Volume 17 • Issue 3 | June 11 - 17, 2004



Smaller Greenmarket returning this month

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

The Greenmarket will be returning to the area near the World Trade Center site although it will have fewer farmers than Tribeca’s market, above.

Commuters will soon be able to pick up cabbage along with their morning coffee.

The new PATH station Greenmarket is scheduled to open on June 17 at the corner of Church and Vesey Sts., immediately south of the station’s main entrance. With five vendors, the PATH station market will be smaller than the World Trade Center market that occupied Liberty Plaza last year.

Since that location closed in December, residents have been eager to welcome the farmers and their fresh produce back to the neighborhood.

“I can’t wait,” said Catherine McVay Hughes, a member of Community Board 1 who lives nearby. “Corn season is coming—we’re already missing the strawberry season.”

Hughes said that since December she has relied on the Greenmarket in Downtown Brooklyn, where her two sons attend school. She said her excitement at the local market’s return was somewhat tempered because the PATH station space would not be nearly as big as the old W.T.C. market.

“I’m disappointed it will be so small,” she said.

Liberty Plaza, catty-corner to the W.T.C. site, housed eight to 12 vendors, said Tom Strumolo, director of Greenmarket, New York’s system of farmers markets. The new PATH location can only accommodate five because of space constraints, he said. Farmers were chosen based on seniority and need.

“It’s going to be a compact, filled space,” Strumolo said.

Kernie Kernan, of South Jersey’s Kernan Farms, will be among the farmers returning. Kernan’s father began selling at the World Trade Center market when it opened in 1984, and the younger Kernan joined him there in 1990.

“My heart’s kind of down there,” said Kernan, who was at the market on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. “That was my favorite, favorite, favorite place.”

Kernan said he had heard of two farms that will be joining him at the PATH greenmarket: Migliorelli Farms, which specializes in greens, and Samascott Orchard, which specializes in apples.

Kernan added that he looked forward to the PATH station’s heavy foot traffic. About 33,000 thousand riders use the station every day, according to a Port Authority spokesperson.

Strumolo told Downtown Express last fall that many farmers at Liberty Plaza had not made any money that year because of reduced foot traffic at the twice-weekly Greenmarket. The new PATH market will begin operating on Thursdays only and may add Tuesdays if there is a large demand, Stumolo said this week.

One big drawback of the PATH location, farmers said, is they will not be able to park their trucks close enough to their stalls. Space will be set aside for the farmers to park on West Broadway between Park Pl. and Barclay St., according to a Department of Transportation spokesperson.

Kernan said he stores extra inventory and empty boxes in his truck, which also supplies power that works his scales. Without the cord that runs from the truck’s cigarette lighter directly to the scales, he will have to lug batteries and chargers along with boxes of fresh tomatoes, asparagus, peaches and blueberries.

“We want to come back and we’re trying,” Kernan said. “But it’s going to be kind of tough.”


Elizabeth@DowntownExpress.com



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