Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket opens for the season

Shopper at Samascott’s booth (Photos by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader
The greenmarket returned to Stuy Town for the summer season on Sunday, May 21. To celebrate its opening, there were farm-related children’s activities such as seed germination and creating tissue-paper flowers. A mime roamed the area, entertaining produce shoppers, and a band called Astrograss played live bluegrass.
Katherine McWeeley, a seller at a stand for Liberty Farms, remarked that customers seemed pretty excited about the greenmarket’s return. Jessica Balnaves, Grow NYC regional coordinator for Lower Manhattan, commented, “Everybody that’s shown up is so excited that we’re back, and we got lucky that it’s a beautiful day.”

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.

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Meet Your Local Farmers: Valley Shepherd Creamery

Daego Albero at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket (Photo by Maya Rader)

Daego Albero at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Daego Albero has been working for the past three months at Valley Shepherd Creamery, a 120-acre sheep farm and cheese making facility in Morris County, New Jersey. The creamery makes sausages and dairy products including cheese, butter and yogurt.

On an average day, Albero pumps milk, boils it, presses it and molds it. He also cleans dishes. “Everything has to be clean, always,” explained Albero.
One of Albero’s favorite parts of his job is working in the aging caves.

“We age the cheese in a cave because the conditions are not the same (as elsewhere),” said Albero.

Cheesemakers have been using caves for centuries because of the high humidity and cool temperature. Albero likes working in the caves because it is cooler. In other areas of the facility, Albero explained he’s “working in a cheese room that is maybe 100 degrees and really high humidity.” The heat is his least favorite part of the job.

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Meet Your Local Farmers: Acevedo Farm at ST Greenmarket

Alexis Acevedo mans the booth for the Goshen-based farm. (Photo by Maya Rader)

Alexis Acevedo mans the booth for the Goshen-based farm. (Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

Acevedo Farm is the definition of a family farm. The entire operation is run by 16-year-old Alexis Acevedo, his brother, his sister, and their parents in Goshen, NY. Although the ten-acre produce farm is not organic, it doesn’t use pesticides (except on their corn). They opted not to become certified organic, like many other farmers at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket, because of the complex and bureaucratic process to get certification. “It takes up to ten years,” said Acevedo. Acevedo Farm sells many types of produce including peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and chard.

Before Acevedo was a farmer in Goshen, he lived in the nearby city of Middletown. When he was ten years old, he moved to Goshen, where his family started the farm.

Acevedo said one of his favorite parts of working on the farm is driving a tractor, which he has done since he was eleven.

“That’s the most fun thing to do on the farm,” said Acevedo.

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