Cook It Clean: NYC Greenmarket Gets Solar

Sustainable farming and sustainable energy — there’s a link between the two, and one of New York’s best known farmer’s market is going to use a $16,500 donation to highlight it, with the addition of solar panels to an educational van.

The Greenmarket, which happens four times a week in Manhattan’s Union Square, will receive the funding from Green Mountain Energy Company to outfit the van.

Greenmarket solar van green mountain energy

image via Wikimedia Commons

The vehicle is used at events where market staff demonstrate to audiences simple ways to buy, prepare and cook farm-fresh products while also offering first-hand accounts of sustainable, small-scale farming in the region where they live.

The addition of the panels means the station will enable visitors to learn not only about the benefits of sustainable farming but also sustainable energy.

In a statement, Michael Hurwitz, the director of Greenmarket, the company which runs the Union Square farmer’s market, said: “Greenmarket ensures that New Yorkers have access to the freshest and healthiest food in the region. To be able to educate customers on this mission as we cook with solar power really brings things full circle.”

Greenmarket is a part of GrowNYC, the nation’s largest urban farmers market network.

The first greenmarket in New York was started in the mid-1970s from a parking lot on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. Today,  GrowNYC has 53 markets in the New York area, with more than 230 family farms and fishermen participating. According to GrowNYC’s website, this has led to over 30,000 acres of farmland being protected from development.

“GrowNYC does a magnificent job of positively impacting the global environment through sustainable agriculture education,” Paul Markovich, the president of Green Mountain Energy residential services, said in a statement. “Green Mountain is pleased to give back to nonprofits that work diligently to make the world a healthier place.”

Paul Willis has been journalist for a decade. Starting out in Northern England, from where he hails, he worked as a reporter on regional papers before graduating to the cut-throat world of London print media. On the way he spent a year as a correspondent in East Africa, writing about election fraud, drought and an Ethiopian version of American Idol. Since moving to America three years ago he has worked as a freelancer, working for CNN.com and major newspapers in Britain, Australia and North America. He writes on subjects as diverse as travel, media ethics and human evolution. He lives in New York where, in spite of the car fumes and the sometimes eccentric driving habits of the yellow cabs, he rides his bike everywhere.