Who's Against a Farmer's Market?

As regular readers of this page will know, I have been working the local political institutions to establish greenmarkets on the Upper East Side since October. I have even laid out a case for one particular location in Carl Schurz Park that would be very convenient for me. That's why I was excited to see that my local community board put a discussion of siting a greenmarket on the agenda for the Feb. 23rd Street fairs committee meeting.

I was glad to see the NY Times report on this today. But my joy turned to confusion when I kept reading about potential local opposition to greenmarkets. So who exactly is against a greenmarket???

From the NY Times article:

The neighborhood once had a market nearby, on Lexington Avenue, according to Tom Strumolo, Greenmarket's citywide director, but it closed because the sidewalk it occupied was too narrow. More recently, recalled David Liston, chairman of Community Board 8, his organization voted down a proposal in 2002 to put a market in Carl Schurz Park at the other end of 86th Street on East End Avenue, citing concerns about traffic, noise, congestion and sanitation.

They are probably referring to the greenmarket that briefly took up residence after 9/11 at my church, All Souls Unitarian, when they were prevented from getting into their former location downtown. Lexington Avenue does have a narrow sidewalk but that's a problem everywhere in the neighborhood since the streets were widened to accomodate the ever increasing volume of automobile traffic. The truth is that there is nowhere except on the margins of the district (Central Park, John Jay Park and Carl Schurz Park) that have the space to accomodate a greenmarket.

And the objections to traffic, noise and congestion are more general community complaints that people already have in relation to all the cars that people have on the East Side because of the lack of good mass transportation options (the nearest subway is 5 Avenues away from East End). Rather I believe that a greenmarket would create more desirable foot traffic instead of car traffic and cut down on the number of people that have to drive to get their groceries. Carl Schurz park can more than accomodate a green market at the corner of 86th and East End.

Therefore, in exercising my first Amendment rights, I have created a flyer that I will be distributing soon at the 86th Street subway station soon.

Front Cover:

Green Market for
86th & 5th Avenue

Community Board 8 Street Fairs Committee
February 13, 2006
07:30 PM
NY Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street,
(Bet. First-Second Ave), Conference Room #1

Back Page with supporting info and how to help.

Support A New Green Market at 86th Street & Fifth Avenue

Green markets bring fresh, locally grown food directly from the farmers without middlemen

Why Support Local Food?
1.    Locally grown food tastes better and is better for you because they use less preservatives.
2.    Local food preserves genetic diversity
and is usually Free of Genetic Modification.
3.    Local food supports local farm families and preserves open space.
4.    Less distance = Less Fossil Fuels = Less Dependence on Foreign Oil

Show your support for green markets
·    Attend the CB8 discussion on Feb. 23
·    Write an email to info@cb8m.com to Barbara Chocky, Chair of the Street Fair Committee.
·    Tell CB8 we need a green market at least every ten blocks.

It is printed on thick recycled paper the size of a hand.
Anyone interested in helping out with this effort, please contact me at glenn_mcan at yahoo.com.

Please email this to anyone who you know who lives on the UES.

I might think Gristede's, other supermarkets maybe the new Whole Foods and perhaps Carl Schurz's NIMBY's? Just to name a few.
Is there really any history of the grocery stores getting involved in a city plan to put in a greenmarket? I doubt it.

And Whole Foods would have some nerve, after installing themselves into the neighborhood where the most extensive greenmarket is. And some of the articles I've read shown that they're mutually beneficial for each other. People come to the greenmarket for the produce, and go to Whole Foods for the rest of the foofy ingredients they need for their recipes. (I am not mocking this, I do it all the time.)

Who are your suspects? I was merely speculating who may be against a greenmarket but I think experience tells me they may be unaware, it's mutually beneficial? Please post some recipes as well.
The resistence seems to simply come from people who would live right next to it who don't want something in their back yard. It's totally lame stupid NIMBY stuff.

Recipes of foofy veggie food always welcome.