Real Brooklynites don’t shrink from the cold. They spend the often-frigid first night of the year outside watching fireworks. They host blizzard parties. They bike to work in February. And they shop outside at their local farmers markets all winter long.
The Park Slope Farmers Market is keeping it real. For the first time, they’re staying at their outdoor location at 5th Avenue and 4th Street, in front of PS 51, every Sunday right through the winter.
Miriam Haas, founder of Community Markets (which runs the Park Slope market) says staying outdoors will keep Brooklynites in touch with the seasons.
“If you’re into the local food movement, you’re probably someone who likes change. We sell the freshest varieties of produce that thrive in this region, season-by-season. Our shoppers are spontaneous–often people come to the market and then decide what to cook,” she explained.
Thanks to some hearty (and forward-thinking) farmers, there will be more than just root vegetables to add to your winter pantries.
Hector Perez of Jersey Farm Produce is cultivating crops in 7,000 square feet of heated greenhouses. He’s harvesting vitamin-rich leafy greens and other vegetables in the chill of winter.
“The people of Park Slope really support farmers,” said Perez, “Our greenhouse produce is looking good and we’re looking forward to the winter market.”
Also at the market each Sunday, you’ll find Fork and Glass, American Pride Seafood, Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, Bread Alone, Brooklyn Cured, Dr. Pickle, Breezy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill, Feather Ridge Farm, Hudson Valley Duck Farm, Migliorelli Farm, Mortgage Apple Cakes, The Pastures, Raaka Chocolate, Tierra Farm, YisRoyal (vegan cookie dough), Flour City Pasta, and Calcutta Kitchens. Baked goods from Made by Molly will return in March.
Of course, the Park Slope Farmers Market isn’t the only game in town. The Grand Army Plaza (Saturday), Fort Greene (Saturday), McCarren Park/Greenpoint (Saturday), Carroll Gardens (Sunday), Courtelyou (Sunday), and Borough Hall (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) Greenmarkets are all sticking it out ‘til spring as well, and the Greenmarket organization is dangling a carrot to lure shoppers out into the cold.
They’re kicking off the 2012 edition of the Greenmarket Winter Challenge this weekend at all the winter markets with the exception of Borough Hall. Here’s how it works:
The 12 week challenge begins next weekend (Jan 21 & 22) and runs through the first week of April. Shoppers should sign up this weekend (Jan 14 or 15) and check in at the info tent every time they shop. Those who check in in three of the twelve weeks get a Greenmarket tote bag. Hit your market six out of the twelve weeks to win a Greenmarket print by artist Claudia Pearson. And Greenmarket black belts who check in all 12 weeks in a row will win a “surprise Greenmarket neighborhood-proud prize and serious bragging rights!”
A little cold weather isn’t keeping local farmers from loading up their trucks with fresh produce every week and driving it all the way in to the Brooklyn markets. It would be downright rude of us to just not show up, don’t you think?