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This is one in a series of short essays related to Myers’ work as a Forager for a chef in New York City.  Each essay is focused simply on sharing something she has learned through her work, and is followed by photos taken while on the job.

The farmers market at Union Square comes to life four days a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  Everyone who knows that and hears about my job wonders within five minutes – Where do you go the other three days of the week?  And while there are more than fifty farmers markets in the five boroughs, I visit only a few others, only on occasion.  My regular market routine revolves around Union Square.  The reasons for this are many, and include habits and logistics on both sides of the equation.  We, at the restaurant, have a relationship with the farmers at Union Square, we are accustomed to the market’s schedule, it’s the most convenient of the greenmarkets, and it has the most products and variety of all the Greenmarkets in Manhattan.  That said, we might meet new farmers, adjust to the scheduling, and broaden our definition of convenience, if the benefits would justify the effort.  For now, they don’t.

For over twenty-five years, Greenmarket has built up a network of retail farmers markets for city consumers.  These markets – with their distinct regulations, cooking demonstrations, and vibrant atmospheres – are by far the primary source for local food for individuals and families in New York City.  As more and more restaurants have begun to focus their menus on local, seasonal products, farmers and chefs alike have come up with new systems and venues for collaboration.  Farmers like Guy Jones at Blooming Hill Farm take orders from and deliver directly to chefs in the city; delivery companies like Upstate Farms and Basis Farm to Chef bring in products from several farms without losing track of each product’s origin; local purveyors, including Saxelby Cheesemongers and Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, offer wholesale quantities of regional meats and cheeses to chefs throughout the city.  But many chefs focused on regional food still go to a Greenmarket and pick out fresh, local products themselves.  This allows them to speak with the farmer, to see what they’re getting before they get it, to learn about the variety each farmer is offering, and to buy products that have truly been harvested, produced, or processed  not more than a day or two in advance.

As a representative of a restaurant, shopping at the Greenmarket in Union Square, it’s important for me to know which farmers will be at the market each morning, what products they’ll have available, what their wholesale price or discount is for restaurants, and what they have coming into season.  Several farmers allow chefs (or foragers) to call in their orders a day or two before, so we exchange phone numbers, discuss what we’ll be looking for, talk about what will be available one week to the next, and coordinate harvesting, packaging, and pick-ups accordingly.  There’s a sort of a system, but one that’s frustratingly inefficient, if endearingly homemade.  The new website What is Fresh is a great (independent) guide to the greenmarkets, and helps me stay informally conscious of who has what where, but otherwise I have very little way of keeping track of the farmers at more than one market.

The improvement I imagine does not cut out personal relationships and conversations, nor the ability to pick out produce as you buy it, nor the education and collaboration that comes of marketplace interactions.  The system I seek requires a bigger regional market – still a public, physical place where buyers and sellers gather and exchange, but one that is established to accommodate wholesale quantities of food and to offer much more information to buyers and sellers alike about what to bring, expect, and request.  It is a market of a different scale, open every day, during the day, in a reasonably central location.  It isn’t the Hunts Point Market.  It isn’t a place where messy commerce is hidden, conducted at night, made ruthlessly efficient and large-scale.  It would be a place where farmers could be in touch with consumers without having to be present at the marketplace all the time; where they could sell a lot more than they would ever bring to a Greenmarket; where they could come if they wanted to meet people with whom to collaborate, as well as compete; a place where they could talk about the things they need, and find some of them.  The labor, schedule, and delivery systems necessary for such a market will require complex, new infrastructure and management, but it is high time we took this step to strengthen our local food system. 

The last New Amsterdam Market of the season is on December 20th.  I will be there.  And if it ever does one day grow into the market I describe, the market I imagine, I will be there every day.

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Taking Up Toolbelts

This article is cross-posted on Civil Eats, a site that explores the connections between the food system and the environment, the politics of consumer choices, and the actions we can take to change the way we think about food everyday.

There are few moments more powerful and thrilling for a young person than those in which we learn a skill that we want to and will use for the rest of our lives.  Or those first days when we truly realistically consider our futures – just our next five years, if not more – and realize (or think very much) that we know what it is that will make us happy.  Or that last second we have before feeling we are in that future, that brief moment of conviction that we have never in our lives been less prepared nor more determined.

