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Monday, October 1, 2012

Vegan MoFo in New York!

Well, Happy World Vegetarian Day - and Happy Vegan MoFo!


I figured I'd start touring you around New York with the Union Square farmers' market, which is very near and dear to my heart. I think it's the largest in the city (there are more than 50) and it's open 4 days a week, all year long. It can get a little sad during January and February, but it keeps on truckin'. I visit this location the most often because I work two blocks away.
We're lucky that New York has four distinct seasons to provide a variety of foods - this early in October, we are still holding on to the last of summer but definitely showing fall colors:


There are obviously tons of fruit and vegetable stands. Vendors sell jams and jellies and wine (!). New York has a lot of wineries out on Long Island. I also find it interesting that there are pasta and grains sold along with bread from local companies.


It's a funny reminder of the vastness of this state and what the city used to be. (An aside: check out this amazing conceptual piece by Agnes Denes - she planted a two acre wheatfield in Downtown Manhattan in 1982.)
There are herb stands in season, and plants and flowers alongside honey.


And! Wheatgrass man:


They also sell (unfortunately) a lot of sheep's yarns, goat cheese, and poultry, meat, and seafood (New York IS an old port town, and the city consists of two islands...) but let's stick to photos of midseason vegetables:


Beyond the cornucopia of beautiful, seasonal, fresh edibles, the Union Square market also holds clothing and cloth donation drops AND offers composting! I love passing the woman holding out handfuls of dirt for people to smell! It's also very cool that people who live in cramped apartments with sometimes not even a fire escape for their own outside space can save scraps to feed the earth.
What are your favorite stands at yr local farmers' markets? The fall has so many offerings. Go check it out! (I'll probably be stopping by the hot apple cider stand in a couple of weeks...)

24 comments:

  1. Yay happy MoFo!! What a great intro post to what I'm sure will be an amazing month of NY inspired eats! I personally think the Union Square Farmer's market is the number one Farmer's Market ever. It is so big with so much variety and high quality. Look at all of that produce and it all looks gorgeous! I'm really jealous of your proximity to it, I have only been there once or twice but wish I could go more often. My favorite local one is the Huntington farmer's market on Sundays. They have some pretty good produce vendors but it's still pretty small. The beautiful farmer's market in Orlando has some amazing produce vendors too, as well as a popcorn vendor that has the most tempting smells coming from his tent! The fresh citrus juice vendor is also pretty amazing there :)

    Great post, thanks for the tour! Can't wait to see the rest of your NY inspired posts... it'll be a good kick in the butt for me to get into the city and try new things!

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    1. I've heard good things about the Huntington market. It would be incredible to see pineapple at a farmer's market though!
      maybe some of my outings will coincide with yr restaurant meals! We can compare notes.

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  2. Thank you for that terrific artist's link and the virtual tour of the USQ market. I'll sheepishly admit that my favorite thing there is the vegan cookie (from the non-vegan stand) with carrots, raisins, and nuts; wish I knew which stand, but I always manage to find it.

    P.S. I'm a huge contributor to that compost drop but I've never smelled the dirt.

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    1. I only recently found out about Agnes Denes! It was quite serendipitous but I was really moved by her work. Especially the shots of the WTC towers behind the brown wheat! Glad you liked it.
      I think I know which stand you're talking about. I've certainly stopped by. Have you been to Body & Soul? It's all vegan and all organic baked goods - an outpost of Counter. I worked the stand for all of two days a couple years ago.

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  3. This looks so cool! I'd love to visit New York one day, it's on my bucket list. Great pictures :)

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  4. Yay! I love seeing Farmer's Markets! Similar to yours, we still have summer produce, but I've noticed some of the quality is headed downhill. Thus, no more tomatoes or corn for me. Green beans (like the pile shown above) are still good! Oooh, hot apple cider! I love autumn.

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    1. Yes, I remembered you requested a tour a couple months ago! I haven't bought the corn but I'm still pushing on tomatoes. Anything's better than supermarket tomatoes.

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  5. awesome.. i am bookmarking your theme so i know what to do in ny when i visit! Happy Mofo to you too

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    1. I hope I can post up to your standards.

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  6. Really nice Market. Did you buy anything? Some Beets?

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    1. You'll be pleased (?) to know I haven't had beets in a while. This was an early morning run before work, so I just bought a couple apples for the next few days breakfasts. Honeycrisp!

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  7. I went to that one once. Oh,I love that you can bring your compost! That's great. So, with city farmer's markets, how much do you think is local-ish and how much comes from far away? Just curious. We had one here, and it pretty much turned into an outdoor grocery store. People were not happy, so they opened an Arkansas only farmers market.

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    1. Interesting! I think there is a 100 mile radius that farmers and vendors must work within...but I could be wrong about the actual distance. They try to keep it fairly local, mostly NY, NJ, and PA. I sort of assumed that all Farmers markets were like that!

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    2. I see. So yeah, I didn't know if there was a "local" definition. Good to know.

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  8. A great tour, and a cornucopia indeed, so vibrant and pretty.
    I just can't stop looking at that guy at the Bean stand calves.
    Wonder if beans will do that for my legs.

    Great opening post. Happy MoFo to you too!

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    1. Thanks, GiGi! Eat more beans! But don't quit the sauerkraut.

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  9. Ahhh, NYC, so close but so, so far (especially with a 4.5 yo to attend to!).

    Thanks for a vicarious vacation! Happy MoFo! YEAH BABY!

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    1. Even the 40 minute commute in the morning irks me, and I only have a cat. Happy mofo :)

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  10. Union Square Market just makes me swoon! So many vendors, so much food!

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  11. I love farmers markets, and the one you've photographed really looks great. We have similar markets in Seattle, but I can't help but notice that the prices have gone sky high that they make Whole Foods look like a bargain basement. I know farmers have to make a living and I like supporting them, but paying $8/lb. for green beans is out of my league. I wonder how NY prices compare.

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    1. I was wondering that about other cities. We should plan to buy the exact amount of the same produce one week! I'm honestly curious.
      It's funny - the Union Square Whole Foods is right across the street and I sometimes bypass the Farmer's market for cheaper produce at WF too. must be tough.

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  12. Your farmers market looks awesome! I love that they take compost. And also cool that it's open four days a week.

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  13. I missed world vegetarian day! Damn. That farmer's market is so gorgeous, I want it. We have people who sell grains at ours too, and also a variety of legumes which is pretty cool. This time of year the produce really starts dwindling, though. It's already getting so cold out!

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