Photo by Chris Engelhardt
By Chris Engelhardt

District Manager of Community Board 4 Christian Cassagnol and Community Board 3 Co-Chairwoman Emma Brandt joined with officials from Elmhurst Hospital Center and nonprofit GrowNYC Tuesday to celebrate the opening day of the neighborhood’s greenmarket, an event that included live music and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Elmhurst Greenmarket, adjacent to the hospital on 41st Avenue between 80th and 81st streets, sells an array of seasonal, fresh fruits and vegetables from several farms upstate. This marks the third consecutive year that the greenmarket has been held at Elmhurst Hospital Center. It will now be open Tuesdays until Nov. 26 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There are 54 greenmarkets throughout the city, eight of which are in Queens. The greenmarkets are run through the environmental nonprofit GrowNYC.

Wayne Zimmermann, chief operating officer at Elmhurst Hospital Center, said the market’s variety of produce has attracted employees and residents alike, and he expects the same this year.

“We find it important here to mix healthy food with health,” he said. “This is the third year, and we’re excited to have the greenmarket back with us and to work with our community.”

On a bright, sunny day, residents took to the street to purchase from a wide selection of produce, from fresh spinach and cilantro, to other goods, including apples, freshly baked breads and even honey and eggs. Live music performed by Elmhurst Hospital Center employees drew a crowd outside the center, where residents enjoyed popular tunes, including “Let it Be” by The Beatles and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

Cassagnol, who lauded officials for bringing back the greenmarket, stressed the importance of the program in Elmhurst and the promotion of healthy eating and lifestyle overall.

“I understand this is New York City, and that we all live in a very fast-paced lifestyle, but it’s great to just be a little healthy,” he said. “On behalf of myself and Community Board 4, I’d like to thank the Elmhurst Greenmarket for bringing healthy right back into our backyard.”

Michael Hurwitz, director of the greenmarket, described the program as being a “perfect partnership,” saying the hope is that the greenmarket continues on in Elmhurst for years to come.

“Health and wellness begins with what you put in your body,” he said. “There is nothing healthier and fresher than the food you see here. We’re excited to be here. Cheers to a great season.”

Reach Reporter Chris Engelhardt by e-mail at cengelhardt@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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