The Young Farmers Conference last weekend, at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, ran the participants on a marathon of such moments.  There were the inspiring speeches and the valuable networking one expects at a conference, and the beautiful meals one expects at Stone Barns, but mainly it was a time to take notes, to ask questions, to observe, and to listen.  Not only were we inspired, we were productive.

We learned how to begin doing many things: raising chickens, breeding swine, growing vegetables in a greenhouse.  We were told how to find land, how to write a business plan for a farm, how to dress up our products so they sell well at market.  Many of us who came to this conference were not farmers.  And most of us have so much to learn about farming that we might have seemed comical to the more experienced.   But the presenters – the farmers, growers, breeders, foresters – brought their skills down to our level, to square one, and shared an immense amount of knowledge in hardly eight hours of workshops.

2796812832_8bc2f155fbFour-Season Growing.  Jack taught us how to calculate the finances of a greenhouse, to know the value of each square foot of soil.  He described the family rotations – six families, each including several varieties of plants – and the number of days it takes for arugula to grow in summer versus winter.  He taught us how he uses the row covers, from what material, at what time of day.  He told us what the temperature should be for certain levels of productivity, what sort of heaters he uses, and how their release of CO2 at dawn catalyzes photosynthesis in that brief, coldest, last moment of the night.  He told us exactly how much money he’d spent on propane, using box heaters vs. air heaters.  He told us how long to wait for the first cut of greens, the babies, and for the second cut, a profitable premium product.  He told us of the compost system and the prop house, the soil and the seeds.  He told us how surely one keeps loyal customers with a 365-day growing season.

147693691_cbxzr-sBeginning Poultry.  Craig told us what to look for in a hatchery, what to expect in the box when the chicks arrive at the post office, not to go grocery shopping and forget that our box of chicks is in the back of our car.  He taught us how to set up the brooding pen, how the chicks slip on newspaper, how to build the space to keep out rats and raccoons.  He told us what to consider when buying meat chickens (taste, consumer demand, growth-time, cost of production), and showed us the advantages of certain pens, fences, and pastures.  He was clear about why he would choose one bird or feed or pen or another, often simply explaining his personal preference.  “I use the term Animal Husbandry intentionally,” he said, “because this IS a marriage, of sorts.  You really have to like your animals – how they look, and act, and treat you.  You have to get to know them, and like living with them.”

2644169534_b7e4b09c4c Slaughterhouse Initiative.  Judy explained her position at the head of Glynwood Center, a conference center and working farm that has identified a problem in the lack of slaughterhouses in and around Putnam County.  She presented the mobile slaughterhouse project, and spoke of the bureaucracy such a project faces, the services it would provide, and the demonstrable demand for these services she has found among her community.  The conversation jockeyed from urban farmer to historian to farmer-educator to friend-of-a-butcher; from accusations of bureaucratic pandering to business plan proposals, from reminders of top-hat butchers in early American markets to a polemic on the seismic shift in mentality that must take place before slaughterhouses and butcher shops are ever expected to produce anything of high quality.  We learned that we have a lot to learn about meat.

My general expectations for the conference were that it would confirm my dislike of the wealthy nature of Stone Barns, that I would meet few true farmers and more farmer wannabes (like myself), and that it would be like most conferences, where energy is high, productivity is low, and the conversations between workshops are the most valuable part of the experience.  Those conversations were valuable, but so were the workshops, and so was the energy, and so was the adjustment of my view of Stone Barns.  However the farm-restaurant handles it’s finances, the people who run the farm are full of a knowledge that young people need, and at least for two days, were wonderfully willing and able to teach it.

I remember first meeting The Greenhorns’ Severine, in Berkeley this Spring, when she (was figuring out how I might be useful to her, and) rather bluntly asked what I knew how to do.  I sheepishly said I could write decently, and I could organize people and run meetings.  She interrupted me within seconds: You have to treat your life like a toolbelt!  Start filling it up with tools!  You have to learn how to do things!  Two days at a conference might not count for much, but for many of us, it was a time to first touch the tools we wish to acquire, and a joyous early step towards making our lives full.

Download the full list of conference workshops and presenters.

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364 vs. 162.  Victory.                                                               1000 of 6000.  Youth. 

