Visitors to Union Square on Monday were greeted not by the usual Greenmarket stalls, but by dozens of Con Edison emergency vehicles. Hopefully, plenty of customers that arrived saw the lone chalkboard amid the emergency vehicles proclaiming "FARMERS MARKET IS AT BROADWAY + 23RD ST." Of course, shoppers might also have seen the announcement on Twitter, Facebook, or elsewhere online, where Greenmarket staff have been trying to spread the word that the market is far from cancelled, merely located to the west side of Madison Square Park and adjacent Worth Square (you may know the spot as the sometime home of Madison Square Eats market). The market will be in this location through this Saturday, 11/10.
Last year, the Greenmarket's parent organization GrowNYC collected donations to help farmers hit hard by Hurricane Irene. Following Hurricane Sandy, however, the Greenmarket has set up a program with City Harvest to take donations from the market to needy New Yorkers. Shoppers just fill up an extra bag while they're shopping and drop it off at the market's information booth. All of the donations go to City Harvest, where they are prepared and distributed. This program makes it incredibly easy to support fellow New Yorkers in need and Greenmarket farmers at the same time.
While Sandy wasn't as rough on farmers as Irene was, there are still a number of farms that lost hoop houses and saw damage to their farms and crops; fisheries seemed to be hit hardest, and in fact none were at the market yesterday. Farmer Bill Maxwell of Maxwell's Farm told me that he lost three hoop houses and the roof to one of his barns. Power was out until Monday at his farm in Changewater, New Jersey, but his spirits seemed relatively high, feeling lucky that the damage to his business was limited.
So please, don't let the trucks in Union Square stop you from shopping at the Greenmarket and supporting local farmers. And while you're enjoying the change of scenery at the market's temporary location, fill up an extra bag at your favorite farm's stand for a fellow New Yorker in need.
The Union Square Greenmarket is temporarily located on the West side of Madison Square Park at Broadway and 23rd Street and in adjacent Worth Square, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The market will be at this location this Wednesday, 11/7, Friday, 11/9, and Saturday, 11/10. All regular Tuesday markets except for Staten Island Ferry Terminal are open today, 11/6, in their regular locations. For the latest updates, follow the Greenmarket on Twitter or Facebook.