Hattie Carthan Market starts season with volunteer drive and new programs

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Neighborhood garden & market provides education, culture and healthy eats

By Amelia Rawlins

Beyond the hustle and bustle of the Fort Greene strip, located on Marcy and Clifton Street lies one of Bed-Stuy’s gems. The Hattie Carthan Farmers Market, now in their fourth season, is back with its objective to continue to educate the community and instill healthy eating, food preparation and shopping habits.

What may appear to be just fruits and veggies growing from the ground is essentially the hard work and cultivation of the community and the market’s teenage volunteers who dedicate their efforts to spreading the word to residents of the origin of their foods through the garden and market.

Since its conception in July 2009, the market has distributed over 30,000 pounds of food.

This season the market welcomes teenagers from all over the city to become a part of the volunteer drive through the Urban Agriculture Youth Corps. The drive kicks off from 9 am to 3 pm, July 14.

This season also brings about new programs including the reopening of the children’s garden. Kids can be entertained at this part of the market by storytelling and learn about the healthy food and local farm culture.

The market has also launched its institutional basket program to help institutional neighbors locally grown food and herbs. Fitness programs such as African dance, drumming, capoeira, children’s fitness activities, crafts, and cooking demonstrations should also be expected, as well as a baking demonstration program, livestock demonstration and distribution programs such as Fresh Food on Wheels which caters to the seniors of the community.

Hattie Carthan Founder and Vice President Yonnette Fleming said the market will continue to revitalize the community and serve as an outlet and educational platform to discuss and learn about food and farm issues and work to eliminate poor nutrition in the community.

The market is open from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays from July to November and is located on Clifton Place at Marcy Avenue, directly behind the Hattie Carthan Community Garden.