As of the results of Tuesday night, the spectacle and excitement of Terra Madre is no longer quite so awe-inspiring as it was at the time.  The election of Barack Obama struck me, and many of my friends, suddenly full of adrenaline, primarily with the knowledge that so much more than the majority of our nation is ready to opt for courage rather than fear.  Whether or not Obama will bring the future we seek, and the changes for which we hope, is hard to predict.  The true reason for celebration in him can only be in the racial barrier he has broken.  Our exuberance, to quote his latest speech, is not about him.  Considering the economy, the environment, our health, and our war, we can only anxiously trust him to act well.  Our excitement, the true source of our excitement, is the change that has taken place in us as a people.  We have proven ourselves ready to change course, and we have collectively made the first empowering political decision of my lifetime, with the choice of a young, black leader.

pict7827The results of the five-day gathering in Turin, Italy known as Terra Madre, are about as unpredictable and impossible to define as the future meaning of Obama’s election.  Like Tuesday’s TV screens, the event empowered participants with the knowledge of numbers.  The knowledge that this many people believe in something.  In this case: this many people consider themselves part of agricultural and food communities, and consider this identity important enough in their society to merit the dedication of their life’s work.  More specifically, in this first year that young people were invited to participate in Turin, we youth had an exhilarating chance to see the extent to which our group has grown, and to feel the height of the energy in the coalitions we have built. 

Terra Madre gathered 1650 food communities from 153 countries around the world.  Over 6000 delegates included 1000 cooks, 400 university representatives, 1000 youth under 30-years-old, and 250 musicians.  We came together in the name of Slow Food, for the sake of our work “towards a new food economy based on fairness and well-being.”

It was sort of like an enormous, celebratory vacation.  While workshops and informal discussions filled auditorium-size spaces and cubby-hole conference rooms throughout the building, one could not very well rush from one thing to another.  This was not an event for rushing.   It was a time to be jostled in crowds murmuring with the swelling satisfaction in their stomachs, to listen to snippets of hundreds of languages, to phrases of attempted Italian.  It was a time to speak to whomever you found at your side – the Thai farmer who had never been to Europe, with whom I found only the common language of hand gestures; the Californian couple who cultivated ¾ of an acre and that gave them reason to be in Italy; the young Scottish woman, a chef, who grumbled at the quality of the food in our hotel; the Irish boys whom I heard at night and never saw in the morning; the students studying gastronomic sciences in Bra and Colorno, still glowing with the newfound pleasures of Italian life.  We ate the meats and cheeses of the Salone, learned of and tasted the dozens of unique products presented by the Presidia, and listened to speeches by the names we know: Carlo Petrini, Vandana Shiva, Alice Waters, Will Allen, and now Josh Viertel.

pict7873While the repeated references to Obama and a general hope for his election may have struck some as inappropriate to a global gathering, many delegates expressed remarkable, positive surprise at the strength of the US presence in Turin.  Many of the young people, particularly those from Italy and the UK, voiced their fascination with, and admiration for (even jealousy of), the spirit and dedication of the youth delegates from the United States.  We were 600 in number.  And I would agree, that over the past five or ten years, we have learned well how to organize each other, how to run a discussion so that it’s productive, how to share the information we need most, how to identify where and how we can change policies and actions in our homes, our universities, our communities, our states, and our nation.  Many of us act upon the idea that our life, rather than a resume, is a tool belt, to be filled year after year with the skills, the experience, of our hands.  We consider carefully when to organize, and when to act.  We made an impression, in any case.  We are no longer a scraggly bunch of individuals acting each on our own, and I think we gave dozens of other young people hope in the community they seek to strengthen back home.

Terra Madre inspired us with its magnitude and its optimism.  Yet few of the speeches and workshops truly approached the grit of the future.  President of Slow Food USA Josh Viertel pronounced that the Slow Food movement is and will focus upon being: a movement for Social Justice.   Executive Director Erika Lesser said loud and clear, that Slow Food USA would get political.  All I can say is, it’s about time.  Terra Madre was a party, and well deserved by many of those who came.  But now we, particularly in the United States, have work to do: we have to become farmers, first and foremost.  We have policy to create, and we have a food system to rebuild.  Obama won’t do it.  We will.

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This post is one of a series of essays written for the New Amsterdam Market. Each essay stems from a conversation between the author and a vendor who participated in the New Amsterdam Market of June 29th. The essays seek to address each vendor’s (food-related) enterprise, to highlight the reality behind their commitment to sustainability, and to convey the voice and personality that they bring to their work.

