Thursday, March 27, 2008

Chris Hiatt's Greenmarket Update

So, during this time of year I’m generally scarce around the Greenmarket. And for that matter, so is the ‘green”. But I did see mache at the Hawthorne Valley Farms booth. It was pricey, but they practically had the corner on the market in fresh greens. Some salad greens from one of the big Jersey outfits on the North side, and that was about it. One thing I really have noticed the last two times I’ve been to market, it the proliferation of cider doughnuts. It seems now, that everyone has them. Ladies and Gentlemen, a glut on the market! Be picky about your fave. Flying Pigs Farm can still be found this time of year at the Grand Army Market on Saturdays. Arcadian Pastures, relatively new booth at Grand Army on Saturdays, has an extensive line of butchered meats, including lamb, pork and beef. Hudson Valley Farmhouse has teamed up with Knoll Crest, poultry farmer extraordinare, and have entered the noodle business. They have a variety of flavors, but it start with the plain egg fettucine at $3 for a 10 ounce package. Look for them at Union Square Wednesdays and Saturdays. The frozen corn display at Migliorelli was a little tired, but I’m still excited just to see some local person attempting to use this aspect of the industry to their benefit.
Phillips Farm out of New Jersey is a huge market farm that I usually don’t go near when supply is flush. This time of year they come in pretty handy. They grow pretty much everything, and an increasingly comprehensive winter produce program has lead to greatly improved quality during the lean months of February and March, so they now fill a valuable niche. One can find decent root veggie of all sorts, salad greens, fresh spinach, though you have to pick through it a bit.
Prices are fairly reasonable on what little is available right now. Potatoes are generally $2/lb, apples and bosc pears are $1.25/$1.50/lb, with Migliorelli coming in on the low end of the spectrum. The glaring exception to fair prices is the $4.50 John Madura is charging for a dozen eggs. It’s easier to forgive this due to the fine looking mushrooms this outfit has been bringing to market lately, which are competitively priced. For eggs the undisputed champ is still Tello’s Green Farm, with large eggs for $3/dozen, They have stewing hens now as well. Some booths on Mondays have had cole crops and cabbage, for reasonable rates. Phillips Farm has rutabagas and butternut squash for a mere $1/lb, and competitively priced salad mix at $12/lb. Lynhaven is selling 3 oz. logs of chevre for $6. Monday at Union Square Troncillito Farms has ½ gallons of fresh apple cider for a reasonable $3. Sweet potatoes can be had for $.99/lb. The Friday fish booth had scallops for $15, basically the same as at a Whole Foods type store.

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