Across the street from a sandwich shop and a fried chicken joint, a greenmarket sprouts up every Wednesday in the Mott Haven: Effective English Assignment, UON, Malaysis


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Across the street from a sandwich shop and a fried chicken joint, a green market sprouts up every Wednesday in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx in New York City. The market is a welcome sight in an area that does not have many options for people to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.

Mott Haven, a neighbourhood in the South Bronx, is located in one of the poorest areas in the country. In other New York City neighbourhoods, green markets are more common, but here there aren’t many places to buy healthy, organic food.

The summer of 2012 was the first time that the Youthmarket set up shop in this section of the Bronx, on 3rd Ave. between E. 148th and E. 149th Streets. The Youthmarket is part of a larger organization called GrowNYC, which helps make neighbourhoods better by setting up farmers’ markets, community gardens, and recycling in the city.

Since opening in July 2012, the market has attracted a lot of attention from residents who live in the area. Many people are excited that there is now a fresh produce market nearby.

When the wind shifts, the smell of cilantro floats across the sidewalk, calling attention to the bright red radishes, purple potatoes, and juicy plums. At the market, you can also buy red and green peppers, mushrooms, squash, and apples.

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The food comes from nearby farms just outside the city limits. There is one whole table just for corn, which people buy in bulk, sometimes 10 or 15 ears at a time. Corn is the most popular item. The market sells 400 to 500 pounds of produce each Wednesday.

Ryan Morningstar, who helps run the Youth market, said that about 12 to 18 per cent of the money they make comes from government assistance like food stamps. Food stamps help people buy food if they can’t afford it themselves. On its opening day, the market made $216.50 from food stamps alone, a record high for Grow NYC Youth markets across the city.

The Mott Haven market makes a total of around $700 a week. The market also accepts other government food assistance, such as the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, which provides financial assistance and food allocations thus allowing low-income residents to get “fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables,” explains the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services website.

Delphia Omborura, a hairstylist who works in the area, loves to shop at the farmer’s market in Mott Haven. On a Wednesday afternoon last September, she bought four bushels of large red beets to juice in a blender at home. She said that beets are more expensive in a regular grocery store.

Mamie Jackson also likes going to the farmer’s market. She said that she likes the fresh look of the produce at the market, which looks different from what the grocery stores sell. “I’d rather wash the dirt off a cucumber,” she said. “The ones at the grocery store are sprayed with a lot of stuff to make them look shiny.”

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