Farmers Market Kicks Off Fourth Season

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Members of the community came out to buy produce and enjoy culturual enrichment this past Saturday, at the grand reopening of the New Cassel Farmers Market. Over 100 people came to the “Hearts for the Arts Summer Block Party” at the First Baptist Cathedral parking lot to enjoy live entertainment and free refreshments, as well as get some farm fresh produce. 

The farmers market was organized by the Unified New Cassel Community Revitalization Corporation (UNCCRC). Holding the event together was UNCCRC Marketing Coordinator and Westbury resident, Traci Caines.

With the combination of the New Cassel Farmers Market and the “Hearts for the Arts” campaign, Caines hopes that this will be an effective way to bring the arts into the community.

The campaign is run by ArtsBuild New Cassel, an organization that hopes to revitalize Prospect Avenue, according to the Global Arts/Media consultant for ArtsBuild New Cassel, Vanessa Greene.

“Wherever artists go, development happens,” said Greene. “Artists are so creative and inventive.”

Greene plans to make New Cassel a destination for artists. “We’re hoping that three or four years from now, there will be galleries and artists’ studios all along Prospect Avenue,” she said.

Greene envisions that New Cassel will see economic changes after developing the arts within the New Cassel community.

Photo by Jessie Valentine
Photo by Jessie Valentine

The farmers market provided all sorts of produce, from peaches to corn to summer squash. Most of the produce was sold out by the end of the workday. Any food that was not sold was donated to the soup kitchens down the street.

The produce is all grown on Long Island based farms.

The workers helping out at the farmers market were all Westbury teens. Workers underwent a weeklong training where they learned about customer service, safe food handling, financial literacy, local agriculture and nutrition.

“They get a lot out of it,” said Caines. “It’s not just a job.”

The crowd for the farmers market was made up of a diverse group of people, commented Caines. “I feel like more people were coming from outside the neighborhood,” she said.

Some customers from last year stopped by as well as many new faces.

“You start to see people and get comfortable with them,” said Caines. “It creates that friendly community atmosphere.”

Caines is a board member of ArtsBuild New Cassel. It’s campaign “Hearts for the Arts” aims to find ways that can bring the arts to the New Cassel community.

“I think this is a great venue for the arts to collaborate,” said Caines of the pairing with New Cassel Farmer’s market.

ArtsBuild New Cassel came out to the farmers market to meet the people of the community who would be interested in joining the ArtsBuild Board of Directors. The organization is currently looking for volunteers who have experience and a passion for the arts.

The New Cassel Farmers Market will be open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Nov. 22. The “Hearts for the Arts” campaign will run through early September.