Meet Your Greenmarket Farmers: Samascott Orchards at Stuyvesant Town

Lucas Samascott at his family farm’s booth (Photo by Maya Rader)

Lucas Samascott at his family farm’s booth (Photo by Maya Rader)

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.

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4 thoughts on “Meet Your Greenmarket Farmers: Samascott Orchards at Stuyvesant Town

  1. To get real good produce you need to leave the city. To get the next level of acceptable produce you can go to Union Square. To get barely acceptable produce you can go to Whole foods or even Associated. To get overpriced crap go to PCVST greenmarket!

    • Why do you say that, John Doe? I’ve only been to the STPCV green market a few times and the stuff I got was pretty good. It’s always a bit too much for me (quantity-wise), so I usually get the clamshell organic greens from Associated, which is a bit pricey, but I want to eat healthy as much as I possibly can.

  2. I think it’s wonderful that the Farmers Market has survived in Stuyvesant Town, despite the relentless negative attitude of the Tenants Association, which fought bitterly to eradicate it and force it to move to a narrow, cobbled “periphery” of the campus.

    The Tenants Association even bamboozled our many elected officials into hectoring City Hall officials to investigate these non-profit family farmers. Shame!!

    Let’s keep an open mind about new things, TA, and not be automatically opposed to great amenities like the Farmers Market. The immediate naysaying approach might have been suitable in the 1950s, but today we live in a diverse, pluralistic society.

    Some people like the clamshell organic greens from The Associated, and that’s great too! I personally don’t even know what clamshell organic greens are.

    But: I am willing to keep an open mind and learn!!

    John Doe says the vegetables are fresher and better in Union Square. Well, I have some news for “John Doe #1”: Those are the same vegetables. Literally the same vegetables.

    The fresh fruits and vegetables of Samascott are welcome here every Sunday. And — why not Mondays and Wednesdays??

    David Gravelle

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