For most of 2018, I've been preparing to start Moxie Ridge's first NYC market. I had the opportunity to be accepted into a new greenmarket on the Upper West Side in Manhattan with GrowNYC but when that market was postponed for a year at the last moment, I had the incredible opportunity to be accepted into the Union Square Greenmarket on Fridays!
This market is consistently ranked as one of the best farmers markets in the country. For a farmer, the Union Square Greenmarket is the Superbowl; and in keeping with the sports analogies, it means Moxie Ridge has been called up to the Big Leagues.
It is difficult to describe just how big of an impact this has. The best way I can describe it is by telling you what I told my father when I found out: it means everything is going to be OK.
It does not mean that it will be easy.
In order to participate in the opportunity and security that this market can bring, it means waking up at 2am on Friday morning, packing up the special coolers and tetris-ing them into my Jeep Patriot. (Amazingly, my father stays over and gets up with me to help me out the door.) At this point, I head out between 3am - 3:30am and drive 3 hours and 45 minutes to Union Square where I unpack and discover what I have forgotten. On my first day, that was my credit card chip reader. Ah well.
I drive in using the Lincoln Tunnel, and I reach it not too long after sunrise. As I sit staring at the huge wall of rock and arches, waiting in line with hundreds of other cars to enter the city, I always think of medieval Europe and if this is what farmers felt like in the 15th and 16th centuries standing outside the walls of the closest large town at sunrise with their livestock and wares in tow, waiting for the drawbridge to open and for market day to begin. Weird, I know. But at this point in the morning I’m in a high functioning fugue state, so these types of observations shouldn’t be too surprising.
So far I have attended two Fridays at the Union Square Greenmarket - both during August, which is historically the slowest month at this market. The timing is fortunate for sure, as my first day was a bit bumpy (think cash box falling to the ground in the middle of like 5 transactions). However, I think I have the bugs worked out and I'm looking forward to returning on 9/14 after the cheese tour.