Posts tagged ‘FoodWorks’
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…)
The New York City Council’s lunch room was as much the scene of the action yesterday as the hearing room. Council leaders and staff streamed in to do what they always do on Thursdays during their lunch hour: they picked up their share of fresh fruits and vegetables from Norwich Meadows Farms and Red Jacket Orchards, two upstate farms.
“I never saw a sugarplum that color in my life,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn of the yellow plums that were part of the week’s fruit harvest. Speaker Quinn collected peppers, squash, pole beans and other veggies from bins set up on a table and dropped them into her bag.
She and more than 50 other council members and staff were pioneers of sorts: They were the initial participants in the city’s first workplace Community-Supported Agriculture or “CSA” program. (more…)
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn last week released an 86-page report on ways in which to reform the city’s food system. The 59 proposals presented in the report address every phase of the food system, from agricultural production through post-consumption.
“The proposals focus on combating hunger and obesity to preserving regional farming and local food manufacturing to decreasing waste and energy usage,” says the New York City Council in a press release.
The proposals call for new procurement guidelines encouraging city agencies to purchase food from regional farmers as well as new legislation to reduce the packaging for the food they procure. The report urges the city to invest in food processing facilities and to consider a much bolder vision for the redevelopment of the aging Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, the world’s largest wholesale produce market and “the beating heart of our city’s food system,” said Speaker Quinn in her remarks. As part of this bolder vision, the report endorses a permanent wholesale farmers market, which I blogged about here, and the building of new rail terminals to reduce the number of trucks to Hunts Point each day.
Another notable proposal calls on restaurants to recycle their grease. The grease and oil restaurants produce can be “turned into a biofuel that heats buildings and runs vehicles,” said Speaker Quinn.
In a show of support for local farmers, Speaker Quinn announced a community supported agriculture (CSA) plan for City Hall employees. City Council would also work with the Department for the Aging and the New York City Housing Authority to bring CSAs to senior centers and public housing.