It’s been a whirlwind of activity here, so the story of Saturday’s market has been a little late in writing.
It was 4am Saturday morning when I schlepped my sleepy self down to the Mitsubishi with Matt and Mateo to head out to my first market. It was dark, rainy and cold, but I too excited to care.
It takes an hour a little less then two hours to drive from the farm into the city, and we showed up at Union Square before 7am. Because of the questionable weather, two stands to the right of us didn’t show, which gave us plenty of room to set up and me plenty of opportunities to try to document the transformation from sidewalk to farmstand below:
We sell some greens by weight, but most everything else are bunched beforehand for convenience. Keith has a plastic bag policy – the first is free, and subsequent plastic bags are $.05 each. People get a little annoyed, but that’s the price you pay to try to save the world, I guess. In a later post I’ll give a more specific breakdown of what we sell at any given market.
The day flew by. From the moment we set up and bought some breakfast from the Tamale Lady, I couldn’t stop looking around. We are set up on the north side of the market on Saturdays and the west on Wednesday, surrounded by other folks selling veggies, meat, dairy, cider, honey, and all sorts of delicious eats. Matt runs the stand every Saturday so he knew the day inside and out, but I think Mateo and I held our own as first-timers. And my dear friend from college, Kaitty Bergin, and two of my favorite Adams cousins, Michala Jebb and Jared “The Minister” Adams swung by at the end of the day, which totally warmed my heart.
There is a culture at the farmer’s market that is totally exciting as well. Keith has been there for 26 years, so folks from all over the city come bounding up to ask about him, to get your name, to ask how you are liking your season, to ask about former interns and workers. And the other vendors know each other, which brings a whole community feel to the market I hadn’t expected. I spent some time talking to Andrew, who runs the Eve’s Cidery wine stand on the west side and know other workers and Keith from years back. We talked about the state of the orchards post-frost and I walked away with an amazing bottle of wine on the cheap. If you can get at this place, New Yorkers, you need to be drinking this. And Jay and Matt have hookups like this across the market, which leads to free cheese and discounted chocolate milk. Go us.
Of course it was a long day. Of course it took me a little bit of time to get back in the swing of mental math. Of course it was a little overwhelming to be in such a huge city after weeks on Farm Island. But as the day progressed and the adrenaline never stopped pumping through my veins, I felt with every fiber of my being that I could live this life and go to bed feeling nothing but satisfied. Man oh man, I hope the next few years are as amazing as I’m imagining them to be.