So I just received an email that New Town Williamsburg is going to host a farmers market every Thursday in June, how cool is that? Although they’re from 3-7pm, so that doesn’t leave much time to go after work. Are there really that many people around that can go at 3pm? Hopefully I’ll be able to make it there at least one or two times next month, I love farmers markets. You get to support local farmers and businesses, interact with the “locals”, people watch, act like a foodie, and come across all kinds of cool and unusual produce and foodstuffs (btw, a very good book on how America got interested in all that cool and unusual produce is The United States of Arugula by David Kamp, highly recommend it).
Another interesting thing about farmers markets that I’ve found (and read on various travel/food sites) is that one of the best ways to get a feel for a city is to go to their markets. You will learn what’s currently in season (and thus what you should tendency toward when you select your dinner that evening), what focus the city or area has (is everything organic? are there lots of craftspeople there in addition to the farmers? do they have local bands playing there? is there a lot of seafood?). But more than that you feel like you have gotten a taste of insider knowledge that not every tourist walking through the city gets, and at least for me, that is always a highlight when I’m traveling.
Of course, it seems like every time I go to the Saturday market they have in CW I have grand plans of finding lots of inspiration from which I will make a fabulous dinner that evening, then I go and never come back with anything. It’s not from lack of selection most of the time (although the past few have been rather slim picking for veggies, but that’s just because we’re not in season yet for most things), maybe I just get intimidated by all the choices.