Sunday, January 18, 2009

N.Y. farmers' markets brave the cold

Dropping this note on New York farmers' markets, from the weekly e-letter of the state of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and director Jim Trezise.

FARMERS’ MARKETS throughout New York State are a great way to “buy local” and get great food and wine, even in the winter. A couple decades ago, Bob Lewis (now with the Department of Agriculture & Markets in Brooklyn) and Barry Benepe started the ball rolling by creating the Union Square Greenmarket, which transformed a dangerous, drug-riddled neighborhood into a bustling market where regional farmers sell directly to New York consumers. For well over a decade, Anthony Road Wine Company’s John Martini has appeared there every Saturday where, he says, “the money’s good, and the show is great”, and he often outsells the winery’s tasting room back in the Finger Lakes. This fall, a Pride of New York Winestand, now sponsored by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and run by Wine & Food Associates, has allowed many other wineries the chance to showcase their wines each Friday; and the program has now expanded to Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza on Saturdays. Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Patrick Hooker is encouraging New Yorkers all over the state to patronize the local markets, numbering more than 50 during the winter months, with some having moved indoors but others braving the elements. For a listing of New York farmers' markets, including a link to just the winer ones that are open, click here.

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