By Maya Rader
On the day of the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket, Lucas Samascott wakes up at “only 4 o’clock,” as he said. On other days, he wakes up at 3 a.m. Samascott works for Samascott Orchards, a farm started by his grandfather in Fulton County, New York.
Samascott Orchards sells many kinds of produce, but mainly apples, growing over 100 different varieties.
Samascott’s job on the farm is centered around selling at farmer’s markets. When he isn’t running a stand, he’s loading trucks and gathering food to bring to the markets. Samascott Orchards has stands at Union Square, Columbia University, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Inwood Hill and 82nd Street markets. The farm has also been at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket ever since it first opened.
Samascott Orchards is not certified organic, but according to Samascott, though the farm uses pesticides, organic isn’t always better. He noted that some of the big organic companies whose products are found in the supermarket use what are known as organic pesticides.
“Those organic sprays are sometimes worse for the soil than the sprays we’re using,” Samascott said. For example, organic companies are allowed by the FDA to use copper pesticide to kill fungus. “Large farms that are organic aren’t necessarily better for anybody,” he added.
Even so, Samascott Orchards has added a new organic apple orchard, which will be ready for harvest in a couple of years.
Samascott was destined to be a farmer ever since he was a child.
“I grew up giving samples of corn (starting) when I was old enough to talk,” he said. He added, “This job taught me everything I know… most of all it taught me what fresh means.”
Samascott said he can tell if something is fresh just by the look of it. He explained that for something to be fresh it must have been picked within the past week.
“Fresher is always better,” Samascott said.
Samascott’s favorite part of his job is going to markets and being around all of the food. He said he once made a sandwich at a market by going from stand to stand, adding bread, turkey, cheese and veggies.
“It’s one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had,” he said.