Add another one to the lineup of vendors that will join Rockaway Taco on the boardwalk this summer: The taco shacks neighbor, the Veggie Island farm stand, plans to serve vegetarian rotis and fresh-pressed juices out of the boardwalk concession stand at Beach 97th Street. Shaun Kessler tells us that isnt the only news this season: If he can get properly licensed, he hopes to turn Veggie Island (which reopens on Memorial Day) into something closer to a bodega, selling prepared sandwiches, salads, and cheese. Hes also considering a meat CSA, though he isnt much of a carnivore himself. Originally we didnt want to do meat, he tells us, But the more I think about it, the more I think the people who are going to eat meat are going to eat meat. Hes also hoping to grow more of the produce he sells.
Veggie Island currently gets its organic veggies from Blooming Hill Farm, where partner Elizabeth Gilchrist works, but Gilchrist, Kessler, and their partner Taka Imamura have set up a Kickstarter campaign to fund a plot of land at a marina at Beach 59th Street. There, they hope to grow greens as well as tomatoes and flowers, and may even raise one or two dozen chickens for eggs. The goal is to build a greenhouse by fall and be growing most of the produce they sell within three years. Check out the Kickstarter campaign contribute $2,500 of the $15,000 theyre hoping to raise, and theyll throw you a marina party complete with kegs and kayak rides.
Veggie Island Grows [Kickstarter]