Farm Fresh And Sold In Rockaway
Part of the non-profit GrowNYC, the Rockaway Beach Youthmarket, in partnership with the Rockaway Youth Task Force, is making affordable, fresh foods available to the community every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Currently the market is located on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 67th and Beach 69th Streets. It is scheduled for an extended run through November 23rd.
One Arverne resident, who had purchased apples, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes, said, “Everyone was very excited about what they were doing.”
She added, “The produce looked very good. Very fresh. The woman working there told me everything had been picked within the past few days.”
GrowNYC was created in 1970. Its Youthmarkets are modeled after the Greenmarkets it successfully runs at 54 locations across the city.
Its local partner, the Rockaway Youth Task Force is responsible for hiring neighborhood youth to run the farm stand. Young people participating in the project get to earn money, gain skills and insights into running a small business, get an education in nutrition and more, all while serving their community.
GrowNYC describes Youthmarket as “a network of urban farm stands operated by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers, and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to communities throughout New York City.
A part of their goal is also to bring fresh, healthy and affordable foods to underserved neighborhoods.
As GrowNYC states on their website, “partly as a result of the inaccessibility of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables, many neighborhoods in New York City are experiencing epidemic rates of diet-related disease like obesity and diabetes."
The Rockaway market place is supplied with produce and goods from New York State farmers in Goshen, Tivoli, Stone Ridge, Milton, Calverton, Montgomery and Geneva, as well as by farms in Pennsylvania and Florida.
GrowNYC operates 14 Youthmarkets throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. Including the market in Rockaway, three are located in Queens.