New York’s Union Square Greenmarket, is in their words “the flagship market”. If you’ve ever been there on a summer Saturday, it’s overwhelming. Along with throngs of people, are piles of vegetables in dozens of shapes and colors. Essentially, sensory overload. So how to navigate? Here I’ll introduce you to some of my favorites at the market, and offer a few survival tips. If you’re not in New York, don’t stop reading, these tips work for markets everywhere.

  • The market is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday. Saturday is the biggest and busiest, but Mondays and Wednesdays are great days too. The bonus? Lots more room to navigate and the farmers have time to steer you towards the best stuff.
  • Make friend with the farmers. They can help you pick out the best box of berries, give you cooking tips, and let you know who else has the day’s best bets. Remember, everyone likes praise, so let them know when something is really tasty.
  • Bring your own bags. If you’re going to the trouble of supporting local farmers, support the planet too.
  • Good stuff goes fast. Sorry, but in this case you do have to get there early. Go on the way to the office, and just store everything in the office fridge.
  • Leave the dogs, kids, strollers, bikes etc at home. You just tie up traffic, and don’t make friends that way.
  • Do bring kitchen scraps for composting, and textiles for recycling.
  • Try something new. A different color tomato, a strange looking vegetable…expand your horizons!

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