A Rainbow of Options at the Farmers’ Market

The Grand Army Plaza Farmers’ Market is an oasis of fresh produce bursting with colors and textures. I popped over there on Saturday to peruse the freshness and snap some beauteous photos. These fruits and veggies were definitely ready for their close-ups. It was one of those days where the air is thick with humidity and beads of sweat start to form on your forehead the minute you open the door. But I was on a mission to see what the market had to offer, so I powered through. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

The plump, juicy tomatoes were practically still warm from ripening in the sun.

Christmas colors never looked so good...

Bright yellow and green zucchini squash came in varying shapes and sizes.

The bulbous green peppers were shiny and crisp -- just waiting to be chopped up.

These ornate turnips already look like they've been carved into a work of art.

I wasn't even aware kale grew in this shade of yellow...

And let's not forget the sweet fruit! These small ripe red plumbs are full of flavor.

Not only do these farmers have the market cornered on produce, but there’s a plethora of home-baked goods, fresh cheese and dairy products, meats, jams, sauces, honey, and fresh-cut flowers too. It’s like a an outdoor grocery store run by the people who actually grow, harvest, and cook the food. I had a hard time resisting all the delicious options, but settled on some of the summer’s most classic items — tomatoes and cucumbers. I’m thinking of making a tasty grain salad heaped with my chopped up Farmer’s Market veggies.

I also tried to branch out on the fruit front. I’m a bananas-and-apples-only kind of girl. I used to consider strawberries exotic fruit. But I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone lately and trying new things (generally items that most people have been eating all their lives, like berries). I decided to go for some ridiculously ripe and juicy nectarines and peaches. It didn’t hurt that the fruit stand had samples sliced up for you to try. I am a sucker for samples. My brother and I were definitely the kids in those bulk grocery stores repeatedly going back up to the lady handing out bits of some frozen dinner in a plastic cup, each time saying it was for one of our other siblings. Yeah. We have no other siblings.

But these slices of peaches and nectarines were out of this world! Juicy beyond the imagination and so naturally sweet it’s hard to remember why we use sugar at all. I have to say I prefer the nectarines because the peaches are a bit too fuzzy. Nectarines are pretty much just bald peaches. I immediately nestled two gorgeous nectarines and two white peaches next to the tomatoes and cukes already in my bag. But they certainly didn’t stay there long…I was barely a block away before I gave into the temptation and lifted a sweet, juicy nectarine to my lips an munched all the way home. With this natural treat in my hand I even managed to walk right on by the tantalizing ice cream truck.

Farmers: 1. Mister Softee: zero.


About gttebykate

I am an amateur cook and baker who likes to feed her friends and whip up a frenzy in the kitchen. While I adore butter, sugar, and every kind of baked good, I also like to experiment with healthier options and substitutions...sometimes.
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