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Youth Greenmarkets Turn Young New Yorkers Into Health Food Vendors

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A farmers market in Brooklyn is one of 13 throughout the city this summer that are providing fresh food and teaching young adults how to prepare and sell it. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

An 18-year-old college freshman preparing fricassee on a street corner is not an expected sight on an early Saturday morning, but it is a common sight at the GrowNYC Youth Market in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

"Basically, we're using zucchini, we're using fried mustard greens, collard greens, everything to make it. And we're missing some ingredients, but it's fine. We're showing the public how to improvise," said market participant Felicia Romain.

The youth market is a farmers' market that is run entirely by young adults. Community groups all over the city helped recommend the candidates, who are then trained to operate the stand as their own small business and schooled in food preparation and nutrition.

"I'm really trying to share things with my family and my friends a little bit, because we weren't the healthiest of people," said market participant Olivia Morgan. "So now, like, I'm trying to eat a lot of meals with vegetables."

This summer, 13 youth markets will be open in all five boroughs. The food is locally grown and whatever is not sold is used as compost.

The tents are placed in neighborhoods where access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a challenge.

"It's very difficult to get stuff that's freshly grown, local and inexpensive," said resident Ilya Vett. "I love the variety that they have. I think it's really going to help us out around here."

"The more it makes sense in your life to integrate fresh foods and cooking, the better off you're going to be," said Brooklyn City Councilman Brad Lander.

Youth markets employ about 50 teens throughout the city through October. For more information about the markets' locations and hours, visit grownyc.org/youthmarket.

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