National Farm to City Week Highlights the Bounty of Greenmarkets in our Neighborhoods
Did you know that National Farm to City Week begins the Thursday before Thanksgiving? This special week celebrates and recognizes the beneficial partnerships between rural and urban communities that make our food supply safe and plentiful. The Thanksgiving season is a time when many Americans gather with their families and reflect upon many blessings. One of those blessings is a nutritious and diverse food supply produced by our farmers and ranchers. During National Farm to City Week, we recognize the myriad contributions our nation’s farmers and ranchers make toward furthering the health and well-being of our country and our very own neighborhoods. In Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo, we have a bounty of terrific farmer’s markets, and a special connection to them. You can find one every day of the week throughout our neighborhoods, with the exception of Thursday!
Union Square Greenmarket
New York City’s Greenmarket program was the brainchild and labor of love of Greenwich Villager Barry Benepe. The largest of the New York City greenmarkets is located at Union Square. This world-famous market began with just a few farmers in 1976, and has grown exponentially since then. It was the first permanent, ongoing Greenmarket in New York City (the very first long-gone one was begun just a few weeks earlier at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue). In peak season 140 regional farmers, fishers, and bakers sell their products to dedicated and hungry city dwellers.
As NYC Greenmarket’s flagship market, the seasonal bounty here is unparalleled, with hundreds of varieties to choose from during any season. From just-picked fresh fruits and vegetables to heritage meats and award-winning farmstead cheeses, fresh-baked artisan breads, jams, pickles, cut flowers and plants, wine, ciders, mushrooms, and maple syrup products, food gatherers can find a huge variety of things fresh from the local farms. Located in one of New York’s great public spaces, 60,000 shoppers chat with and buy from farmers on any given day. Students of all ages from schools around the city tour the market and learn about seasonality and the wonderful bounty that the farms within a 100-mile radius of the city produce and bring to market. The market also hosts book talks, cooking demos, recycling and more. Check out their site to learn what’s going on! The Union Square Greenmarket is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 8-6.
Abingdon Square Greenmarket
The Abingdon Square Greenmarket has brought local farms and farmers to Greenwich Village since 1994. Farmers there brag that they are on a first-name basis with neighbors and regular visitors! Early birds snap up classic and heirloom vegetables, fruit, fresh-caught fish, and farmstead goat and cows milk cheeses. Fresh cider and microbatch juices, organic baked goods, flowers, turkey, and pasture-raised eggs round out the offerings at this neighborhood institution. It is open on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm year-round.
Astor Place Greenmarket
The Astor Place Greenmarket takes place on the perfect day of the week: Tuesdays from 8 am until 5 pm, just in case you didn’t make it to Union Square on Monday! As with their big sister, the Astor Place market has food from local farms and always has a huge selection of honey, fruit and vegetables, baked goods, and meats. Astor Place is constantly in motion and is the nexus of an exciting young, vibrant, and artistic community where the East and West Villages come together. The location also houses two public plazas that were reconstructed in 2019. And, of course, it is easily accessible to and from the subway station!
Tompkins Square Greenmarket
If composting is your thing, visit the Tompkins Square Greenmarket on Sundays from 9 am until 5 pm. You can bring your food scraps to the NYC Compost Project’s drop-off location there at East 7th Street between Avenues A and B on the north side of the street. The hours are Sundays from 8 until 5, year-round. While you’re there, of course, check out the Farm to City offerings at the greenmarket, also from 8 until 5 on Sundays. The Greenmarket is located along the southwest corner of the East Village’s central gathering ground. This year-round greenmarket brings specialty produce, orchard fruit and berries, live plants and flowers, eggs, glass-bottled milk, farmstead cheese, meat baked goods, honey, and maple syrup to the neighborhood year-round. For more information on composting, please visit their composting page.
These warm fall days are really the perfect time to visit one of our gorgeous Greenmarkets and check out the fall harvest!