Last week I bought five dozen field-fresh sunflowers at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan to help decorate the tables at a friend’s wedding shower. Just as I was sweating it out over how to ferry my huge bundles to the curb, then wrestle them into a taxi in the wilting mid-afternoon heat, there appeared a vision in green: Jason Wexler (above), wheeling a bicycle fitted with a big, lime-colored box screened with the words “From Earth to Kitchen.” Saved. Wexler works for a new, on-demand bicycle delivery service that shuttles Greenmarket purchases to homes and restaurant kitchens, carbon-emissions-free.
Founded by two veteran employees at the Greenmarket, From Earth to Kitchen is meant to help encourage purchases of local, sustainable produce and products by providing efficient, environmentally sound delivery. Ellie Kahn, operational manager, says the current fleet consists of two stock bikes that were custom painted by the owners, plus one that was adapted by Hudson Urban Bicycles in the West Village. She adds that expanded services are planned. It’s all part of a growing trend toward cargo bike use by businesses and individuals in New York City.
Back to my delivery: After I negotiated the fee directly with the service, the sunflowers were carefully stowed in the box, and a short while later appeared in front of my apartment building. Although my Union Square Greenmarket purchases typically fit into the basket of my own commuter bike, I’ve added From Earth to Kitchen to my speed dial in anticipation of August’s bounty and its delirious imperative to buy MORE of everything. That’s a load off my mind.