You’re reading Young & Green, the group blog written by participants of GrowNYC’s Youthmarket. This network of urban farm stands is operated by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers, and supplies communities throughout NYC with fresh fruits and veggies. Pretty cool, huh?
THIS WEEK'S MARKET SUPERSTAR: Jhon Zhimnay, age 20
Jhon has had quite the season this year. A Youthmarket member for the past five years, he's recently been promoted to an assistant manager, along with being a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show at WNYC with Olivia Branchflower, GrowNYC's Director of Wholesale & Distribution (listen to the story here).
Hear more from our first Y&G guest of the new year, Jhon, below!
"Working for the Youthmarket has changed me - it made me a better person. I have met a lot of great people throughout the five years. Working at the Youthmarket made me somewhat of a social worker. I learned more about the community and their needs and also developed close relationships with lots of customers. There is this lady who knew me as a 15-year-old Youthmarket member. I remember at the beginning of the market season, I told her I had become an assistant manager and she was like, 'wow, time flies.' There is more to working at the Youthmarket than just selling and informing customers about eating locally, it’s also about developing better communication with the community."
Which market do you work at? For how long? I worked at Cypress Hills for 5 years.
What’s the funniest or the most interesting thing you’ve overheard at the market? The funniest things I have heard were customers complaining about the prices but still buy the product.
Has the market changed what you eat? In what ways? I try to have some sort of greens in all my meals. I eat less meat because of the market.
Do you cook at home? How often? I cook for my siblings once a week. They don't think my cooking is the greatest.
What’s your favorite easy meal to make and how long does it take? The easiest meal I make is rice and scrambled eggs. It takes about 20 minutes.
Has the market affected your future job plans? How? Hopefully down the road I have the opportunity to become a Youthmarket manager. The market has helped me become more open-minded.
Has the market affected how you interact with teachers? I communicate better with my professors.
What about classmates? I talk to my classmates more, both in school and on a personal level.
What have you learned about dealing with nasty weather (super hot or cold or rainy or windy)? I learned it’s better to be safe than sorry. If it’s cold, bring an extra sweater. If it’s hot, bring an extra bottle of water.
What about dealing with tough customers? Don’t get them angry.
What’s the most important question you think customers at the market should ask? Which farms are these products coming from?
What’s your favorite fruit or veggie that you tried for the first time while working at the market? Donut Peaches.
What’s one you’re not crazy about? Kale.
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about working for Youthmarket? Apply for the Youthmarket. It’s really fun and you will learn more about food, not just fruits and veggies.
Do you have any hobbies? My hobby is karate. I’ve been doing it for almost 12 years.
JHON'S FOOD DIARY (click below for a larger image.)
MORE YOUNG & GREEN!
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ALL PHOTOS: GROW NYC'S YOUTHMARKET