Thursday, July 15, 2010

Green Market Opens at Elmhurst Hospital

By Tamara Best

The aroma of fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers greeted customers as they made their way to the opening day of the Greenmarket outside Elmhurst Hospital Center.

“I think the market is wonderful. We should eat more healthy, I know I should,” said Eileen McMahon of Corona during a visit on Tuesday morning.

A program of Grow NYC, the market is located on 41st Avenue between 80th and 81st streets and is celebrating its 34th year. Many of the farmers present at the market drive from upstate New York and other neighboring states to sell their merchandise. Approximately 15 merchants were on hand selling fresh goods and said that they are excited for this season’s market.

“The corn is flying, which is surprising,” said Greg Lebak with Lebak Farms, who has participated for 21 years. “People know our corn so when they see it, they buy it— I’m excited.” Lebak said he first heard about the market from a friend and decided to give it a try. With good sales, he says he continues to return each year.

A worker with Sun Fed Beef, which is participating for its second year, said they are hopeful that this year will also be a success.
“People really like fresh food, vegetables,” he said. “But trying to get people to buy frozen beef on the way to work is a little more difficult.”

Olga Perez, who works for Elmhurst Hospital, said she heard about the market and decided to step outside to browse over the selection.

“I think it looks great, I’m looking for anything that’s good. Everything is fresh.”

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Rego Park) hailed the market as something that “benefits everyone” by creating a healthier eating options for the community while providing an income for farmers.

Greenmarket began in 1976 and now has over 50 locations across the city. The market will be held every Tuesday in Elmhurst through November 23. In an effort to accommodate all customers the market is accepting EBT/Food Stamps, WIC and Senior FMNP coupons.

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