 

The Queens County Farm Museum lies a few miles South of Little Neck Bay, occupying forty-seven acres in the Northeastern section of Queens, New York.  It is the largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland in New York City.  The farm dates back to 1697, when the Adriance family began farming on the parcel they would own throughout five generations, for over a hundred years.  New York State bought the land in 1926, to grow fruits and vegetables for the rehabilitation of patients at the Creedmoor State Hospital.  In 1975, New York State Senator Frank Padavan wrote the legislation that transferred ownership from the state to the New York City Department of Parks and protected the site from future development.  Today, the Queens County Farm Museum is still owned by the Department of Parks, and is operated by the Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society of Bellerose, which seeks to preserve the historical buildings and stories of the land from the 1930s.  As a New York City Landmark, the Farm Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places, and provides many educational programs, public events, and services.  More than 500,000 people visit the site each year.

At thirty-three years of age, Michael Robertson is the first farmer to cultivate the land of the Farm Museum in over fifty years.  Originally from a suburb of Kansas City, MO, he studied philosophy in Boston, and spent time on a farm in Guatemala before returning to the States to begin farming in Texas.  Most recently, he worked as an apprentice at Hawthorne Valley, a 400-acre biodynamic farm in upstate New York.  Just last year, realizing he wanted to farm and live in New York City (if at all possible), Michael rather fortunately happened upon the website of the Queens County Farm Museum.  He called to ask if the Museum might be interested in hiring a farmer and converting the property back into a working farm.  The answer was yes.

Of the forty-seven acres of the Queens County Farm Museum, about seven are occupied by visitor attractions: historic buildings, the Amazing Maize Maze, and a pumpkin patch planted for Pick-Your-Own-Pumpkin weekends in October.  Another twenty-five acres are brush and woods, overgrown with decades of unfettered, invasive plants.  Michael is currently cultivating one of the remaining fifteen acres – with the help of compost from the city – and plans to expand this space in the near future.  While approaching the farm with a knowledge and understanding of the biodynamic methods of Hawthorne Valley, and of the sustainable practices of Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Michael must take baby steps towards the reestablishment of a real working farm on the Queens property.

The Farm Museum has existed primarily as a historic landmark for the past thirty years.  The Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society has kept sheep and goats at the farm for the purpose of seasonal events and festival entertainment.  While the individuals running the museum are receptive to the idea of converting the land into a working farm, many of them have little or no experience in productive agriculture.  “In my work here, I have to be flexible to accommodate the needs of education and entertainment,” Michael explained.  There will certainly be a period of adjustment as current priorities (three or four busloads of visiting children per day, a non-organic corn maize, animals for petting, and historic preservation) coordinate with the needs and requirements of sustainable agricultural production.

If all goes well, Michael will sell his produce at the Union Square Greenmarket throughout the coming fall and winter.  While the Farm Museum depends largely upon grants and education programs, Michael hopes the farm will one day be not only environmentally but financially sustainable.  Over the next few years, he will assess the potential for cultivation on the acres currently overgrown with woodland and brush.  He hopes to farm about eight to ten acres, to raise animals for fiber on the cleared pasture, and eventually to start up a micro-dairy.  He has little doubt about the healthy local market for fresh produce.  Michael already delivers fresh vegetables to a few restaurants in his neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and eventually he would like to organize Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership for the farm, while continuing to sell at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. 

Michael estimates he might eventually supply a CSA of two hundred members, though increasing production to this level will of course require hands and arms besides his own.  He imagines creating a sort of miniature CRAFT program for Long Island.  CRAFT, or the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training, is a cooperative effort of organic and biodynamic farms in the Hudson Valley, the Berkshires, and Pioneer Valley, organized to enhance educational opportunities for farm apprentices.  While the creation of a similar program, to connect the farmers in Long Island, is a long way off, Michael will certainly be using what community support and knowledge he can gather, as he is the only farm in the city larger than an acre or two.

Not that farming in New York City is lonely.  “Most people decide where to live based upon proximity to family and friends – based upon community,” he said.  “My community is here.  I didn’t feel I should have to isolate myself, to be a farmer.”  While he has a lot of work ahead of him, the Queens County Farm Museum does allow a farmer the best of both worlds.  Michael, as he’d hoped, is able to cultivate true farmland and still live within his own urban community.

