The Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx is the largest wholesale produce market in the world. Sitting on 113 acres, it includes 1 million square feet of interior space. Its produce, according to its website, is delivered fresh daily via plane, boat, and tractor trailer from 49 states and 55 countries. This Goliath of produce markets, open five days a week, 24 hours a day, caters to a “region in the world with an estimated population of 22 million” and “generates $2.4 billion in sales annually.”
The Hunts Point Produce Market is now also the home to an open-air wholesale farmers market for locally grown food, managed by GrowNYC. Offering “over 100 local and regional farm-fresh products including fruits, vegetables, herbs, plants, and flowers at competitive wholesale prices and quantities,” according to Grow NYC, “the majority of the products are harvested less than 24 hours before being sold.” The vendors at its wholesale farmers market at Hunt’s Point in the South Bronx “grow their own produce and sell direct to NYC buyers.”
A praiseworthy non-profit organization, GrowNYC also operates nearly 100 farmers market throughout New York City, including the well-known Union Square Greenmarket. In addition, it supports community gardens throughout the five boroughs, and offers educational programs including Grow to Learn, a city wide school gardens initiative.
The farm to table movement has been championed by many chefs in New York City, reflected in the lengthy list of restaurants included in our New York dining directory. GrowNYC’s wholesale greenmarket, now operating at the Hunts Point Produce Market at 290 Hillock Street (at Viele Avenue), from 2:00AM to 8:00AM, Tuesday through Saturday (from early April to the end of December) will make it much easier for local and regional small farms to hook up with chefs and restaurants, that are especially mindful of the sourcing of ingredients for their menus.
As pointed out by a recent editorial in the New York Times, From Farm to Table, via the Bronx, “Historically, it has been difficult for local farmers to pay the fees or follow the arcane rules of consignment necessary to sell in the Hunts Point market.” Kudos to GrowNYC for better linking Gotham to food grown in upstate New York and the regional tri-state area.
[GrowNYC’s wholesale greenmarket at Hunts Point Produce Market, 290 Hillock Street (at Viele Avenue), Tuesday through Saturday (early April to end of December) 2:00AM-8:00AM]
(Frank W. Barrie, 5/10/16)