The Fresher, The Better

To be honest, there’s nothing I love more than the smell and taste of fresh food.

I almost got you there! So I can actually list a few things, namely coffee, waking up without an alarm, my adorable Yorkie, Bella…you get it.

I mean, that first statement wasn’t a total lie. There’s something really refreshing about knowing exactly where your food has come from. Seeing as Americans spend about 90% of their food budget on processed foods (foods that have been manipulated or refined in some way after being grown or butchered), unaltered products are somewhat of a rarity nowadays.

Enter farmers’ markets. One of my favorite things to do when the weather doesn’t remind me of the Arctic tundra is roam around outdoor farmers’ markets with my friends, buy various kinds of fresh food and cook a delicious and healthy meal upon returning home.

Here are a few of New York City’s finest farmers’ markets:

Union Square Greenmarket

Union Square, West 15th to 17th sts. and 17th St. from Broadway to Park Ave. South

Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

Market Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The Union Square Greenmarket was the first NYC farmers’ market I ever went to. And man, did I pick an amazing market to start off with. Interestingly enough, what began as a small gathering of farmers in 1976 now attracts more than 60,000 shoppers daily.

The selection that this market provides is seemingly unparalleled, with hundreds of varieties to choose from during any given season. This includes, but isn’t limited to: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses, artisan breads, jams, pickles, flowers, plants, wine, ciders and maple syrup.

If anything, the location of this particular market should be enough of an incentive to visit it. From the way I see it, Union Square’s atmosphere is always buzzing with vibrant individuals of all ages. My suggestion? Roam the market, grab some freshly prepared goods, pop a squat and take part in some good old fashioned people-watching.

New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket

Mosholu Gate on Southern Boulevard between Mosholu Parkway and Bedford Park Boulevard, Bronx

Open Wednesdays, 6/18 – 11/26

Market Hours: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Although the New York Botanical Garden Greenmarket is seasonal, I still felt I had to include it in this post because of how renound it is. Even though I haven’t yet been there myself, I plan on doing so as soon as it reopens.

While you can get similar products at this market in regards to those of Union Square’s, there is one plus in picking the Bronx over downtown Manhattan: admission to the Garden is free on Wednesdays. Thus, market-goers have the awesome opportunity to stock their picnic baskets and spend a fun-filled day in what became a national historic landmark in 1967.

 To get a better idea of what a day in the Garden’s market can consist of, check out the video below:

Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket

Prospect Park West & Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

Open Saturdays Year Round

Market Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The last farmers’ market suggestion I bring to you is the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. Even though I also haven’t been to this specific market, I have spent some time in Brooklyn during the warmer months and made some incredible memories.

Founded in 1989, this market is the second-largest location under the Greenmarket umbrella, coming in second to Union Square, and the largest in Brooklyn. Similarly to the New York Botanical Gardens Greenmarket, Grand Army Plaza is at the northwest entrance to beautiful Prospect Park. This makes it an ideal destination not just for Brooklynites, but for any city dweller interested in a good time (not in that way, geez -__-).

In addition to the farm fresh products available at this Brooklyn market, shoppers also get the chance to watch cooking demonstrations by local chefs. Free cooking lesson brought to you by professionals? Sign me up!

Even though yet another snow storm is going to be hitting the city this Wednesday, instead of focusing on the freezing weather, I’ll be looking forward to all of the eventual farmers’ market shopping I’ll be doing come spring.

Until then, you can find me indoors. Ain’t nobody got time for single digit temperatures.

xo

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