Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh, Local and Delicious: Farmers come to the Bronx

By Adrian Cabreja - Bronx Free Press

Your parents used to tell you that eating fruits and vegetables was of great benefit to you.
The Hunts Point Farmers’ Market wants to remind those who have not been so diligent in heeding their advice.

Community Markets, an organization which brings regional farming produce to the metropolitan area, has opened the Hunts Point Farmer’s Market at Msr. Raul Del Valle Square and Southern Boulevard for its ninth consecutive season.

The market, which features local farmers, will be available every Wednesday and Saturday until November 16th.

Regional farmers will be able to table and present their products fresh from the farm to offer local Bronx residents access to locally grown, fruits, vegetables and other produce.

The Hunts Point Farmers’ Market has been a long standing portal for farmers and customers alike who share an interest in local farming.

“There is a difference between the products they have here, and the products they have across the street,” said Pauline Brickley, a community resident, as she pointed to a supermarket across the street.

One of the participating farmers’ groups was Alex’s Tomato Farm, owned by Aleksandr Kravets, a resident of Carlisle, New York. The farm was established in the year 2000 after Kravets and her family immigrated to New York from Eastern Europe in the 1980’s. The Kravets family runs the farm together. To hear Kravetz tell it, he and his family have made a strong commitment to supplying great quality produce for an affordable price.

“We want to offer real food,” he explained.

And the riot of color at his table highlighted that point.

The tomato farm table held colorful pepper plants, red, robust apples, bulbous potatoes and cardinal red strawberries. The smell of freshly tilled soil was fragrant in the warm air.
“I really enjoy the selections provided,” said Marina Corianno, a first-time shopper at the Farmer’s Market, as she held a red and yellow apple.

“Everything looks tastier,” she added.

Along with the tabling by local New York State farms, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will offer workshops every week. These workshops and information sessions, hosted by certified nutritionists, are intended to educate the public on healthy eating tips. The presentations will also demonstrate healthy cooking techniques using produce that is in season and that is available in the Hunts Point Farmers’ Market.

After the workshops, observers can taste the various foods that are prepared, and each participant who fills out a corresponding survey will get two Farmers’ Market Health Dollars which can be used at participating Farmers’ Markets.

The Hunts Point Farmer Market also participates with government-funded SNAP, EBT and FNS programs, allowing any one, regardless of income, greater access to fresh and local foods.

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