The McGolrick Park Farmers Market is one of 15 locations around the greater New York City area operated by Down to Earth Markets, and this year it became the fourth year-round market in their fold.
Originally, the team at Down to Earth was working with the city and the Parks Department to keep their outdoor market running in the park, but when Pastor Amy Kienzle of the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, located just across the street from McGolrick Park, offered up her facility, it was eagerly accepted.
“With this move indoors, a neighborhood collaboration begins, and we’re really happy to work with the Church of the Messiah,” said Frankie Rowland, director of Marketing and Community Relations for Down to Earth Markets. “The community has embraced this market, and now with the church, we’re able to provide it all year. It’s a terrific opportunity.”
Kienzle, who began her tenure as pastor of the Church of the Messiah in August, said hosting the indoor market is an equally great opportunity to open her church up to the community.
“One of the things we value is connecting with people in a positive way,” Kienzle said. “The church has been here for over 100 years, and we want to reinvigorate our relationships with the community, especially in supporting all the great things already underway, like the farmer’s market.”
Assemblyman Joe Lentol, who had been working with Down to Earth to keep the McGolrick Park location running all year, was pleased with the turn of events that brought them safely indoors for the remainder of the winter.
“I’m glad the McGolrick Park Farmers Market was able to find a winter location,” Lentol said. “We were working with the Parks Department to keep them in the park, but the indoor facility became available through Pastor Amy Kienzle’s generous offer. As I am sure we would all agree, it is a bit more pleasurable to shop in above-freezing temperatures.”
Ellie Lassiter, who has been working with Down to Earth Markets since April of last year, said that during their indoor period the market is working with more than a dozen local culinary artisans who bring a wide variety of locally produced foods to the table.
“We’ve got around 15 vendors that will be with us throughout the winter,” Lassiter said. “Two produce vendors, a couple of meat vendors, specialty crackers, temph, yogurt, great seafood, dressing and kombucha, a bread vendors and pickles,”
Beyond providing locally-produced food, the market’s other mission includes collecting compost, facilitated by Build It Green every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and last week they began accepting recycled textiles for repurposing.
“It’s a great market. I would really recommend coming out to it,” Lassiter said. “The stores around here are good, but you’re not going to get fresh produce like you get here. The bread vender that we have here, he makes his bread every morning. All the produce is harvested two or three days before the market, and with all the meat, slaughtered that week. It tastes way better too.”