Bay Ridge’s busiest open-air market is once again open for business!
Local elected officials, vendors and shoppers met on Saturday, May 21 in a Walgreens parking lot to cut the (green) ribbon on GrowNYC’s Bay Ridge Greenmarket.
This year marks GrowNYC’s 15th season at the corner of Third Avenue and 95th Street in Bay Ridge.
“I can’t believe it’s been 15 years already!” said Councilmember Justin Brannan, whose office helped facilitate the grand opening.
The greenmarket, he said, was the brainchild of former Councilmember Vincent Gentile, who wanted to ensure his constituents always had access to healthy and fresh food, and who dubbed the open-air market and gathering space “Bay Ridge’s Town Hall.”
“The greenmarket was started by my predecessor at a time when it seemed like all of our local supermarkets were shutting their doors,” Brannan said. “People fell in love with the greenmarket and 15 years later, the market is still here and more popular than ever! I go every Saturday morning for tomatoes. It’s like our local town square.”
Each year, the greenmarket offers up a sizable selection of producers providing everything from fresh caught fish, baked goods, and a bounty of seasonal fruit, vegetables and flowers that draw shoppers week after week, all season long.
“This year marks GrowNYC’s 15th season bringing the Greenmarket to Bay Ridge,” said Catherine Crawford, communications director for GrowNYC, an organization born out of the spirit of Earth Day, which once served as a policy-based group but now works on the ground to improve the city’s quality of life through environmental programs such as the greenmarket. “It’s a wonderful community, and we are so happy to be there year after year.”
According to Crawford, the benefits of buying from a farmer are a-plenty.
“Shoppers can ask the farmer all about the products offered, the growing practices they use, and even cooking tips,” she told Brooklyn Paper. “And everything is fresh and delicious because the produce is picked at its peak.”
GrowNYC’s greenmarkets also have a ripple effect on the economy.
“Shopping at the greenmarket helps ensure that farms stay in business and that farmland isn’t further developed by real estate pressures,” Crawford 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.”
The Bay Ridge Greenmarket is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with compost hours from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information on GrowNYC, or its other Brooklyn greenmarkets (like the Bensonhurst Greenmarket, opening this Sunday, May 29), visit www.grownyc.org.