NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – For the past few weeks, some of New Rochelle’s youngest chefs have been hard at work, studying and learning the ins and outs of farm fresh cooking as part of their summer vacation.
Since the Fourth of July, the Beth El Day Camp Rockstars, a group of 7- and 8-year-old girls led by day camp Director Julie Rockowitz and Assistant Director Deborah Gilwit, have been busy cooking up fresh treats for hungry shoppers at the Down to Earth Farmers Market on Fridays.
The Rockstars have spent a part of their summer learning about sustainability and the value of buying local, organic food. As part of their program, the “food ambassadors” prepared select recipes using fresh market ingredients, which were then shared with customers.
“We’re thrilled to get the kids that are eager to get kids that dig local food and seasonality. There’s a lot to learn (at the market),” Down to Earth’s Marketing Director Frankie Rowland said. “We have everything one needs for a full meal here. (The Rockstars) are inspiring people every week with their new found love of fresh, local food.”
The Down to Earth Farmers Market is open from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on every Friday running through Nov. 21, but the Rockstars will only be sticking around for two more weeks before they ditch their apron and spatula for a backpack and pencil. The last two weeks will focus on fruit kebabs, with watermelon being the feature on Aug. 8, while there will be a gazpacho highlighting celery on the menu Aug. 15.
Various vendors come from all over the tri-state area each week to be a part of the Down to Earth markets that are spread throughout the county. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as artisan goods are available on a rotating basis.
When the New Rochelle market opened in June, Sen. George Latimer noted that Down to Earth is an important commodity in the community with so many markets spread around and available on different dates.
“What’s great about the Down to Earth markets is that you have one (in New Rochelle) on Friday, Larchmont on Saturday and then Rye on Sundays, so there’s one for everyone,” he said. “It’s great to have it be so present, and it provides a nice opportunity to buy fresh, farm-to-table ingredients.”
A complete list of weekly vendors at the market can be found here. Electronics Benefits Terminal (E.B.T.) will be available for shoppers with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).