Today’s day trip is to a special place in New York City, Union Square Park. The park is worthy of a day trip on its own merits. It is after all a national historic landmark. However, today’s visit is all about food. The farmers' market at Union Square Park is our destination.
Ideally located, Union Square Park is easy to reach from all parts of New York City. It is just as accessible by road for those coming into the Big Apple from out of town. Thus, it is the perfect location for a farmers' market.
In 1976 the market started out with only seven local farmers. It immediately became apparent that there was a considerable demand for farm-fresh produce in the city. The small group of farmers would typically sell out by noon. So, GrowNYC, the organization which operates the market, invited more farmers to participate. Today there are 140 sellers at the market. Together they supply a loyal customer base within the city with more than 1,000 individual forms of produce and other goods.
During the peak season, 250,000 people will visit the market during the four days a week when it is open. The market's hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Many of the products made available at the market are unique. You will not find them at your local supermarket. There are award-winning cheeses, heritage meats, fresh fruits and vegetables of the most unique varieties. However, this is only part of the reason why the farmers' market at Union Square has continued to thrive for over 42 years.
The green market at Union Square Park is a busy place where commerce occurs the way it always has at any market. You will observe the familiarity between the different sellers and their regular customers. There is a bond between the farmer and the consumer at the Union Square farmers' market which does not exist at the at retail food stores.
Furthermore, there are the free samples and food tastings. But to top it all, occasionally cooking shows are taped in the park featuring some of New York City’s top celebrity chefs. If you’re lucky, you could possibly meet one of them personally.
The liveliness of the Union Square Park's farmers' market makes it an outing in and of itself. It is the most fun you can have restocking your cupboards in the New York metropolitan area. So whether you live here or you're a tourist, you should put it on your list of places to visit. I hope to see you there.
Click on this link to open the moovit app for directions to Union Square from anywhere in the New York Metropolitan area.