Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exploring NYC's Farmers' Markets

New York City has some of the best farmers' markets and this past week while I've been virtually housebound, I was at least able to make it out a couple times to go to both the Union Square and Jackie Robinson Park farmers' markets. 

Now the Union Square market is huge! I was struggling physically the morning I went, and it was a bit rainy, but people were out in full effect. I only stayed on the west side of the market as I was under time constraints and tired, but I found some yummy produce:

Most of the vendors were friendly and the corn vendor told me he prefers to eat his corn raw. Interesting! The broccoli was very good too - much better than what I get at the grocery store. I just put it on the steamer basket pot on my range, and it was ready in about 7 minutes. 

Mostly, I really liked seeing all the vibrant colors of the produce! My favorite of my bounty was the cherries. They were like candy! However yesterday, my Wellesley friends Kim C. and  Millicent C. visited me, and Kim came bearing yellow cherries. I had never had them before and WOW, they are divine! I'll definitely look for them next time.

Yesterday I also went to the Jackie Robinson Park Farmers' Market. It pales in comparison to Union Square as there are only three booths, but they are very friendly, and I like that it provides a local option so close to where I live (only five blocks away!). Here's my bounty:

Now there are 4 ears of corn tucked under there and that's lettuce (not sure what kind!), but I plan to eat everything with the help of with Mr. Love Bird and my sister over the next three days. I usually boil my corn with sugar water, and it comes out delish! I found easy instructions here (with pictures). I put butter on mine, but Mr. Love Bird puts salt. I'd love to throw it on the grill, but that's a lot of effort and charcoal for just corn. We do have leftover ribs in the freezer from Baby Agbai's BBQ shower last weekend so we may just put the corn on with the ribs and make a side salad (tomatoes will be at the Jackie Robinson Park farmers' market on Tuesday).

Since I hadn't frequented farmers' markets before, I found this post on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn helpful. There are such tips as:
  • If you want to avoid the crowds and have the best selection, go when the market is just opening.
  • If you want to get the best deals, go close to closing time.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen and/or a wide brimmed hat, bring water.
  • Remember your cloth bags and bring smaller spare plastic bags as well (many Bay Area FM are going plastic bag free.)
What do you like to get at your local farmers' market?


  1. I live in "small" town. (50,000 people, but compared to the big city, I just feel like I should call it a small town, lol.) Our farmers market here.....i wont say it sucks, but it's not what you would expect it to be for Arkansas! It did just get started up this year, so i guess it's probably going to take a while to build up steam. We got some really good squash when we went though, and there was a lady there who was selling homemade jams, using only locally bought produce, and it was SO delicious!

  2. The produce looks terrific. I bet it tasted even better. There is nothing really like that here in Dallas...shocking! I miss our farmer's market back in Atlanta.