I used to think going to the farmer's market was a fun, field-trip kind of experience. And then I read more and did the math of how expensive places like Whole Foods add up to be without necessarily offering better quality, and realized that for my money I prefer to support actual people as much as possible. I still get some things from WF and other places, but I really enjoy talking recipes and details with the farmers and walking stall to stall to see whose daily lot looks the most alive and why... I guess you could say that connecting to the growers helps me appreciate the food I'm going to prepare later at home.
The market is more fun than ever, now a weekly excursion - and even more frequent sometimes, to see growers I miss on other days. I've built it into my to-do pattern as a way of living, incorporating into my life the freshest fresh, seasonal foods. These photographs are the bountiful array from last week's trip at the Union Square Market in New York. Check online for your local farmers' market - almost every city and town has one, if not a few! If you are linked to a CSA - community supported agriculture - even better. :)
We got our strawberries from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm and our eggs from Violet Hill Farm. The mushrooms are from Bulich Mushroom Farm; the pork chops from Flying Pigs; thanks to Hudson Valley Organic Gardens for the mung sprouts, and our radishes came from S&SO Produce. The mutsu apples are from Nemeth Orchards; our plants - the zinnias, are from Van Houten Farms, and the basil is from Nature's Healing Farm; the cheese is a sheep's milk aged gouda style and found at Valley Shepherd, and our cream-top whole milk is from Milk Thistle Farm. After collecting all these goodies and with our bags filled to the brim with as much as we could carry, we decided it was time to return home and begin the feast!
With local and personal in mind, I want to offer you a sneak preview of my next post... I am eager to share with you an interview I made with none other than the great food writer Betty Fussell, who has written stories on America's love affair with (and the history of) corn and beef, amongst many, many other things. She is an amazing person, and someone I am honored to call a dear friend. Please stay tuned for this very special story.