By Naeisha Rose
Richmond Hill residents were welcomed to their first-ever farmer’s market last week.
The neighborhood will continue to get direct access to locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables until Nov. 17.
Every Saturday until mid-November, the Farmer’s Market to Richmond Hill, situated near Buddy Monument in Forest Park, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., thanks to a $20,000 sponsorship from City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).
“This is an overall win-win for the community. It will fill a crucial void in Richmond Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods, where residents previously had to travel great distances to buy fresh produce,” Ulrich said at the Sept. 8 opening. “This new market gives residents direct access to fresh fruit and vegetables from locally sourced farmers — right in their backyard.”
Collaborating with the initiative is GrowNYC, an environmental organization that has worked to make the city greener over the past 50 years, and will employ students from John Adams High School in Ozone Park.
“With the [Councilman’s] funding, GrowNYC is able to hire youth from John Adams High School to work for the season,” said Kori Petrovic, a community coordinator at GrowNYC.
Ulrich hopes that the experience will have a lifelong impact on the students.
“This will give the students the opportunity to learn valuable life skills and, to earn some money during the fall,” said Ulrich.
Community leader Simcha Waisman was excited about the addition of the farmer’s market to the neighborhood.
“I think it is one of the greatest things to happen to Richmond Hill in the last four years,” Waisman said.
Helen Day, the vice president of the Richmond Hill Historical Society, was also enthusiastic about the farmer’s market.
“We are so happy to have a source of fresh produce of fresh fruits and vegetables right here in Richmond Hill,” said Day. “The community has long been looking forward to this and asking for this for a long time.”
The Buddy Monument is located near the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South in Richmond Hill.
Ulrich’s office — located at 93-06 101st Ave. in Ozone Park — will be providing reusable bags with every Farmer’s Market purchase.
“The inaugural [event] was a major success and speaks to the demand in Richmond Hill,” said Ulrich.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose