The Union Square Greenmarket is always there for me. Literally. I live in Carlyle Court Residence Hall, and four days a week, it’s right outside my building. My roommates and I chose Carlyle in part for its proximity to the market for our groceries. My suitemate even bought a mini compost bin for our kitchen, knowing she could rely on the Greenmarket’s compost collection.
When I couldn’t find quality cilantro in any of the grocery stores, the farmers market had my back at $2.50 per bunch. I even bought some $5 mini roses from the plant booth, Petal Plants, to decorate my dorm. It was a treat myself moment. As with any good farmers market, you can find common fruits and vegetables in addition to specialty herbs and houseplants.
Vendors also sell dairy products, meat, locally distilled liquor and baked goods. There is even ostrich meat and eggs from Roaming Acres. Things I know I need (a single lemon) and things I’ve never heard of (rows upon rows of fancy herbs) sit side by side at this market.
Once upon a time, the last berries of summer were still available for purchase, but no more now that autumn is here. However, if you’re in the mood for some fall-themed treats to get in the seasonal spirit, the market delivers. Be sure to grab some Honeycrisp apples for $3 per pound, a half-dozen cider donuts for $7 or a gallon of cider for $7. As a Vermonter, I give all of these my seal of approval, just make sure to buy in bulk. While a cup of hot cider may be tempting on a cool day, at $2 a pop, it’s the same price as a chilled pint.
The Union Square Greenmarket is consistently crowded on Saturday afternoons with NYU students, Union Square residents and, of course, lots of dogs. Weekday mornings tend to be calmer; however, like the chaos emblematic of Union Square, the hectic atmosphere is part of its charm and shouldn’t stand between you and your veggies if you only have a day over the weekend to spare.
The Union Square Greenmarket is convenient for students and reliable for tracking down specific ingredients. These factors make it easy to overspend, but the quality and variety of products make it well worth the occasional trip. Even if you’re not in the market for anything in particular, exploring this green space on a weekend afternoon never disappoints.
Email Sabrina Choudhary at [email protected]