It’s almost June, which means it’s reopening season for Farmers’ Markets all over the city (yay!).
I never used to pay much attention to farmers’ markets but I think my love for them began in college, when I lived right across from the Union Square one (gotta love the location of those NYU dorms..) I remember always walking past the stands until one day, on my way to the train station, I was running early and decided to stop to take a look. It was like stepping into another world. Being surrounded by the freshest produce and after discovering apple cider donuts, I was in love.
For those who walk by farmers’ markets on your way to work or school and are curious, here are some reasons why you may want to stop to take a look and maybe do a walk through next time. Okay fine, these are the reasons why I love the farmers’ market..(photos are from yesterday’s visit to the Union Square Greenmarket)
It just tastes so good… The food sold at the farmers’ market is locally grown so it was probably picked within the past day or two, fresh from the farm which means no long-distance shipping and no sitting for weeks in storage! Also, because farmers markets sell what is in season, you are going to find the items there to be at their peak, meaning at their most delicious time.
It gives you the opportunity to support local family farms- Family farmers need our support. Small family farms now have a hard time competing in the food industry with big businesses. So when you buying directly from farmers, it gives them a better return for their produce.
It allows you to connect with your community – A trip to the farmers market is one of the best ways (at least being in the city) to know where your food comes from. When you buy directly from the farmer, you are establishing a connection between the consumer and the grower, which is often lost when purchasing at a grocery store.
You can support a clean environment- Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. Transporting food over long distances generates tons of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to global warming (yes you heard about ice melting in Antarctica). Food at the farmers market travels shorter distances to get to you, generating less carbon dioxide emissions. You can learn more from the EPA here.
To find a farmers’ market near you, visit http://www.localharvest.org/
If you are in NYC, check out this great map by http://www.grownyc.org/files/gmkt/map.pdf
The New Amsterdam Market is reopening this Saturday May 31st downtown near South Street Seaport at South Street and Peck Slip
The New Greenmarket Cookbook released yesterday and A Summer Night with Greenmarket Chefs is happening in Union Square on Friday, June 6th to celebrate the chefs and restaurants devoted to Greenmarket, with farmers selling their goods along with restaurants serving food.
And if you’re heading to one soon, expect to see some beautiful asparagus, rhubarb, and strawberries. I found rocket kale, japanese turnips, red russian kale, baby beet tops yesterday. You can also check out what’s in season so you know what to expect to find when you get there. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Happy Market Hopping,