Union Square Food Exhibition

On 9/8, there was something going on at Union Square (remember “something’s always going on at Union Square”) and I decided to take a look.

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There were the normal artists and farmers’ market, but this time there was a second sort of farmers market going on.  It was actually an exhibit by a number of diverse food groups.  And there was music.  Pretty good music, if I say so myself.

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The style started off as straight-out bluegrass.  They did a version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” in an upbeat bluegrass style that I thought was terrific.  And, amazingly enough, they then launched into some Brazilian folk tunes.  (Hey, Brazil Day was last week!)  It was great.

And I wasn’t alone in thinking it.  A number of people were up and dancing.

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Yes, haybales in Manhattan.

I did some wandering around looking at the exhibits and was initially pretty mystified.

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What the heck does NYC have to do with farming, aside from consuming their produce and hosting marketplaces?  Historically, NYC had a lot of farming, but that’s gone, ain’t it?

Actually, no.  You don’t have regular farms in NYC anymore (that I’m aware of – NYC’s pretty big so who knows), but there are a lot of community gardens where people do grow produce.  Well, that’s not going to feed more than a very small number of families in total.  But, it does beautify the neighborhoods.  I don’t know whether there’s any direct need of farm bills for NYC residents, but the goal of this group was to get people thinking small and locally.  Hey, I’ll still eat my produce from Flordia, Peru, California, and Chile, but I’ve got nothing against those who are trying the 100-mile idea.  (Maybe the lower demand will lower the prices on some of the stuff I buy.)

At first I was a little more skeptical, but then I found one group that was promoting the growth of herb gardens.  Not a bad thing, I thought.  And then I ran into this guy.

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He was great.  A nice guy and an actual beekeeper in the Bronx.  I wonder if he considers the bees his “livestock”?  Why not?

And then there was a group called “Just Food”, who were promoting “food and justice for all”.  Who’d oppose either of those (although I’d insist that “all” buy their own food).  Their main exhibit was under their table.

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But I have to admit that I’m opposed to chicken-keeping in city limits.

-H

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Explore posts in the same categories: Food, Manhattan, Union Square, Wanderings

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