I went to the Grand Army Plaza farmers’ market today at around 9am, hoping to beat both the crowds and the heat. I only succeeded on one front- it was packed.
My digital camera is broken, so this wasn’t today’s market. Picture about 4 times as many people, and lots of flowering plants in baskets, and even more dogs and strollers, and you’ll be about there. It was seriously crowded. There were lines not just for the fishmonger, but also for Ronnybrook Dairy and one of the vegetable sellers. Maybe it’s always this crowded at 9 am, I’m usually not up that early. But on the upside, they hadn’t yet sold out of most of the fish, which happens around 12:30 pm.
Maybe these hordes of people were drawn by the sheer abundance of the produce; this is the most produce I’ve seen there since late September, when the last of the summer fruits and tomatoes were there. The amount and variety of produce has been slowly growing over the past couple of months, with a couple of new things every week. But now this has gone into overdrive.
I got spring onions, baby lettuces, dandelion greens, fresh peas (in the pod), asparagus, maple-mint ice tea, south Jersey strawberries, garlic scrapes, yellow squash, mussels, tuna steak, ice cream, half and half, whole Creamline milk, multi-grain bread and fresh mint.
And there was so much more I could have gotten: honey, lamb, turkey, apples, cider, wine, goat or cow cheese, eggs, houseplants, bedding plants, fresh herbs to plant or use, spinach, yogurt, beef, turkey, kohlrabi, radishes, turnips, kale, muffins, donuts, baguettes, arugula, peashoots, pork chops, sausages, bacon, maple syrup, mushrooms, and even candy.
No stone fruits yet, and I’m kind of tired of apples after all of these months, but the cherries and apricots and other stone fruits will be here soon.
Living in New York city, anyone with a middle-class income can easily assemble lots of majority-local meals from now through about October. Maybe you won’t use meat as the centerpiece of every meal, as meat is the most expensive thing, but eating more vegetables is healthier, anyway. Winter is harder, but it’s easy for now. Make a quick salad, grill a lamb chop, or just get some cold cider. Go enjoy summer!