By Vanessa Camargo
My aunt and uncle own a farm in Pennsylvania. One weekend when they were down in New Jersey for my little sister’s birthday party, they were telling me about how they were having trouble selling some of their crops. I told my uncle about GrowNYC’s Greenmarket in New York. I heard about the organization when I did an article on it at my last school.
I already knew how to contact GrowNYC and told my uncle to fill out the Farmers Questionnaire and we went from there. After going over a few questions about his product, he was accepted into the Greenmarket.
My uncle asked my brother, sister, and me to help bring down his products to the market in New York’s Botanical Garden. There we met up with Gayle Schmidt, the Associate Director of Public Education. She gave us a few brochures explaining what GrowNYC and the Greenmarket were about and what their purpose was. She was extremely nice and welcoming, I’m sure because it was our first time there. We were quickly given a little stand where we could set up my uncle’s produce.
A lot of people, from senators to nutritionists, came up to us to promote several things like healthy eating and portion controlling. It was a very interesting experience. I had never been to a place where people genuinely cared about what they were selling. All the markets I’ve been to in the past were just about making a profit but this market concentrated more about the benefits people receive from shopping there. Everyone’s main focus was on the health the market can offer. There were also a few street performers playing guitar and/or singing, which I found very amusing.
My uncle plans on going back at the end of August.