Friday, September 23, 2011

Community Calls New Crown Heights Market A Success 

At the corner of Albany Street and Lefferts Avenue, Hasidic Jews and
blacks shop for fresh produce at the Crown Heights Farmers Market, which opened just last week.
"This is only the second week, which shows you the demand," said Nancy Katz, founder of Seeds in the Middle.

is a former reporter for the Daily News and founded the grassroots
group Seeds in the Middle, which organized this market. Katz says it was
during her days covering Crown Heights that she bonded with the

This summer, as the neighborhood marked 20 years since the riots that broke out between blacks and Hasidic Jews, she felt
inspired to keep building a unifying bridge.
"With the 20th
anniversary, it just seemed very poignant to try to do something that
had some element of building community and peace between the two people, because they are really kind, inspiring people," said Katz.

market brings fresh fruits and vegetables into the neighborhood weekly. Natasha Smith manages the market and also lives in the community.
"It's an opportunity for all the people in our community to come together.
Despite whatever our differences are, we all have an interest and goal
in mind to take care of our families with good, nutritional food," said

This is one of 19 green markets to open this year under one of Governor Andrew Cuomo's new initiatives.

"The Fresh Connect's Farmers Market is dedicated to having agencies work
together to lessen the bureaucratic hurdles that communities face when
they want to bring a farmers market to the neighborhood," said Linda
LaViolette, director of the New York Farmers Market Program.

Katz says this market will run until November 10. Residents in the area say they're pleased with the new offerings.

"Everything delicious. I love organic," said one resident.

"This is more convenient, so I love it," said another.

"This is awesome. Especially for Rosh Hashanah, we're accustomed to eat fruit, so they have fresh figs and stuff," said a third.
The Crown Heights Farmers Market is open every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. until sundown.


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