Amar'e Stoudemire on the Inspiring Reason Why He Bought a Farm (Exclusive)
NBA star, Amar'e Stoudemire, grew up with parents in the agriculture industry — and now his farm has a stand coming to Union Square Farmers Market.
When most people think of Amar'e Stoudemire, they think of his many glorious years playing power forward and center for the Phoenix Suns, and participating in countless All-Star games. But a few years ago, the Florida native decided to dip his toes into the world of agriculture, and he's now selling his products at GrowNYC's Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, at a farm stand called Stoudemire Farms.
"A lot of folks wonder, 'Where does my food come from anyway?' The answer isn’t always pretty, so more consumers have been turning to local farms for ethical sources of food," Stoudemire tells Green Matters exclusively via email. "This is why I wanted to launch Stoudemire Farms direct to the public at Union Square Greenmarket. We can accept American Express and EBT, and bring fresh food into communities that need it — this is the future of food."
Stoudemire Farms has valued ethics and equality from the beginning.
Although he only retired from the NBA in 2020, Stoudemire's business portfolio is packed to the brim — the former NBA star founded Stoudemire Wines, as well as STAT Academy and The Amar'e Stoudemire Foundation. He is also an owner of the clothing line Spiritual Gangster, and trendy gym chain Rumble Boxing. But almost a decade ago, he founded a business that meant so much more to him: a family-run farm in Dutchess County, N.Y., called Stoudemire Farms.
"I was playing for the Knicks in 2012 when I saw the property and just fell in love with it," Stoudemire tells Green Matters. "I wanted to live off the land, and create a natural, healthy lifestyle for my family. Since then, it’s grown into a family business. One side of the property is all woods — that’s where we tap our trees for maple syrup. The other side is beautiful rolling pasture — that’s where we’re raising our Black Angus and lamb."
And in addition to selling steakhouse cuts, condiments, and maple syrup, Stoudemire makes a point to hire African American farmers, to teach younger generations to reclaim food sovereignty, and to create more jobs in the Black community, all while making a "legacy for his kids."
"The pandemic really crystallized for me how broken our food system is in America. It exposed the weaknesses in supply chain and educated the public on the challenges of access for healthy foods in cities across the country," Stoudemire tells us.
"I’ve always believed in eating local for a sustainable ecosystem and to support small businesses, but running this farm also helps me teach my children the legacy of land ownership and the building of intergenerational wealth, which are two very crucial goals for the Black community in America," he says.
Stoudemire's mother, Carrie Stoudemire, was also in the field of agriculture, picking oranges in Florida during the summer, and apples in Upstate New York in the fall — so clearly, this farm was a significant and meaningful project for the all-star athlete.
Stoudemire Farms is coming to Union Square — and Amar'e Stoudemire will be there.
Most New Yorkers have visited the Union Square Greenmarket, which is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The beloved urban open-air market offers everything from fruits, to vegetables, to plants, to fresh bread from local, small farms in the Greater New York Area. And after a few years of running his farm upstate, Stoudemire has decided to bring his creations to the NYC hot spot.
Last week, Stoudemire Farms announced in an Instagram post that it would be vending at the Union Square Greenmarket every week. And while that's incredibly exciting in itself, the post also mentioned the NBA icon would be there in-person — initially his appearance was set for Friday, June 11, but that's no longer going to be the case because he is busy coaching the Brooklyn Nets. His appearance is being postponed to sometime after the NBA season concluds.
When basketball season is over, though, be prepared to get some fresh food — and hopefully a selfie with Stoudemire himself.