled childhood memories of her grandmother’s plantation, a refuge from the stresses of city life in Cameroon. Now Drew Gardens is her refuge. (more…)
New Yorkers showed overwhelming support for two food-related bills at a public hearing convened last month by the New York City Council Governmental Affairs Division. The proposed bills back recommendations in a plan to revamp the city’s food system and make local and regional food more available to New Yorkers. The plan was outlined in an 86-page report, FoodWorks, released by NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn last year.
One of the proposed bills would require city agencies (more…)
New York City Green Cart vendors, the men and woman who have ventured into some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods to sell fresh fruit and vegetables, are the subject of a significant photography exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibition — called “Moveable Feast: Fresh Produce and the NYC Green Cart Program” — chronicles the lives of the cart vendors and their customers.
Gabriele Stabile, one of the five featured photographers, follows Patricia Jimenez, a Mexican woman whose produce cart on the edge of a South Bronx neighborhood once dubbed “Death Valley” is described as a “daily point of reference in the community.” (more…)