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Yorktown Farmer's Market Puts Food, Ideals on the Plate

YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Just as Karen Symington Muendell likes to see her food through its nutritional cycle, from the dirt to her plate, she also likes the prospect of bringing her new business full circle from market to community.

Muendell, who recently formed the nonprofit Maize Market Management, will begin holding farmer’s markets in Yorktown starting in May on the field behind the firehouse. The chef and Yorktown resident saw other farmer’s markets that operated as profitable businesses, and wanted to do something that was both good for residents from a health point of view, and for the community.

“I just started wondering — why does the market have to be run as a for profit business?” Muendell said. “If it’s something you want to draw the community to, besides offering them fresh locally grown produce and baked goods and fruits and fish and meats, why can’t it also benefit the community financially as well?”

The market, which will run from May 19 to Oct. 27 (except for one weekend in June and August), plans to have a plethora of different vendors, including fresh vegetables, fruits, breads, baked goods, meats, a certified organic meats vendor, a green cleaning vendor, natural soaps and locally made jams and sauces, among others.

Muendell explained the farmer’s market works in a way that invites all local farms to participate as well as local vendors, therefore helping them out. It will also help community organizations, called the charitable organization of the week, or COW.

“To me it’s like a win win win win win,” Muendell said. “We’re starting out with giving the farmer and vendors a really low rate as compared to what they pay anywhere else, we’re renting from the firehouse which helps them, what we bring in is going to be divided in between local charities and whatever we have left over I want to keep piling that in the account and either fund a school garden or buy a salad bar for an elementary school, or a field trip to a farm.”

The first week’s COW will be the Harrison Apar Foundation, since Bruce Apar helped Muendell with her idea. Muendell also wanted to thank Yorktown Deputy Comptroller Pat Caporale and former Yorktown Heights Fire Chief Martin McGannon for helping to take the market from an idea to a new business.

According to Muendell, the goal is to let Yorktown residents interested in healthy eating pick out their own foods, but she also wants to educate young kids and families on how to eat healthy.

“This market is going to be family oriented, we’ll have a lot of activities for the littlest ones. I want kids to learn from as soon as they are old enough to eat,” Muendell said. “I want them to start to learn where their food comes from…this area has a really rich agricultural history that deserves to be highlighted, preserved and passed down to the kids, and hopefully they will do the same for the next generation.”

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