This week’s Greenmarket dispatch comes to us from the Garden’s Greenmarket intern, Caitlin Rowles.
For the past three months, I’ve worked at The New York Botanical Garden as the Greenmarket intern. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience regarding food, farming, and public education. With just over a week left until Thanksgiving and the end of the Greenmarket‘s season, I am thankful for all that I have learned from the Greenmarket, its vendors, and the shoppers who come by every week.
After studying Global Food Systems at NYU, I’ve come to consider myself pretty knowledgeable about produce. But one recent Wednesday—when Migliorelli Farm arrived at the market with the biggest assortment of squash I had ever seen—reminded me of how much I still have to learn. The vendors explained to me the difference between acorn and kabocha squash, how best to prepare a delicata squash, and what on earth anyone would want to do with a “cheese pumpkin.” And the best part? They’re all grown right on New York State land by the farmer I get to see every week!
I have even had the chance to talk to these farmers about aspects of agriculture that I’m learning in my classes, like how farms feel climate change and the huge effects of varying weather and extreme events on production, and bring these stories back to NYU. For one of my food studies classes, I will be writing my final research paper about food waste in the production chain using primary resources—stories from the farmers themselves!
I have worked at the market every week since June, and I’ve come to recognize the faces of many of our community members. These frequent shoppers have a wealth of knowledge about the food at the market. I love to ask shoppers: “What’s in your bag this week?” From their stories and cooking tips, I’ve discovered a new green; callaloo, the leafy part of the taro plant, and the traditional Caribbean dish made with it; the easiest way to cook and freeze corn; and the endless possibilities in cooking with radishes. Not only has this made me a smarter shopper, but I also find myself inspired to learn even more about nutrition and cooking; I’m registered to take an introductory food and food sciences class this spring!
There are only two weeks left to come by the Greenmarket this season. Our last day is the day before Thanksgiving and the first night of Hanukkah, Wednesday, November 27. Don’t miss your chance to learn from the pros like I have! You can even start, or finish up, your Thanksgiving shopping with potatoes from Migliorelli Farm, squash from Gajeski Produce, pies and bread from Meredith’s Bread, and cider from Red Jacket Orchards. I certainly will!
The NYBG Greenmarket runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Wednesday through November 27. The market accepts food stamps, EBT, WIC/FMNP, and Senior coupons, in addition to cash and credit or debit cards. Learn how to use EBT, WIC and FMNP at the Greenmarket.
Ed. note: No recipes this week. We’re pretty sure your family Thanksgiving or Hanukkah dinners are pretty well established, so we would love to hear from you how you use fresh Greenmarket produce in the preparation of these most significant feasts! Feel free to leave your most beloved recipes in the comments for others to be inspired by.
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