Last Wednesday, in the cold autumn weather, I traveled to the Union Square Green Market as I found their aim to connect small-time local farmers with consumers to increase agriculture and environmental sustainability to be rather intriguing. Emptier than I had expected for afternoon hours, I observed as regulars with a keen eye for picking out the best products. Small farm stands sold locally grown and hand-made products from vegetables, fruits, and flowers to baked goods, meats, ciders, and dairy products.
Crops mostly in the Cucurbitaceae family dominated the selling field for what was in season with a wide variety of pumpkins, butternut squash, and kabocha. Sales ranged from vegetables such as tomatoes going down in price from $3.50 to $2.75 per pound and greens like collards, arugula and bok choy selling at 2 for $5 or $3 a bunch. Their was a mix of familiar foods like red delicious apples and concord grapes but a larger amount of unfamiliar foods like red devil apples and carnival squash which you don’t come by in supermarkets. Depending on the farm stand, food prices were definitely higher for items such as mackintosh apples selling for $2.50 per pound which normally sell for $1.50 per pound in supermarkets but is justifiable for it’s fresh and local nature.
While exploring, Kernan Farms caught my attention, selling low acid tomatoes resembling golden jubilee heirloom tomatoes. To my surprise, they were very firm without any soft spots, so I purchased some while considering the endless possibilities for acid-sensitive dishes. I decided to use it in my favorite breakfast “eggs in purgatory” which really enhanced the flavor and texture of the dish, becoming my new found replacement for using regular tomatoes. This Greenmarket visit was an unforgettable experience that opened me up to shopping their more often for the diverse amount of fresh ingredients I can use for in many new dishes.