Market watch: Greenpoint residents want farmers market in McGolrick Park

Fifth park death in Greenpoint in 15 months
Photo by Tom Callan

Update (Jan. 26, 6:08 pm): Story updated to include new information about Community Markets. Correction added below.

Veggie-loving North Brooklynites are trying to put the green in Greenpoint.

Residents of the borough’s so-called “garden spot” want to see a new farmers market in McGolrick Park this spring and have started circulating an online petition to fertilize community support.

The petition emphasizes that the community deserves a Sunday gathering place “where neighbors can come together to meet, shop, and engage with one another, as well as with our area farmers and food makers.”

Nearly 200 residents added their signatures to the online petition as of Tuesday night, six days before market advocates will present their proposal to Community Board 1’s parks committee.

Community Board 1 member Ryan Kuonen said she would vote for the new market.

“People like farmers markets because they’re not buying food from China or California, they have a small carbon footprint, and you can get to know the farmers who grew your food,” said Kuonen. “You can get plenty of tomatoes on Manhattan Avenue, but you don’t know where they come from.”

Greenpoint residents are working in tandem with Community Markets, a Westchester County-based organization that runs greenmarkets in Park Slope and Boerum Hill, to open the McGolrick Park site.

But in order for the market to open, Community Markets must line up farmers and vendors and obtain a permit from the Parks Department.

Community Markets Director Miriam Haas is confident the market will be in business in May and will attract enough customers to be a success.

“There are a large number of young people moving into Greenpoint who want to shop at farmers markets,” said Haas. “Some people like shopping on Sundays and can’t get over to McCarren Park. The markets are far enough apart so they won’t hurt each other.”

Lovers of McGolrick Park can’t wait.

“Greenpointers are constantly looking for convenient ways to eat healthy, locally and sustainably and this would be another way to make the neighborhood even better while helping the environment and supporting local small farmers,” said Greenpoint resident Jennifer Galatioto. “We have rooftop farms, why not another farmers market?”

But some neighbors think this farm might need to be tabled.

“I’m not sure this is a good idea,” said Greenpoint resident Noel Hidalgo. “It’s idyllic, but can North Brooklyn support three markets?”Correction: An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported that GrowNYC was considering running the proposed market. Community Markets, a different market operator, is actually involved in the plan.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2547.