Photo Courtesy of GrowNYC
Farmers markets are among the programs organized and operated throughout the city by GrowNYC.
By Michael V. Cusenza
After two long years of galvanizing civic support, securing funding, hopping through the City’s proper-permit hoops, and dousing every imaginable crisis fire, City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and his Richmond Hill constituents are poised to launch the South Queens community’s first-ever Farmers Market this Saturday, Sept. 8, at Forest Park.
“It’s an overall win-win for the community,” said Ulrich, who allocated $20,000 for the Farmers Market project. “It will fill a crucial void in Richmond Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods, where residents previously had to travel great distances to buy fresh produce. This new market will give residents direct access to fresh fruit and vegetables from locally sourced farmers—right in their backyard.”
In partnership with the Richmond Hill Block Association and GrowNYC, the largest and most established environmental organization in the Big Apple, the market will also employ local students from John Adams High School’s (Ozone Park) Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Ulrich noted.
“This will give the students the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and, to earn some money during the fall,” the councilman added. “I am proud to have funded this initiative, which will truly enrich the community.”
Among the benefits farmers markets can provide for communities and consumers: markets help maintain important social ties, linking rural and urban populations and even close neighbors in mutually rewarding exchange; market traffic generates traffic for nearby businesses; fresher foods, seasonal foods, healthier foods; a better variety of foods, e.g.: organic foods, pasture-raised meats, free-range eggs and poultry, handmade farmstead cheeses, heirloom produce, heritage breeds of meat; a place to meet neighbors, chat, etc.; a place to enjoy an outdoor walk while getting needed groceries.
The grand opening of the Richmond Hill Farmers Market is set for Saturday, Sept. 8, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the Buddy Monument. It will be open for business every Saturday thereafter through Nov. 17.