The last place you want to be in the middle of November is outdoors, but that’s where you’ll find the best, freshest produce in Brooklyn.
Throughout the borough, greenmarkets are stocking up on seasonal goods, from potatoes to tomatoes to squash to apples, and you can taste the difference.
“It’s the care that we put into our products,” said Tim Williams, manager of Williams’s Fruit Farm, which has a stand on Wednesdays at the Windsor Terrace Greenmarket. “There’s a whole process. Instead of using sprays to thin the apples, we use our hands. The supermarket’s factory farms don’t care as much, they’ll spray for anything. Everything here is fresh, just ask our customers.”
Jeannine Kerr, who was shopping at her local Windsor Terrace recently, agreed that there’s a difference in price and taste.
“The products are fresher and tastier here, plus you get to support the local farmers who need help,” she said.
Here’s a rundown by day of Brooklyn’s GrowNYC-run greenmarkets run by GrowNYC, which are as plentiful as beefsteak tomatoes this time of year:
Let your nose guide you to the Carroll Gardens Greenmarket, where you enjoy cheese from award-winning Vermont cheese maker Consider Bardwell or Milk Thistle’s organic milks and yogurts. After you grab your dairy, head south to Cortelyou Road for all natural poultry and pasta from Knoll Krest Farms and fresh fish right from New York provided by Gill’s Seafood. Each market has clean, never frozen seasonal produce.
Carroll Gardens Greenmarket (Carroll and Smith streets), Sundays from 8 am-4 pm; Cortelyou Road Greenmarket (Cortelyou Road between Argyle and Rugby roads in Ditmas Park), Sundays from 8 am-4 pm.
The Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket offers grass-fed meat and free-range eggs. Bakers Not Just Rugelach and Bakers Bounty offer delicious treats made from all natural ingredients without preservatives. The market can also be found on the plaza on Thursdays and Saturdays, when they also have wine from Paumanok Vineyards.
Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket (Court Street at Montague Street), Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from from 8 am-4 pm.
Found just inside Prospect Park’s tree-shaded southwest corner, the Windsor Terrace Greenmarket offers a range of vegetables from Mimomex Farm in Orange County, fruits from Williams Fruit Farm in Ulster County, baked goods from Bread Alone, plants, and flowers, as well as fresh fish from American Seafood and organic baked goods by Bread Alone Bakery. It’s your one-stop shop for shopping.
Windsor Terrace Greenmarket (Prospect Park West at 15th Street), Wednesdays from 8 am-3 pm.
It’s a fiesta at the Greenmarkets in Williamsburg and Borough Park, as each market sells specialty Mexican produce, thanks to Angel Family Farm in Williamsburg and R&R Farms in Borough Park. You can either make your own salsa with the papalo, pepiche and the many varieties of peppers they sell, or buy it already made. In Williamsburg, cooking demonstrations are hosted by the Health Department’s Physical Activity and Nutrition Program, Stellar Markets, who emphasize the importance of fresh food for families.
Borough Park Greenmarket (14th Avenue between 49th and 50th streets), Thursdays from 8 am-3 pm; Williamsburg Greenmarket (Broadway at Havemeyer Street), Thursdays from 8 am-4 pm.
Saturday is the biggest day for Greenmarkets, with six scattered throughout the borough in Bay Ridge, Fort Greene Park, Grand Army Plaza, McCarren Park, Sunset Park and, of course, Borough Hall. Along with fresh produce, including squash, pumpkin and potatoes, each location has something special to offer.
In Bay Ridge, you can find naturally grown produce from Evolutionary Organics, while complaining about your parking to Councilman Vincent Gentile, who can be found shopping there every Saturday.
Fort Greene Park has affordable goods from J. Glebocki Farm, grown in Orange County’s famous black-dirt region.
Grand Army Plaza hosts the flagship market — the largest in Brooklyn — and thanks to New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Uncork NY, wine tastings from local farmers are available.
McCarren Park’s market features Garden of Eve, who sells only organic vegetables and at Sunset Park, you can grab grapes, pick apples and sip juices from Wager’s Cider Mill. Just make sure you leave some to take home with you.
Bay Ridge Greenmarket (Third Avenue and 95th Street, in the Walgreens parking lot). Saturdays from 8 am-3 pm; Fort Greene Park Greenmarket (Washington Park between DeKalb Avenue and Willoughby Street), Saturdays from 8 am-5 pm; Grand Army Plaza (Prospect Park West and Flatbush Avenue at the northwest corner of Prospect Park), Saturdays from 8 am-4 pm; Greenpoint/McCarren Park Greenmarket (Union Avenue between Driggs Avenue and N. 12th Street), Saturdays from 8 am-3 pm; Sunset Park Greenmarket (Fourth Avenie between 59th and 60th streets]. Saturdays from 8 am-3 pm.