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The season has changed, and the Seaport story has progressed.  Last December, as the cheese-grilling minion of the Saxelby table, I became one with the New Amsterdam Market.  My unsuspecting frozen fingers flew round the knives and boards and cheese and pickles with a contagious rhythm, a pulse of energy I’d caught from the stands, the purveyors, the foods, and the crowd.  We, together, were a Market, with a life of our own.

 

Yesterday, we the Market, hoping for the embrace of a City, took a leap, within the wonderful, invigorating process of courting New York.  The rhythm pulsed as before, and again, coaxed the City to dance.  The bell rang, and we knew it was time. 

 

We demonstrated our love!

The bakers borrowed knives and cutting boards to fill their baskets of samples in time; the cheesemongers welcomed assistance as gurus and gluttons piled round their tables; the farmers rattled off the retellings of their stories, explaining once again the locations of their farms, by the Finger Lakes, or the Appalachians, or the ocean to the East.  The popsicle makers dished out frozen cups of rhubarb, and strawberries, giggling in their green-striped shirts; and the caterers gracefully demonstrated their enviable experience with crowds.  Your strolling bellies began to bustle and jostle for tastes, and to fill with sliced loaves as they rounded the bakers dozen: a peasant bread of hearty grains and sea salt played neighbor to a soft dough filled with pistachios and rhubarb, offered next over from a country round encased in thick crust, embedded with olives.  Watering mouths quickly emptied little cups and bowls,vessels of frittata slices with greens, mussels and broth, white beans with chunks of chorizo.  The youthful smiles over the Bent Spoon coolers passed down the joys of ice creams, of sweet basil and goat cheese, blueberry maple syrup, strawberry crème fraiche, and sweet, cinnamon-ripe ricotta.  Homemade sodas and strong, iced coffee relieved the humid, sticky limbs that piled into the square, filing past the skyscrapers on foot or wheel, rushing ‘cross the river by boat or bridge.  Hunger surrendered, to Jimmy’s $3 toasts with guinea hen, radishes, and walnuts; to flats of foccaccia from Hot Bread Kitchen; to lavender cookies, and quiches, and honey straight from Queens.  Dry ice melted as St. Brigid’s women sold veal chops, John passed out sausages, and Anita butchered her Bo Bo chickens before the City’s eyes.  Frank served razor clam ceviche, elegantly scooped with a razor clam from a copper bowl larger than my fridge at home, and Tom offered up his Ronnybrook butters and yogurts to the masses of grateful, devoted devourers.  Nova and Les emptied their baskets of gathered, glorious goods, and Darren Pettigrew sold perfect, pearly oysters.  Barbara Mensch signed her books of photographs, her captured moments of the fabled Fish Market before it left our hoped-for buildings vacant.

 

The rhythm of the Market only quickened with the pounding of the rain on the highway ‘bove our heads.  The energy within us, the Market, proved how very much we need, beyond Greenhorns stickers and pretty pamphlets, an authentic, permanent place to share, and nurture, our healthy, pulsing passion.  It is our rhythm – one of health, community, and hard-working pride – that will strengthen the heartbeat of the New York public.  We need the City.  We are devoted to your land, your river, your bridges and highways, and to the jolts of our bicycles in the gaps between your Seaport cobblestones.  We need you more than once a season.  We need a permanent home, where you might learn, and dance to, our evolving, perpetual rhythm.

 

New York, we are yours.  Ask to have the Market back!  And we will come to stay forever.   

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The ongoing effort to establish a public, indoor, year-round market in Manhattan is alive and well, and this Sunday will gather a merry medley of regional food producers, purveyors, distributors, and supporters.  Butchers and cheesemongers, bakers and foragers, chefs and farmers, picklers and ice cream makers will come together to celebrate the abundance of our region, the bounty of early summer.  Arriving from a region extending from Quebec to the Fingerlakes to Southern Virginia, they will offer meats and cheeses, honey and fresh produce, preserves, foraged mushrooms, and their finest attempt at “the perfect loaf.”  Organizations working to support sustainable agriculture will be represented and joined by photographers, filmmakers, and the most eager young advocates of our nation’s rising agricultural movement. 

 

The Market will take place

Sunday, June 29th from 11am to 4pm at the New Market Square.

Everyone: Come!  The more the merrier!

