Christopher Washington of Radicle Farm Company

Greetings! On behalf of everyone behind the McGolrick Park Farmers Market, Happy Holiday season. We raise our glass to peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

Stop by the market this Sunday, December 28th, and next Sunday, January 4th, 2015 for good wishes and great foods by local farmers and food makers. We are open every Sunday, from 11 am to 4 pm, all winter. It’s warm and cozy at our home inside the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, 129 Russell Street, between Driggs and Nassau Avenues.

The market offers fresh seafood, pasture-raised meat, delicious charcuterie, amazing pickles, handcrafted tempeh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, Japanese-inspired dressings and marinades, incredible breads, pies, and other baked specialties, fresh, “living” greens (more to come on this), thick and creamy yogurt, and Fair Trade nuts, coffees, and more. 

Radicle greens with the roots attached, Fall 2014

This Sunday, Dec. 28th, help us welcome Bombay Emerald Chutney Company to the market for the first time. Owned by Nirmala Gupta, she makes chutneys from her family’s Northern Indian recipes, with as many local ingredients as possible. She also offers a selection of 12 different Ayurvedic spices to create Indian feasts at home.

Have you met Radicle Farm Company yet? Every week they bring living greens with the roots still attached. Their produce is grown in a greenhouse in Newark, New Jersey, run by three guys – Christopher Washington, James Livengood, and Tony Gibbons – and their team.

Radicle Farm Company at McGorlick Park Farmers Market, December 2014, Photo by Niki Jackson

To hear Christopher tell the story, he could have never guessed he’d grow up to be an urban farmer. When he was a kid, his father had a garden, and whenever he misbehaved, his punishment was to pull up weeds. “And that happened pretty regularly,” Christopher says, “I hated it.”

The turnabout came when Christopher served in the Peace Corps after college. He lived for two years in Togo, working to secure microfinance loans for a female-run farming cooperative. “I fell in love with what these women were doing. I always thought I was going to go into finance, but I ended up being inspired by farming.”

Soon after, he moved to neighboring Ghana, where he worked at a 140,000 sq. ft. facility that grew greens though hydroponic and aquaponic methods. But the greenhouse growers had a problem: there were very few refrigerated trucks to get their produce to stores. They would cut their greens and transport them, but the food arrived in poor condition. In working to solve this, they learned that when they moved the plants with the roots still intact, the greens stayed healthy and vibrant. No refrigeration needed.

Fast forward to a party in Brooklyn where Christopher met fellow growers, James and Tony. As urban growers in the United States, they had found the exact same thing: plants are freshest when sold uncut, with the roots attached. This idea became the fundamental concept behind the Radicle Farm Company.

“Nothing is fresher than something that is still alive,” Christopher says, “People keep our plants on the kitchen counter and cut from them as they want to eat greens. Your can add water and keep it growing a little longer. This isn’t food that you forget in the back of the fridge. You’re living with it.”

Garlic Mint Dip and Babaganous from Sohha Savory Yogurt

In addition to new vendors like the Radicle Farm Company, our long-standing crowd favorites have new offerings. John Fout of Sohha Savory Yogurt shared recently that they introduced a garlic mint yogurt. It’s fantastic as a dip, as well as a marinade. John suggests blending the yogurt with one of their savory toppings – the Everything Bagel topping, for example – and marinating chicken or lamb in the mix. Then roast the meat in the oven – deeelish!

New line up from Barry’s Tempeh

Over at Barry’s Tempeh, they just started offering Aduzi Bean Tempeh Burgers, both served hot at the market and in packages to go. Barry is also now selling Quinoa & Brown Rice Tempeh – it’s especially wonderful when served with his Peanut Sauce. AND Barry has been making Tempeh Tacos at the market. He uses his own smoked sauerkraut, tempeh, and greens from the market farmers. YUM.

Pickles at the market every week from Doc Pickle; Photo by Niki Jackson

Over the winter, the weekly market vendor roster includes: American Pride Seafood, Barry’s Tempeh, Brooklyn Cured, Doc Pickle, Jersey Farm Produce, Orwasher’s Bread, Pie Lady & Son, Radicle Farm Company, Sohha Savory Yogurt, and Tierra Farm. City Saucery, MOMO Dressing, Ovenly, Stone & Thistle Farm and many others will also join the market on a rotating basis. Visit the McGolrick Park Farmers Market webpage at for updates on the vendors, events, and more.

Happy Holidays from Walt at Orwashers and the whole farmers market crew! Photo by Niki Jackson

Thank you, Greenpoint, for supporting the local food vendors at your neighborhood market. From all of us at Down to Earth Markets, it’s a joy to be with you. Here’s to 2015!

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