NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- New Rochelle officially kicked off the summer season on Friday, as state and local dignitaries flocked to Huguenot Park for the grand opening of the Down to Earth Farmers Market.
Various vendors from upstate made their way to New Rochelle, as the city celebrated the fifth annual grand opening of the farmers market, joining the Saturday morning downtown market that opens June 28.
Mayor Noam Bramson was joined by City Manager Chuck Strome, state Sen. George Latimer and other elected representatives as they perused the various baked goods and produce that was provided by vendors from as far as Kingston and Pine Bush.
The market was issued a proclamation on behalf of Latimer’s office, and in true farmers market fashion, Councilwoman Shari Rackman and the other officials cut a ceremonial ribbon using a pocketknife.
“The value of farmers markets is twofold. It’s a way that we can sort of announce the beginning of summer here, while providing fresh and delicious produce from our upstate vendors,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Marrone said. “Also, people just like them. It’s a social networking event of sorts, and it brings out our other local businesses as well.”
Now that it is officially open, the farmers market – which will provide a seasonal rotation of produce and goods – will be open to the public from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Fridays through Nov. 21.
Latimer noted that Down to Earth is a valuable commodity in the community because there are so many markets spread throughout the county. In addition to the New Rochelle market, there is one in Larchmont, Rye, Croton-on-Hudson (Sundays), Tarrytown and Ossining (Saturdays).
“What’s great about the Down to Earth markets is that you have one (in New Rochelle) on Friday, Larchmont on Saturday and then Rye on Sundays, so there’s one for everyone,” he said. “It’s great to have it be so present, and it provides a nice opportunity to buy fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.”
This year, beginning with the Fourth of July market, The Rockstars, a group of 7- and 8-year-old aspiring chefs from the New Rochelle Beth El Day Camp will be serving special treats to patrons as youths spend their summer learning about sustainability and local food.
“We’re thrilled to get the kids that are eager to get kids that dig local food and seasonality, and there’s a lot to learn here,” Down to Earth’s marketing director Frankie Rowland said. “We have everything one needs for a full meal here, so we hope people come down. We accept all members of the community and accept EBT and food stamps.”