 

Check out some recent press about the Market, and the Seaport:

Slow Food USA: New Amsterdam Market Returns

Daily Candy: What to Do This Weekend

NYTimes: New Look Planned For Pier at South Street Seaport

Letter: The South Street Seaport’s Heritage

Showdown on South Street

Trying to Find the Right Balance for the Seaport

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After only two of my five recent months in Berkeley, I had come to notice and enjoy the youthful history of the place, a past of energy and resistance that confronted me at every corner.  As I wrote in February, the history of Berkeley seemed to factor into every event I attended, every classroom I entered, every street I walked upon.   So many of the people I met in California had an extensive knowledge of, or even experience from, the local past that lent them a stabilizing sense of place, a curious pride in where they lived.  They spoke of it in conversation, painted it in murals, and counseled it in their daily lives.

 

I wondered at the way my life in New York had never seemed to include such a community-based, personal appreciation of the city’s history.  New York’s past had only spoken to me in what I’d considered the rather monotone voice of Ken Burns’ documentaries, or through the words of historical novels like Kevin Baker’s Paradise Alley.  The books and the movies spoke of an invisible time, of buildings I could no longer see, and landmark city squares long since torn up and redeveloped.  The Onion Tours of Manhattan neighborhoods seemed to primarily highlight historically prominent buildings or businesses commemorated merely by a plaque, if they were visibly remembered in any way at all.  As New Yorkers, I thought, perhaps we are proud enough of our city without needing the past to lend substance to our pride.  We need no historic “sense of place” here to feel the history-forging energy pulsing in our people.

 

Back in New York, just a few weeks into working for the New Amsterdam Public Market Association, I have begun to realize what we are missing here, what it would be like were our history even just to echo from the remaining cobblestones, to sound from the horns of the boats on the river, and to ring round a commerce revived in the now vacant market halls of the Seaport.  Such an historical presence might still be brought to life in New York, and would not only lend a (perhaps superfluous) sense of place and pride, but would potentially do something much more powerful, and perhaps necessary: it would inform the change and action we require, in our age of global warming and agricultural crisis. 

 

As New Amsterdam Market’s Robert Lavalva can explain in much more passionate depth and detail than I have yet absorbed, the Seaport is a unique neighborhood in part because it was saved from development by the City in the late 1960’s.  Barbara Mensch captured in photographs the local livelihoods that were soon to disappear, but there was more to the area than her “old timers.”  The Seaport was considered a neighborhood of an historically small scale, commercial prominence, and cultural legacy that merited preservation, where New Yorkers might learn of the City’s past, and experience something of what it was like, without any need for tacky recreation or reenactments.   The landmark district was extraordinarily preserved from destruction and redevelopment, yet rather than foster relevant, historic businesses, museums, markets, and open spaces, the area digressed from this purpose, and surrendered itself to commercial enterprises and fast-food chains.  Today there remain two, currently vacant, buildings, which the New Amsterdam Market would preserve from this same unfortunate, impending fate.  The Market would in fact return the buildings to their original use (!) as market halls.

 

What I find extraordinary about the Market project, in this context, is that the sort of wild and agricultural commerce to be encouraged is at once historically appropriate for the Seaport neighborhood and particularly relevant to the City today.  Our food system is in crisis, and we must embrace the practice of skills and businesses that thrived before cheap energy became a necessity, and before industrialization enabled anonymous factory-style production of our food.  Energy is no longer cheap, and industrial agriculture is debilitating not only our health, but that of our land. 

 

We, of the City, require what the Market identifies as true purveyors – grocers and butchers, cheesemongers and foragers – whose sources are personal, whose knowledge and expertise we can trust, whose growth will depend upon our support rather than our oil, and whose friendship we deserve.  As it is envisioned, New Amsterdam Market would be the oft advised, rarely taken step into the future with an eye on the past.  The steps towards our future food system require this attentiveness to historic practices, and the Seaport neighborhood, with its own history in this work, is a perfect place for these steps to begin.

 

The essentially agrarian ideals of the Market may be accused of catering to nostalgia, but there is more than sentimental value in the past the Market would embrace.  If the New Amsterdam Market were to be allowed to bring the Seaport market halls back to life, it would bring life back to the history of New York as well, utilizing, of course, the history-forging energy that I have always known to pulse within this city.

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