Harvest Day, Food Day, and Big Apple Crunch at BronxWorks

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In an urban version of fall harvest festivals, BronxWorks is joining organizations across the nation to promote fresh produce, healthy eating and sustainable farming at two events Thursday and Friday (Oct. 23-24), Harvest Day and Food Day.  Activities will be centered at the Heights Community Farmers Market, University Avenue and West 181st Street, and the Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center, 1130 Grand Concourse, with other BronxWorks locations joining in. The highlight of the two-day celebration is the Big Apple Crunch, centered on autumn’s bounty of New York State apples.

The overall goal of the fall harvest festival is to promote healthier diets and support local and sustainable agriculture.

Events on Harvest Day, from 9 AM to 3 PM Thursday at the Heights Community Farmers Market, include a bomba performance by BombaYo, a well-known performance group, and a cooking demonstration by Chef Barbara Bailey.  Arranged especially for children are pumpkin painting, participation in fall crafts and a story reading by librarian Ruth Rodriquez of the Francis Martin branch of the New York Public Library. Visitors can also take advantage of screenings for benefits on the spot.  Newcomers to the Farmers Market can join a tour of the market. There is also a raffle.

Taking place on Food Day, from 4 to 8 P.M. Friday at the Carolyn McLaughlin Community Center, are more fun and games, planned and led by youth participants. These include educational games with prizes, cooking demonstrations and tastings, and #HealthySelfie, an opportunity to share “selfie” photos documenting participation in Food Day via social media.  On the more serious side will be a screening of “Food, Inc.,” a film demonstrating how the industrial food system, made up of corporate farming backed up by US food and farm policy, indirectly contribute to such health problems as obesity, diabetes and heart disease, especially among low-income people, another reason for people to look for locally sourced food.   

But the big event each day is the Big Apple Crunch, at noon on Harvest Day at the Farmers Market, and at 5 P.M. on Food Day at the community center. Last year one million New Yorkers bit into an apple at the “crunch heard ‘round the world,” as the event’s promoters, GrowNYC, call it.


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