Coming to Turtle Bay June 14
Several days each week, long before sunrise, hundreds
of farmers set out in their trucks, transporting the fresh-picked
bounty of the land. Their destination? Greenmarkets in New York
The market at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park will open on June 14
and will be located at the Second Avenue end of the park. The eight
participating farmers will park their trucks along the curb on 47th
Street, and set up their tables under the trees near the benches.
The farm stands will run from Second Avenue to the Holy Family Church,
and will be open every Wednesday until November 22, dawn until dusk.
Turtle Bay members will be receiving announcements of the Grand
Opening. It should be quite a bash with Commissioners Henry Stern
and Adrian Benepe presiding.
To markets throughout the city's parks and squares, the farmers
bring an irresistible cornucopia of nutritious seasonal food: golden
squash, green lettuces, red and yellow peppers, purple eggplants,
and much more. Peach cobblers will doubtless be gracing Turtle Bay
tables this summer. Come autumn there will be pumpkins, so Jack-O-Lanterns
should abound locally for Halloween.
Greenmarket is also a delightful assortment of farm products such
as baked goods (apple pies baked by farmers' wives), preserves,
honey, maple syrup, fruit juices, eggs, and locally made cheeses
and salad dressings. There will also be fresh flowers, plants and
herbs. No meat, fish, or poultry will be offered for sale this year.
As expected, the prospect of a farmers' market right here in Turtle
Bay has been met by almost universal enthusiasm. At the April meeting
of Turtle Bay Business Associates, all of the restaurant owners
were looking forward to having such a convenient source of fresh
Anne Saxon-Hersh, president of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Park, the organization that proposed the Greenmarket for the park,
noted, "During the period when the park design was being debated,
people would ask why we needed such a big plaza and grumble that
it would only encourage demonstrations. We tried to offer a vision
of other ways the plaza would serve the neighborhood-one of these
was a Greenmarket. Whenever we said the word, it was magic. People
got very excited.
"Once the park was completed, I called Tony Mannetta, who
directs the program for Council on the Environment of NYC. Once
Tony laid eyes on our new park, he was sold, and he really went
to work for us, addressing concerns raised by Community Board 6
and meeting with community representatives to work out the logistics.
"I personally love Greenmarkets. Not only do you get to meet
the farmers, you get the best quality and variety for an unbeatable
price. A whole range of specialty produce - the most tender, flavorful
greens, heirloom tomatoes that taste homegrown, potato varieties
served in the finest restaurants, even specialty garlic. The Greenmarket
movement has helped the small farmer survive and I'm thrilled that
we are participating in this environmental program."
For people who live in the neighborhood, the benefits can go beyond
convenient shopping. A young mother who brought her toddler to the
park last week said that she values the market as a place to teach
her children about the natural order of things. "I think of
the greenmarket as a place where children in the community can have
an opportunity to talk to the farmers and learn what life is like
on an American family farm."
Farmers put a lot of effort into growing our food and are usually
very responsive when customers take an interest in how it is produced.
They are all from farms of less than 200 acres, and most live in
upstate New York.
In past years small farms such as these dominated the landscape
of the Northeastern United States. More recently roads and construction
have buried millions of acres of fertile soil beneath cement and
asphalt. The remaining small farms are struggling to survive, but
programs like Greenmarket are definitely helping to extend their
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
Fax (212) 751-4941