Queens County Farm Museum announced Tuesday it will be opening two off-site farm stands by Queens Borough Hall and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. These new farm stands will help make farm fresh food more accessible to Queens residents.
Both farm stands, made in partnership with Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center respectively, will be open for a 21-week span, weather permitting. Two hundred different varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers that are grown at Queens Farm will be available at the locations.
Regenerative farming methods are implemented and the new locations will help shorten the distance from farm to fork while also expanding access to their food. The stands will have a schedule of live cooking demonstrations and tastings along with free recipes, food storage instructions and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPlate tips sheets to encourage healthy eating.
Multiple forms of nutrition assistance benefits, including WIC, FMNP Checks, Health Bucks and Fresh Connect Checks will be accepted at the stands. The stands will also serve as food scrap drop-off locations to encourage community composting.
The Queens Borough Hall farm stand will be open every Thursday from June 16 to Nov. 3 at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens. Its operating hours will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The partnership with QBP Richards also supports his work on Operation Urban Sustainability, in which he works to make Queens greener, healthier and more sustainable for all those who live, work, play and stay in Queens.
“I couldn’t be more excited to partner with the incredible team at the Queens County Farm Museum to bring back the Queens Borough Hall farm stand for a second straight year,” Richards said. “The farm stand was a hit with the community and even members of my staff in 2021 with its wide array of locally grown produce, and I look forward to helping connect Central Queens residents and Borough Hall guests with fresh food all summer long. Thank you to the Queens County Farm Museum for its unending dedication to the health and wellness of our families across the ‘World’s Borough.’”
The Jamaica Hospital Medical Center farm stand will be open every Friday in front of Jamaica Hospital’s WIC Clinic at 134-20 Jamaica Ave. from June 17 to Nov. 4. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location of this stand is noteworthy because, according to a 2018 report by Public Health Solutions, Jamaica is a noted “food swamp.” This means that fast food and junk food outlets outnumber healthy alternatives in the area. The hope is that this new stand will help provide more health and wellness to the community.
According to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center Director of Planning Anne Corrigan, this year will mark the fourth consecutive season in which they will be partnering with the Queens County Farm Museum to bring fresh produce to their campus.
In addition to the off-site stands, the Queens County Farm Museum has one of its own on site. That farm stand is open until Nov. 6 Wednesdays to Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As it celebrates its 325th year of continuous farming, the Queens County Farm Museum has been cited by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets as one of the longest continually farmed sites in the state. It will also be undergoing its largest agricultural expansion in more than 50 years.
The farm’s 2022 agricultural crop plan includes 45 new varieties of produce. Some of these include Apollo broccolini, Ping Tung eggplant, Xaldabora mini lettuce heads, Mahon yams and Honeynut winter squash. In 2021, the farm harvested 21,000 pounds of food and produced 3,500 dozen eggs, 750 pounds of honey, 225 packages of herbal tea and 100 skeins of yarn.
In addition to being the only tract of farmland, Queens Farm is the only farm that houses a full range of livestock in New York City, along with the largest single apiary there.