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June 1, 2016
Purchase Tastier Foods While Protecting Water Supply Used by Westchester and New York City
Keeping the Market Green, Grand and Growing
When visitors to downtown New Rochelle’s Grand Market experience the tastes of the Catskills – savoring a cave-aged cheese called “cremembert” or the uncommon flavor of a French guinea hen raised naturally – they will be enjoying the fruits of sustainable farming.
But that’s not all. With each purchase, they will help to protect the purity of the very water they drink and use to cook and bathe.
That’s the added benefit of the arrangement that the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District, organizer of the Grand Market that begins June 4, reached with nine family-owned and –operated farms in the Catskills. Those farms produce their fresh and cured meats, maple syrup and artisanal cheeses with sustainable methods that work in concert with the land, and protect the streams, ponds and reservoirs in the Catskills. Those reservoirs in turn supply water to 10 million people in Westchester, New York City and elsewhere.
|“This arrangement couldn’t be more ideal,” said Ralph DiBart, Executive Director of the New Rochelle BID. “Visitors to the Grand Market will not only be delighted with the farm-fresh quality of the foods they buy at our market, but they will also make their purchases knowing that they are promoting a healthy eco-system and helping to preserve the purity of the Catskill water we drink. It’s the perfect way for us to move forward as we ‘Grow the Grand’ into a more festive and lively event for residents and visitors alike.”|
The Grand Market will take place each Saturday, June 4 through October 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Ruby Dee Park at the Library Green on Huguenot Street between Lawton Street and Memorial Highway. It will serve as a community meeting place, with live entertainment and activities such as cooking demonstrations and a children’s gardening experience.
|The foods sold there will be brought to the Library Green fresh each week from 150 or more miles away. Jennifer Grossman, a farmer who helped choose the vendors for the market, said the farms offering the foods raise their animals and birds with integrity, don’t use cages and reject the practices of giant agri-businesses and factory farms.|
“Our methods make for healthier foods for humans to eat and a more humane way to raise animals,” said Jennifer Grossman, who raises French guinea fowl on her Mauer Mountain Farms in Bloomville. “It makes for more delicious and definitely more nutritious products.”
On her farm, rather than take the shortcuts used by large agricultural businesses to bulk up birds to full size in eight weeks or less, she opts for a natural diet for her free-range fowl. With her farm’s methods, the birds take five months to reach a weight of 6 to 8 pounds.
Also offered at the Grand Market will be cheeses from Betty Acres Farm cheeses with names that include Cremembert and Delchego. They are handcrafted in the farm’s micro-creamery from milk provided by the farm’s own Guernsey and Jersey cows, then aged in a hillside cave. Owner and cheesemaker Aissa O’Neil said one of the farm’s sustainable practices is “rotational grazing,” where each portions of the land spends time untouched.
“The earth actually has time to heal and re-grow,” she said.
At Mulligan Creek Acres, co-owner and manager Tanya Moyer has sought out purebred Berkshire pigs, Jacob lambs, laying hens, turkeys and meat chickens.
“Our animals are raised on organically maintained pastures and their diet is supplemented with local, non-GMO, custom-milled grains,” Moyer said. “We use no prophylactic antibiotics, steroids, hormones, pesticides or herbicides at the farm. My mission is to rebuild and conserve the lands of Mulligan Creek and to give the animals the best possible natural environment and stress-free lives. With that dedication, we are rewarded with flavorful, nutritious food for our families.”
Mulligan Creek Acres will start by selling their signature line products, seasoning blends, dip mixes and dog treats (when available) at the Market and will take custom orders for pork, chicken, turkey and lamb.
A sampling of the Catskill farms and craft food vendors participating are: Castkill Mountain Sugar House, Betty Acres Farm, Mauer’s Mountain Farms, Catskill Food Company, Upstate’s Creations, Mulligan Creek Acres and Cooperstown Cheese Company.
Sponsors of the Grand Market include: The Culinary Institute of NY at Monroe College, Green Mountain Energy, Community Preservation Corporation, A. Bulfamante Landscaping and Halstead New Rochelle.