New York City, akin to London, is an exciting metropolis that is one of the food capitals of the world. One of my favourite foodie experiences in the Big Apple is browsing and buying delicious goodies from the world-famous Union Square Greenmarket. Established in 1976 with only a few farmers, the original market has expanded and evolved into a 4-days-a-week, all year round, destination market that supplies New Yorkers, chefs, and tourists alike with a wide range of produce from a plethora of local farmers and producers.
On a recent visit to the market, I discovered a market stall run by an urban farm called the Union Square Grassman. Based in climate-controlled shipping containers in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Stewart Borowsky founded the Union Square Grassman in 1994. One of the many things that makes Stewart’s story unique is that prior to setting up his urban farm, he worked as a truck driver. His unconventional farm now grows wheatgrass, and a selection of salad and micro greens. All of the farm’s crops are grown without the aid of chemicals and fertilizers.
To their regular greenmarket customers, the Union Square Grassman are best known and loved for their vibrant trays of wheatgrass and fresh shots of wheatgrass juice. Before I met Stewart and learnt about his urban farm, I had only ever had wheatgrass in it’s dried, powdered form in my daily smoothies. So, I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try a fresh shot of juice.
So how did it taste…? I was surprised by the juice’s intense, complex flavour profile and by it’s unexpected sweetness. It really was a nutrient-dense taste revelation.
Stewart told me the story of the Union Square Grassman, and about his journey from being a truck driver to becoming an urban farmer. You can hear the interview by clicking on the play button below.
Aside from the greenness of the Union Square Grassman’s fresh green produce, another colourful feature of their market stall is a bright yellow school bus. Stewart told me how this unlikely vehicle became an irreplaceable part of his business.