Farmers Markets Are Our Happy Place
sign up for the Fulton Stall Market CSA Today!
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Youth Market yesterday! Ham and I were there serving up some ranch fun dip with Norwich Meadow Farms produce. One of the coolest parts of the experience was seeing lots of folks try jicama for the first time and fall in love. (The stand sold out of jicama!)
If you missed it, the Two Bridges Youth Farmer's Market is at 50 Madison Street every Sunday through November 20 from 10:30am to 3pm. This amazing program is totally run by kids in the community. They set up and break down the stand, help the customers, and manage the early morning swarms lined up around the block for corn. Seriously, the demand for corn is so intense that they had to set a 5 cobs per person limit.
If you live in lower Manhattan and need some organic produce, be sure to stop by and support this program. They also accept EBT, and for every $10 you spend in EBT per day, you get another $10 back in NYC health bucks which you can use at the market. So you essentially get your produce half-off!
this is Zaid, the man behind Norwich Meadow Farms! he was a big fan of the fun dip
When Ham and I first moved to Manhattan, we lived by Penn station and worked as line cooks. Since we were often the only cooks who lived so close to Union Square, we first got to know the farmer's market by having to pick up produce for the restaurants we worked at. I remember arriving bleary eye-ed right at open after a late night filled with lots of whiskey and Taco Bell. Instead of corn, I'd fight other cooks for flats of tristar strawberries, ramps, and aji dulce peppers. It wasn't until the pandemic that we started going to the farmer's market for ourselves, initially because it felt safer shopping outdoors. Let me tell you, it's a much better experience when you're not hungover and hauling a pallet hand truck full of produce from Union Square to Tribeca.
Now, we look forward to trips to the market and get much of our produce from there. One question many of you have asked online is about cost. If we plan, it's more affordable than the grocery store near us (remember that $19 per pound butter I told you about). But the key is planning. It's easy to be swept away by plump cherries and fresh cheese. We keep it in check with items that break the bank, like fruit, tomatoes, peppers, and dairy. Greens, squash, and root vegetables usually make up the bulk of our haul. And we never shop without a rough idea of what we plan to cook. This helps us minimize waste and keep costs down.
Another affordable way to get your hands on high-quality, locally produced groceries is by joining a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and it's a great deal for both you and the farmers. The way it works is you buy a share for a season at the beginning of the season, then you pick up your produce (or meat/egg/dairy/mushroom/fruit) share every week. This helps the farmers by ensuring them a guaranteed income for that season, and you in turn get a better deal on your groceries through reduced pricing. Everybody wins!
Fulton Stall Market photos by Bob, the man who brought the markets to NYC!
Depending on the type of CSA you sign up for, they can be filled with a curated selection of produce, meat, and dairy by the farmers who produce them. It's a great way to see the best things each season offers and force yourself to become more familiar with and appreciate things you would never buy willingly (I see you rutabaga!).
If you live close to Fulton Stall Market, they are just kicking off the 22nd season of their CSA and still have some farm shares left. It lasts for 13 weeks, and if you sign up today you can pick up this Thursday! (If you can't sign up today, you can get the cost prorated.)
more Fulton Stall Market action captured by Bob
Here are just of few of their many share options:
– VEGETABLES from Rogowski Farm, Pine Island, NY. Fresh-picked leafy greens, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, herbs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, shallots, leeks, radishes, scallions, spinach, winter squash, turnips, cauliflower, and black beans. Six to seven varieties weekly, chemical-free, plus weekly recipes and tastings of farm-made kale & spinach pesto, pickles, black bean hummus, or smoked onion jam. Pre-bagged.($25/week = $325)
– FARMSTEAD CHEESE rotation from Hawthorne Valley Farm, Ghent, NY (cow); Ardith Mae Farm, Stuyvesant, NY (goat); Riverine Ranch, Washington, NJ (buffalo); Cato Corner Farm, Colchester, CT (cow); Valley Shepherd Creamery, Long Valley, NJ (sheep); Tonjes Farm Dairy, Callicoon, NY (cow). Approximately 1/2 pound, goat 6.5–8 ounces. ($15/week = $195)
– HERITAGE CHICKEN from Greenane Farms, Delhi, NY. Fresh, raised raised humanely on pasture grasses, non-GMO feeds and goat-milk whey. No hormones or antibiotics. Rotation of whole chicken, skinless/boneless chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks, apple/sage chicken sausages, and ground chicken. 2–2.5 pounds per week (whole chicken: 3–3.5 pounds). ($25/week = $325)
I get a lot of questions about what to do with everything in the share, so I'll be starting a series on Instagram showing you what we do with our share. So stay tuned and sign up today so you can cook alongside us!
Thanks for being here. Talk soon!