For those tired of eating fruits and vegetables that have traveled farther than the eater ever has, relief is here. Coney Island Hospital has partnered with Harvest Home Farmer’s Markets to bring local produce to the streets of Sheepshead Bay throughout the summer and into the fall.

Sheepshead Bay’s farmer’s market set up shop for the first time on July 9, with vendors lining the pedestrian median in front of the hospital (Ocean Parkway between Avenue Z and Shore Parkway). The seven vendors will hawk fruits, vegetables, baked goods, juices, nuts and olive oil every Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. until November 19.

“[The market] is part and parcel of our efforts to support a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating and reduce incidence of diabetes and chronic disease in our community,” said James Saunders, associate executive director of Coney Island Hospital.

With no farmer’s market in the area, Saunders sought out Harvest Home because he thought it would be an effective way to teach residents, patients and local seniors from the area’s six senior centers about a healthy diet. The hospital is planning a “vine-cutting” ceremony in August to celebrate the market’s establishment, and in the future hopes to add activities like cooking tips, an on-site nutritionist and patient tours to bolster health knowledge. Free health screenings are already offered on alternating weeks.

So far, organizers say the event’s been getting rave reviews.

“It was an amazing success [despite] the fact that we did not advertise it heavily [and] that it’s new to the neighborhood,” said Saunders. “It just shows me that this area is actually thirsting for this type of service.”

Harvest Home Farmer’s Market CEO Maritza Owens is also beaming about the partnership.

“The market has been great,” said Owens. “The farmers have been happy from day one. It’s been a busy market … The community has embraced it and they’re out there shopping. If you’re lucky it takes off right away and this one seems to have done exactly that.”

Harvest Home has been organizing farmer’s markets around New York City since 1993, and they already have partnerships with six other hospitals, including Bellevue Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center and Metropolitan Hospital.

“We are riding the wave of everyone wanting to have access to fresh food and knowing where your food comes from and eating locally,” said Owens. One of the criteria for farmers to be a part of the organization’s markets is that all produce must have been “taken off the tree or pulled out of the earth” within 24 hours, and all of the vendors come from the tri-state area.

The addition of the farmer’s market is Coney Island’s latest move to deepening the connection between the institution and the community, said Saunders. Just like the art exhibits they’ve been hosting for the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group (and here), the market is meant to give a friendlier face to an establishment people usually associate with illness.

“It’s part of a concerted effort to have more of a presence in the community and to support a healthy lifestyle – that includes the arts, and includes bringing in a farmers market,” said Saunders. “The hospital has been around for 135 years and people know of the hospital, and they know some of the things we do through reading about it in the newspaper. But having direct connections to the community makes it that much more personal.”

The Sheepshead Bay Farmer’s Market, a partnership between Coney Island Hospital and Harvest Home Farmer’s Market, will take place every Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. until November 19. Stalls are located on the median in front of the hospital, at Ocean Parkway between Avenue Z and Shore Parkway.

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  • Jamesforsyth

    Great! We have needed something like this. Just hope parking isn't a problem.

  • brooklynq

    I'm very happy to see this market, but c'mon..

    “taken off the tree or pulled out of the earth” within 24 hours, and all of the vendors come from the tri-state area.”

    It ain't apple season in the tri-state area yet. So either that's an old picture or they're already not living up to the hype. I hope that at least the apples were from the tri-state area.

  • Local Broker

    A real farmers market would be great in this area. Even though its technically in SB its not really SB. I will go check it out this Friday if i can find a parking spot. Does anyone know if its organic?

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    Not really Sheepshead Bay? How so? I consider that very much Sheepshead Bay. Word is, I'm the authority on these matters.

  • Local Broker

    Whos word? Its called Coney Island Hospital not Sheepshead Bay. You should give them a call and talk about a name change. They are obviously confused about the neighborhood they are in.

  • brooklynq

    I wouldn't call that Coney Island either. The hospital needs a name change!

  • alknowles1

    They can keep it called Coney Island Hospital. They can rename it to SB when they get a better reputation.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    Ocean Parkway is the Western Border of Sheepshead Bay.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Ocean Parkway is actually Gravesend. Neighborhood wise, Sheepshead Bay starts at Coney Island Avenue.Or maybe not.

    There are NO authorities on this matter.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Can't they move that hospital about 2 miles south?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    if they were crabapples….. I've seen crabapples that are rtipe 'round here.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    It's called Coney Island Hospital because it began in Coney Island, then moved to Sheepshead Bay. Duuuuhhhh…. sheesh. And Lisanne, the maps I've seen (I'm not digging for them now) have Ocean Pkwy as the border around Z, and up by Ave U it juts in toward CI Ave.

  • alknowles1

    Gravesend Hospital… that name suits it best.

  • BrooklynBus

    I spoke to someone living in Long Island last month. I told her that I will be in Long Island on Saturday. She said she will be in Brooklyn that day to scatter her friend's ashes. Guess where they her friend wanted her ashes scattered? Gravesend Bay.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Most maps plaster the name Sheepshead Bay east of Ocean Avenue. But the area west of Coney Island Avenue is sort of grey, an interweaving between Gravesend and Sheepshead Bay. Partly this is so because before the end of WWII there wasn't much housing south of Avenue Y. Much of that area was built between 1947 and 1950.

    You're probably aware that they tried to get the area around the Lincoln Gardens apartment complex to be called that. But development name rarely catch on as neighborhood names. Only recently has Homecrest made a comeback as a neighborhood name.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    And the hospital started as a first aid station on the beach at West Brighton. Close enough to Coney Island, I guess.

  • http://www.nedberke.com Ned Berke

    This conversation is already WAY off topic, but I'm going to feed the beast a little more. Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach are all part of Coney Island (much the same way Brooklyn is part of Long Island ::cringe::). Some of the documents I've seen, including my piece earlier today about the fireworks, say things like “Manhattan Beach, Coney Island, N.Y.”

    Technicality! I win! Let's return to the topic at hand now, yes?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    William Merritt Chase painted some beautiful scenes there in the 1880s. Then Calvert Vaux had to lose his balance and spook the place. And yet they renamed a large part of Dreier-Offerman Park after him 100 years later. Double spooky!

  • Ray Johnson

    It's just part of a larger system of the city hospitals, which all have different names that, some are neighborhood or region-oriented names, and some are not. Really, the name or location is not that crucial.

    It's great that there is a farmer's market happening. Thanks to the organizers for their work.

  • aherring

    Great news. This morning I cut open a red pepper from my local chain store supermarket & it was full of black mold. Fresh food sounds wonderful.

  • Guest

    This is so wonderful I love Farmers Markets, finally it's in SB!!!!

  • Guest

    It's sad that the timing is for people only who do not work: Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. working person will never make it. Is there any Farmer Markets on weekends around our area?

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  • Wahdidido

    coming home for visit. is the farmer’s market worth a stop? we have a green market here in west palm beach and i must be missing something about it. it’s nice to walk the dog and have a cup of coffee in cool weather…

    • Anonymous

      The vegetables were beautiful as were the greens. It is not as large as some of the markets. It is worth the stop for fresh picked.

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