Veggie Island Will Join Rockaway Taco on the Boardwalk, Plans Urban Farm

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Add another one to the lineup of vendors that will join Rockaway Taco on the boardwalk this summer: The taco shack’s 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 isn’t 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. He’s also considering a meat CSA, though he isn’t much of a carnivore himself. “Originally we didn’t 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.” He’s 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 they’re hoping to raise, and they’ll throw you a marina party complete with kegs and kayak rides.

Veggie Island Grows [Kickstarter]