Bensonhurst Greenmarket makes its debut

It’s once again easy being green in Bensonhurst.

The Bensonhurst Greenmarket made its annual debut on Sunday, June 7. After a long winter, farms from various areas, such as New Jersey and upstate New York were able to set up shop at 18th Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets for eager Brooklynites ready for healthy eating.

“Greenmarket farmers and staff are thrilled to be back at Milestone Park for another successful season in Bensonhurst,” said Caroline Hiteshew, Brooklyn and Staten island regional coordinator. “Since 2012, the Bensonhurst Greenmarket has been a vibrant community gathering place where shoppers can get the freshest locally grown food the region has to offer, and in turn help keep small family farms in business.”

“It’s good to have it back in the neighborhood,” said customer Sarah L. “They have a lot of different things I’m looking to buy like tomatoes. And the prices aren’t so bad either.”

Win Cossaboom, market manager of Kernan Farms of Cumberland County, New Jersey, which includes up to 25 items at the height of the season, was happy to be back for another year. “It’s been pretty good. We started coming here a couple of years ago and it keeps getting bigger. The first day of the first year, there wasn’t much business. But the first day today has been better,” he said. “Councilmember Gentile comes here all the time. He backs this market and does a very nice job with it.”

Among his popular items that attendees look forward to are asparagus, strawberries and zucchini. “We have seven different varieties of them just because it sells really big here.” Cossaboom added that the farm’s Jersey field tomatoes are a number one purchase; however they won’t come until July. “Peaches are popular. People go crazy for them. They’re really good, but they’re also four weeks away.”

Although the turnout was solid for opening day, the market expects to gain momentum during the height of the summer. “What happens in a neighborhood like this is once people find out it’s going on through word of mouth, it grows by the week,” he said.  “It’ll really pick up in three or four weeks.”

Williams Fruit Farm, which also participated at last year’s market, was also a fan favorite throughout the mild afternoon. “It’s been pretty exciting,” said employee Kevin T. “We’re pretty ecstatic to be here. For our first day it’s been pretty good and it will get better. We got great additions this year.” The vendor’s popular items include blueberries, raspberries and desserts.

Newcomer Haywood Fresh  — a purveyor of grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken — is happy there was an opening for the market. “It’s been good so far. I’m really loving the neighborhood,” said Mark Haywood.

The Bensonhurst Greenmarket will be open Sundays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. until November 22. For more information, visit

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