Locals celebrate 17 years of sustainability at Bay Ridge Greenmarket season opening

Officials cut the ribbon on the Bay Ridge Greenmarket’s 17th season, which kicked off on Saturday, May 4.
Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

Bay Ridge is going green for another shopping season.

The neighborhood’s beloved Greenmarket opened for business on Saturday, May 4, and officials marked the occasion with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

The Bay Ridge Greenmarket, now in its 17th year, is open in the Walgreens parking lot on 95th Street and Third Avenue every Saturday morning through November. It is run by GrowNYC, a nonprofit organization that has worked to improve quality-of-life in the Big Apple since 1976.

Today, GrowNYC boasts 46 Greenmarkets across the five boroughs, including its flagship Union Square Greenmarket.

Shoppers pose with Council Member Justin Brannan on the Bay Ridge Greenmarket’s opening day.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

“People are beating down the imaginary doors to get in here today,” Council Member Justin Brannan said on opening day. “We got fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, flowers, bread, baked goods, mushrooms. It’s all locally grown from the Tri-State area and it’s all sold by farmers directly.”

In addition to bringing locally-sourced and sustainable goods and products closer to Ridgeites’ front doors, GrowNYC’s Greenmarkets also have a ripple effect on the economy, organizers told Brooklyn Paper in 2022.

“Shopping at the Greenmarket helps ensure that farms stay in business and that farmland isn’t further developed by real estate pressures,” a spokesperson for GrowNYC said. “The food travels fewer miles, meaning a reduction in fossil fuels and retention of nutrients because produce hasn’t traveled across the country (or even the world) to get to you.”

An array of fresh flowers, for sale at the Bay Ridge Greenmarket.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

“This is really where it’s at,” Brannan said, adding that the spot — the brainchild of his predecessor, Vincent Gentile — becomes “Bay Ridge’s little town hall” on the weekends. “There’s no better place to be than here on the weekends.”

Shoppers headed to the Bay Ridge Greenmarket this weekend can expect wild-caught fish from American Pride Seafood in Suffolk County, orchard and small fruit from Toigo Orchards II in Pennsylvania, fresh chickens, eggs, jams and baked goods from Walnut Ridge Farm in Seneca County, and more.

All GrowNYC Greenmarket sellers come from 250 miles north, 120 miles south, and 170 miles east and west of New York City, officials said.

Charles Janiec enjoys a fresh oatmeal raisin cookie at the Bay Ridge Greenmarket.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

The market is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and its compost program is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The compost program is set to end May 18, but Brannan teased on social media that he is working to secure additional funding for future sessions.

“This year marks the 17th season at GrowNYC Bay Ridge Greenmarket! The seasonal bounty and selection of producers is unparalleled, from just-picked fruits and vegetables, artisan breads & baked goods, jams, fresh caught fish, maple syrup and so much more week after week, all season long until November,” Angela Davis, director of food access and agriculture at GrowNYC, said in a statement. “Swing by the market information tent for special cooking demonstrations, seasonal programming, and learn more about how to use your nutrition benefits to purchase the freshest produce in the Northeast!”

Looking ahead, the Bartel Pritchard Greenmarket at Prospect Park West and 15th Street will open for the season on Sunday, May 12, and the Bensonhurst Greenmarket will open Sunday, May 2 on 18th Avenue between 81st and 82nd street.

For more information on GrowNYC, or its other Brooklyn greenmarkets, visit grownyc.org.

Additional reporting by Arthur de Gaeta