Edible Opinions – Farmer’s Markets

Edible Opinions

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been telling you about restaurants in downtown New Haven. Now, don’t get us wrong, we LOVE going out to eat, but we also love to cook! That’s why this week, we’re going to tell you about a great place to get your groceries.

No, we’re not talking about Shop Rite or the C-Store. You can find great stuff there, but a lot of it is the reason why students gain so much weight in college. If you’re looking to switch up your diet from the usual microwaved meals, try the farmers market. Right now, there is one almost every weekend in New Haven, and it will have everything you need to make up for all those late-night Sandella’s trips.

Let’s start by putting a couple of myths to rest. The first is that farmers markets are expensive. While this can sometimes be true, there’s always a way to find a deal. Try asking the market manager if any of the vendors are having specials, or where to locate the cheapest produce. Also, be prepared. Make a list of what you need, and then spend some time browsing all of the stands to see who has the best price.

The second myth is that farmers markets don’t have a lot to offer in the winter.  To put it simply, this isn’t true. There are fewer fruits than in the summer, but there is still plenty of other food to go around. There are greens and root vegetables, onions and garlic, and cheeses and eggs. You can also get homemade granola with tons of beneficial ingredients, and prepared foods for those of you without full kitchens (meatballs, chili, soups, and more).

The New Haven farmers markets (run by CitySeed) are close by. Just about every weekend until April, you can find one in either Wooster Square or Edgewood Park. The Wooster Square market is located in Russo Park, a short walk from Pepe’s Pizza. Choose a Saturday and head there with friends, picking up some groceries and then grabbing a pie – make a day out of it!

The Edgewood Park market is at the corner of Whalley and West Rock Avenues. It’s very close to the Wintergreen apartments, and a nice way to spend your Sunday.  There are a couple of other great restaurants in that area that the locals stop at before or after their shopping. Try Lena’s for breakfast or Manjares for lunch.

For more details on the locations and times of the winter farmers markets, go to www.cityseed.org. CitySeed is a nonprofit organization that runs these markets (five during the summer!) and sells bread at each one to support the funds. We are emphasizing health in this article, but please don’t forego the bread. It’s baked fresh that morning, and there is an incredible variety from baguettes to ciabattas that will have you going back each week.

It can be intimidating at first, but we promise that the farmers markets are worth your while. Not only are they a great source for healthy, organic food, they are also an awesome place to meet the community. The farmers markets have turned into social events, and everyone from babies to grandparents will be there, as well as the family pets. So get out there and support the farmers, support the markets, and most of all, support your bodies!

We discuss the markets a lot in our blog, so for photos and ideas, check out www.edibleopinions.blogspot.com.