Going ‘green’ has never been easier in Queens.
For the fourth year in a row, the Science Farmers Market will kick off at the New York Hall of Science on Sunday, June 20. The market is free and will operate every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until November 14.
Local farmers will bring fresh seasonal produce such as summer squash, zucchini, peppers, melons, herbs, greens, cucumbers, apples, pears and broccoli from farms located in Riverhead and Carlisle, New York.
In the fall, market visitors will have the opportunity to diversify their diets with delicious winter squash, chards, carrots, gourds and pumpkins. The Science Farmers Market is developed and managed by Community Markets, an organization devoted to sustainable agriculture since 1991.
In addition to healthy fruits and vegetables, the Science Farmers Market will feature five live science demonstrations conducted by Hall of Science Explainers. Curious visitors can learn the differences in the classifications of fruits and vegetables, or find out how to make sustainable compost at home. The Explainers are college students who are trained to perform these demonstrations and engage the visitors. Each demonstration is about 15 to 20 minutes long.
"In just three years, the Science Farmers Market has grown into one of the hall’s most popular community-based initiatives” said vice president of external relations Dan Wempa. “Offering our neighbors an opportunity to buy fresh, locally-grown foods, while also providing programs and demonstrations that teach about nutrition helps deepen the New York Hall of Science’s connection with our community and advances our mission to explain how science can improve our lives.”
Buying local produce is healthy for both the community and the individual. The current food system requires produce to be transported over long periods of time, which consumes gallons of fuel and pollutes the air with CO2 emissions. The food is also wrapped in plastic or paper packaging that is usually impossible to recycle. When produce is grown and bought locally, it is fresher and more nutritious.
In an effort to make locally grown produce more accessible to Queens food stamp recipients, Community Markets has collaborated with Urban Health Plan in Corona to announce that the Science Farmers Market will accept state-issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, the electronic delivery method for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
Eligible items include fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, baked goods, jams, jellies, and honey. SNAP participants may also purchase vegetable plants and potted herbs.