By Iryna Shkurhan | [email protected]
For the third year in a row, the Queens Borough Hall Farmstand will give local residents access to a variety of organic produce grown right in the borough.
“Nothing says summertime like fresh produce! The farmstand is always a welcome sight for our local community members and Borough Hall workers who have come to love the seasonal and delicious varieties of fruits, veggies and produce the Queens County Farm Museum offers,” said Borough President Donovan Richards in a press release.
Thursday, June 15 marked the first day that the farmstand was set up at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens. Weather permitting, it will be open every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. until November 2.
Dozens of fruits and vegetables, including turnips, loose spinach, potatoes, snap peas and apples were set up in the shade on the first day that the farm stand opened. All were grown directly at the 47-acre Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park, Queens just seven miles away. Honey, eggs and various breads were also available for purchase.
As one of the leading sources of locally grown food in New York City, Queens County Farm Museum grows over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers.
A second farmstand will be available at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Axel Building at 134-20 Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica. It will be open every Friday from June 16 to November 3 at the same times.
“Both of Queens County Farm Museum’s Community Farmstand locations were established to make farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, eggs, honey and other New York State agricultural products accessible to Queens residents, expanding the reach of New York State agriculture more deeply into NYC’s urban communities,” said Queens County Farm Museum Executive Director Jennifer Weprin in an email to the Queens Ledger.
All products can be purchased with several nutrition assistance programs, including Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Farmer’s Market Nutrition (FMNP) Checks, Health Bucks and Fresh Connect Checks. Credit cards, debit cards and cash are also accepted.
“We are thrilled to be back. Fruits and vegetables are delicious, especially when they are picked fresh and travel less than eight miles to Queens Borough Hall!” said Weprin in a press release. “We thank Borough President Donovan Richards for his leadership in growing healthy communities.”
During the program, cooking demos, tastings and free recipes will also be offered at the farmstand alongside various health and wellness resources for the community. There will also be a designated area where visitors can drop off food scraps for composting, an initiative that began last year.
“As New York City grew, it lost its farms and access to hyper-locally grown food,” said Weprin. “Through Queens County Farm Museum’s community farmstand partnerships, the Queens Farm team is reconnecting communities to farm-fresh food to help improve health outcomes for communities in need.”