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Parkside Farmers Market Could Close, Flatbush Youthmarket Expands

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Zucchini, Eggplant, And Peppers at the Cortelyou Greenmarket
We have some bad and good news about farmers markets in our area.

Just weeks after neighbors celebrated the opening of the farmers market in front of the Q at Parkside, we’ve now gotten notice that the nonprofit that runs the weekly operation, Seeds in the Middle, is struggling financially and is going to have to shutter its markets at Parkside, in Crown Heights, and in Prospect Park if it doesn’t raise $200,000 by August 1.

From an email we received from Seeds in the Middle founders Nancie Katz and Solomon Long:

No monies have been forthcoming from the city or state or federal government for the farmers markets. Public donations are small and insufficient to operate. Seeds in the Middle simply has not succeeded at raising the financial backing necessary to thrive and continue.

Unless $200,000 can be raised by Aug. 1, Seeds in the Middle will leave the scene.

You can help by contacting your state assembly members or senators, city council members, elected officials, foundations and donors to instigate access to funds to man the program for the next 6 months.

If the minimum amount is not achieved by Aug. 1, all operations will cease.

The markets are, the founders stressed, an attempt to bring “fresh produce to central Brooklyn neighborhoods deprived of low-cost nutritional options.” Additionally, they said they’re a “necessity to fight obesity and preventable diseases” by providing fresh fruits and vegetables.

For more information about the future of the markets, email info@seedsinthemiddle.org or call (917) 756-4202.

Blueberries at the Cortelyou Greenmarket
Now, for the good news: the Flatbush Junction Youthmarket has been extended through September. The market, which is supported by Councilman Jumaane Williams, GrowNYC Greenmarket, East Flatbush Village, and Flatbush-Junction BID, is located at the Flatbush Junction Triangle on 1545 Flatbush Avenue.

Now one of five youthmarkets in Brooklyn (there’s also one in Kensington), the Flatbush location provides a vast array of organic fruits and vegetables, artisan breads, pastries, cheese, beef, pickles, eggs, and more – all from regional businesses.

The market is open from 10am to 4pm on August 9 and 23 and September 6 and 20. During the market, interns from Williams’ office will be passing around petitions to expand the Flatbush Junction Youthmarket so the event can occur every Saturday next summer.

For more information, contact Farah Louis, director of community outreach for Williams, at (718) 629-2900 or GrowNYC’s Kori Petrovic at (212) 788-7900.

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  1. I emailed them and they said the best thing we can do is inundate our councilman, Mathieu Eugene, at mathieu.eugene@council.nyc.gov. He’s never allocated money for Seeds before.

    Seeds also said Kickstarter probably wouldn’t do the trick in time.

    Sigh. Still gonna send a crapstorm of emails to Eugene.

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