The community has a need for organic and fresh foods. In the Bronx especially, healthy foods are becoming scarce. It has been identified as a food desert, having the highest rates of food insecurity in the country and lacking access to healthy affordable foods. This can lead to a myriad of problems — a lack of healthy foods can affect the quality of life for Bronx residents.
Health issues such as diabetes and malnutrition can occur when there is a lack of healthy foods available. However, the Northeast Bronx Community Farmers Market Project at Preston is trying to combat this problem. The market is working with vendors that sell grown fresh fruits and vegetables for the community.
One of our vendors is Orchard Hill Organics, a farm from Katonah that sells locally grown organic vegetables and fruits at our market. The farm was started in 1994, as an orchard and vegetable garden to give nutritious produce to family and friends. However, in 1996, the farm grew in size and branched out to sell produce to the community. Then, in 2018, Orchard Hill Organics went to their first farmers market. The farm sells a variety of fresh produce such as turnips, kale, carrots, parsley and garlic. To Orchard Hill Organics, providing nutritious foods to the community is of utmost importance.
Jeff Rowe, the market manager, noted that the best thing about attending the markets was bringing nutritious food to the people of the community. He also mentioned that people drive miles to find them, highlighting the importance of these organic foods. Orchard Hill Organics donated vegetables to two organizations while being a vendor at Preston. The Food Pantry at St Benedict’s and People United were able to fill up bags to distribute to their network of families in need.
Orchard Hill Organics is planning to attend every week the farmers market is open. Come and get some organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables at the farmers market at Preston High School.