By Ashley Germinario, Port Authority Media Relations Staff
A relationship between rural farmers and city natives is usually a rare sight. Yet, beginning in 1984, the interactions of these two groups became the norm in Lower Manhattan, where their friendships began over the exchange of blossoming flowers, fresh fruits and ready-to-eat veggies.
The Greenmarket, operated by the environmental organization GrowNYC, visited twice a week at a spot along Church Street near the old 4 World Trade Center. Here, dozens of farmers put their green thumbs to good use, supplying the surrounding city foot traffic with healthy, locally grown products.
All that came to a halt with the devastation of 9/11. Many farmers and vendors serving the community when the twin towers were struck were forced to abandon their loyal customers and friends for years. Nearly 16 years later, they’ve returned.
Starting June 20, the Greenmarket featuring 11 farmers – many of whom sold their produce in the area before 9/11 — will reopen on Tuesdays from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on the Oculus Plaza at Fulton and Church streets outside the WTC Transportation Hub, with fresh local seafood, breads and pastries, vegetables, orchard fruits and juices and dairy products available for sale. It is scheduled to run through Nov. 21.
“The Greenmarket was a key part of the fabric that made up the World Trade Center community and the neighborhood that surrounded it before 9/11,” said Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye. “We’re pleased the market is now coming home – nearly 16 years after it left – strengthening the menu of fresh, healthy food offered at the site and providing an attractive amenity for those who live and work here.”
Farmers markets have become fixtures in New York City, benefitting local farmers and city residents. As the World Trade Center neighborhood continues to rebuild, its bonds with local businesses such as Greenmarket are growing. The prevalent theme with GrowNYC’s Greenmarket, then and now, is a strong community tie.
“This reunion of Greenmarket farmers with the community of Lower Manhattan is immensely meaningful,” said GrowNYC President and CEO Marcel Van Ooyen. “In addition to gaining access to healthy local products, Greenmarket customers at the market will once again find comfort in the familiar faces of their favorite farmers.”