Bed-Stuy's Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market Opens for the Season (PHOTOS)

All photos by Hannah Palmer Egan
Brooklyn-grown garlic scapes at Hattie Carthan Community Farmers' Market
With summer blooming in full color around us, farmers' market season is in full swing. And while Union Square's famous Greenmarket proffers some of the freshest food around, crowd-wary shoppers don't have to join the swarming masses on 14th Street. Throughout the city, many community gardens host smaller, friendlier markets where you can stock your crisper with hand-picked produce grown right in your neighborhood. These markets are a great chance to get out, get to know your neighbors, and load up on veggies while supporting your community. Best of all, there's no need to board a subway. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, for instance, Hattie Carthan Community Garden holds weekend markets in two locations.

Bed-Stuy isn't known for its vibrant farming scene, but five years ago, longtime resident, gardener, and community organizer Yonette Fleming brought together 13 fellow farmers from around the neighborhood and started Hattie Carthan Community Farmer's Market, which opened for the season on Saturday.

Hattie Carthan Community Farmer's Market founder Yonette Fleming

The Saturday market runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Clifton Place at Marcy Avenue adjacent to its namesake garden. The Sunday market is at 49 Van Buren Street, home of Hattie Carthan Herban Farm, from 1 to 6 p.m. The season lasts through November.

Both markets are shady oases of fresh produce, eggs, homemade snacks, and treats; drumming, dancing, and neighborly conversation transpire as Fleming et al. work to offer fresh food and build community in an area widely recognized as a produce desert.

Is there a market in your neighborhood? If you're not sure, your local community garden is a good place to ask. Check out this searchable map of NYC's community gardens to see what's growing near you. GrowNYC also hosts local Greenmarkets throughout the week.

Flip the page for photos from Hattie Carthan Community Market's opening on Saturday.

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The Hattie Carthan Farmer's market is an exciting place doing radical food work!  Some inaccuracies in the captions above: I am Nina Goepfert, and those are not my greens! They are Ms. Yonnette Fleming's--planted, tended,  harvested, and sold by her or under her direction. I am a volunteer on market days and I don't sell produce. 

While the photo captions imply that I work at the Farm, they do not make any such implication of Mr. Purrier, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Bility. These three gentlemen are youth staff at the farm, and I am not. It is important to acknowledge these three young men as employees of Hattie Carthan Farm--and to fail to do so while misrepresenting me (in my White-ness) as someone with more status than I have is indicative of the racism in the food movement that the news media perpetuates! As does misrepresenting those greens as mine, rendering Ms. Fleming invisible in the Farm process.

I write this with great love, so that we can build a good movement that serves all people, particularly at Hattie Carthan Farm.