In the 35 years the Union Square Greenmarket has been in business, it has remained a renowned hotspot. The market’s popularity has started a resurgence of farmer’s markets and offers some of the freshest products for New Yorkers and NYU students alike.
“I’ve been here since the Greenmarket opened,” said Joan Acocella, a Greenmarket regular. “It was much smaller. It was much less deluxe. The Greenmarket is now more expensive than some grocery stores, but the quality is always better.”
It’s the quality Acocella speaks of that attracts flocks of New Yorkers to Union Square every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. With over 140 regional farmers, fishermen and bakers selling their wide variety of products, Greenmarket must be visited for fresh fall produce.
Bodhitree Farm, a popular, all-vegetable vendor, presents their wide-ranging produce with a brief description and cooking tip for each vegetable they sell.
Debi Farmer, who works in farm management at Bodhitree’s Burlington County farm, gave a description of their fall produce and one of her favorite recipes.
“[In the] fall season, you have the whole brassica family [including] cauliflower, cabbages, broccoli, sweet potatoes, root crops, all Asian radishes, beets … things like that,” Farmer said.
Farmer recommends simply roasting the beets, peeling them, soaking them in olive oil and seasoning them with salt.
Lucky Dog Organic, another Greenmarket staple, offers all-organic servings of vegetables. Farmer and co-owner Richard Giles sell numerous types of vegetables during the fall season, such as kale, collards, spinach, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic and celery. Their bestsellers during the fall are the potatoes and kale, which also comes in a salad mix.
Giles suggests using kale in an easy to make salad.
“Just get olive oil, chopped up garlic and some really good sea salt,” Giles said. “Chop up the kale, wad it up in your hand with olive oil, almost crush it up a little bit, put the sea salt on it, mix the chopped garlic in it, and just eat for days as a salad.”
The Greenmarket also has some great options for people who don’t cook much. Beth’s Farm Kitchen offers a variety of jams, pickles and preserves. Elizabeth Beals, manager of their farm in Stuyvesant, N.Y., recommends pumpkin butter.
“We make [pumpkin butter] in 16-ounce jars, and it’s pumpkin puree, sugar and spices,” Beals said. “You can simply spread it on your toast in the morning for a fall, pumpkin spice, seasonal treat.”
Whether it’s fresh produce or gourmet preserves, the Union Square Greenmarket offers incredible options for the fall. Any NYU student who’s looking to add some fall-time flavor to their dishes should definitely make the quick trip to Union Square.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Oct. 8 print edition. Helen Owolobi is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]