With one week left until a much-anticipated spring, the staff and volunteers of Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s in Malverne have hunkered down over the long winter months to plan for another fruitful season when it opens next month, including the addition of a new farmers market on June 5.
The market — which was previously based in Baldwin, before closing on Feb. 22 — will operate complementary to Crossroads’ current farm stand with 15 vendors providing organic products not already found on the farm’s property, such as fresh pasta, artisan cheeses, coffee, peaches, plums, custom soaps, empanadas, pound cake, hummus, falafel, baba ganoush and craft beer, the latter of which will be featured on an alternating basis.
According to an announcement on the Baldwin Farmers Market’s Facebook page, owner Lona Graepel closed its location at 2754 Grand Avenue last month due to “light foot traffic” in the winter season, but will now host the market at Crossroads from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoons starting in June.
“We had such a great market last winter and can not figure out what changed this year,” read the Facebook post. “We have tried several different ways to reach new and old customers, but attendance was low, and it is not enough to sustain the vendors.”
While the Baldwin exchange has changed locations, Graepel said she will still manage its new site at Crossroads, along with her other purveyors.
“The idea is that everyone gets along and there’s good feelings and we’re all there for the same reason,” said Graepel, who started the farmers market four years ago after she noticed a significant lack of winter market season on Long Island. “We all just want to have a good time at it and provide a good service.”
Graepel also said she intends to feature some occasional live music during market hours as a way to add ambiance for customers.
Rick White, chairperson of Nassau Land Trust’s Farm Advisory Committee, a non-profit that oversees the farm’s operation, said he hopes the new market at Crossroads will serve as a valuable addition to the community.
“My feeling is that we have a lot of buzz about the farm, and we’re doing a detailed volunteer program this year, so we’re engaging our volunteers early,” he said. “All in all, we’re very excited about what’s going on [at Crossroads].”
In preparing for the farm’s opening day on April 19, White said Crossroads staff has briefed its volunteers through a robust orientation process over the winter, providing one-on-one training so that volunteers may perform fairly advanced farming tasks.
Aside from the new farmer’s market, White said Crossroads will offer many other new attractions this season, including musical acts scheduled to perform for various activities, and a partnership with the Malverne Community Theatre Group to entertain both kids and adults at the farm.