[Photos by Blake Farber]
Stannard Farm, a regular presence on Avenue A and Seventh Street on Sundays dating to 1998, abruptly pulled out of GrowNYC's Greenmarket program this week.
Here's their note to customers:
With a heavy heart, we write this. Due to injustices we have faced with Greenmarket, we will no longer be participating in the Greenmarket Program. Unfortunately, this means we will not be finishing the CSA season.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your faithfulness and loyalty to Stannard Farm.
Please keep an eye out for a letter in your “snail mail” over the next couple of days that will have your refund check for the remaining 10 weeks of your CSA share.
They did not specify what "injustices" they experienced at the Greenmarket.
I asked Michael Hurwitz, director of the Greenmarket program, for a comment about Stannard Farm. To his knowledge, reps from Stannard Farm had not approached Greenmarket officials with these concerns. His statement:
GrowNYC’s Greenmarket Program has been supporting farmers for over four decades and we strive to work with all our Producers to help them succeed and prosper. We also have some of the strictest rules in the country, requiring farmers to grow their own products for sale at our markets.
In addition, we have a Farmer Community Advisory Committee (FCAC) that serves as advocates for farmers who may have concerns with Greenmarket’s operations. Prior to receiving Stannard Farm's notice Tuesday afternoon that they were immediately ending their relationship with Greenmarket, to my knowledge, Standard Farms had not approached Greenmarket Management or the FCAC through the process outlined in our rules, or otherwise, to raise concerns over perceived "injustices."
While it is unfortunate for their customers that they would end their CSA and market operation so abruptly, Greenmarket will do everything possible to replace them at market with a suitable farmer so that customers can continue to access fresh, healthy, local food.
So no official word just yet who will be taking over their space on Avenue A and Seventh Street in the Tompkins Square Greenmarket.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated move, the Greenmarket announced a new vendor for Tompkins Square Park on Sundays. NY Cider Co., located in the Fingerlakes Region, will be selling their hard ciders made from New York State grown heirloom and wild apple varieties.