Columbia Green Market Expands, Adds New Products
Date: October 29, 2009
The Greenmarket is greener than ever this fall.
Hudson Valley duck, Long Island lavender and Finger Lakes grapes are just a few new selections available each week because of a Greenmarket expansion coinciding with the opening of the new academic year.
Located on Broadway between 114th and 115th Streets just outside Columbia's main gate, the six-year-old market "has been very successful for the whole community - those who live and work in the area as well as the students," says Margaret Hoffman, Regional Market Coordinator for Northern Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.
The success has translated to about 50 additional feet of space for four farmers every Thursday and Sunday, the two market days. The expansion was Hoffman's idea because of support from shoppers and "the farmers' grapevine." New York City gave permission to increase activity on Broadway, and Community Board 9 endorsed the proposal. Columbia's role as "a supportive partner" in all the Greenmarket activity has been critical to its success, Hoffman says.
On Thursdays, the new market spaces have been filled with grapes, honey and honey products, grains and beans, and chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and eggs from a biodynamic farm.
Hoffman talks about a "whole honey culture out there," whose needs are now met at the Thursday market. Cayuga Beans offers wheat cereal, polenta, red and black beans and wheat flour. "We've never had anyone doing this," Hoffman says.
The grapes are also there on Sundays, but from a different farm. Other new Sunday offerings are the lavender and lavender products, duck, certified organic beef, cow's milk cheese and organic veal and pork.
The character of the market differs from Thursday to Sunday, Hoffman says, and this is reflected in the product mix. On Thursdays, buyers are looking for "something quick," while on Sundays, they come to shop for the week.
And the seasonal nature of the market dictates a change in products. "Although we may not be completely successful in the dead of winter," Hoffman says, we'll try to keep all these stalls filled."
For Columbia University Medical Center, there's even more good Greenmarket news. Hoffman says it's very likely there'll be a new market on the west side of Fort Washington, between 168th and 169th Streets. She hopes it'll be open on a trial basis in November and December, with a full-scale market up and running in the spring.
About 50 Greenmarkets dot the five boroughs, and are projects of the Council on the Environment of the City of New York. The Council is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization in operation since 1976.