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 local farmers: ST Greenmarket’s Liberty Farms

Joseph Koovalloor, pictured with another farmer, of Liberty Farms in Stuyvesant Town Photo by Maya Rader)

Joseph Koovalloor, pictured with another farmer, of Liberty Farms in Stuyvesant Town Photo by Maya Rader)

By Maya Rader

It may seem crazy that a chef at a Japanese restaurant in New York City became a farmer in upstate New York. However, this is exactly what happened to Joseph Koovalloor, who is now a farmer’s apprentice at Liberty Farms.

When Koovalloor was working as a chef, he became interested in how the food he worked with traveled from farm to table. He said that he “wasn’t really too sold on the idea” of the long and unknown path his ingredients took before they reached him. He moved to Japan to visit friends he made at the Japanese restaurant, and began volunteering at a Japanese farm. After he experienced farming, he was sold.

He then found his way to Liberty Farms, located in Ghent, NY, two and a half hours north of Manhattan, and became a farmer’s apprentice there last February.

Liberty Farms sells chicken and a wide variety of vegetables on Sundays at the Stuyvesant Town Greenmarket. The farm began selling at the greenmarket at the end of last season and continues to sell at the market this year.

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