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If you're a regular at the Union Square market...

  • f

are things looking somewhat...ominous? First, it looks to me as if there are fewer stalls, and I've been wondering if either some places went under or can't afford the gas to come into Manhattan. Second, I was taken aback by the scarcity of tomatoes and the puniness of the corn, which averages about 40% smaller than last year.

Union Square Greenmarket
Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. What days are you going? I do agree that Monday and Wednesday can be light, but the past few Saturdays I've been have seemed to be packed. I haven't bought tomatoes there since May, but one vendor (sorry that I can't remember who!) had a ton then.

    I *always* buy my corn from FreshDirect—I do agree with you that the greenmarket corn is pretty puny. (If you're looking for great corn, FreshDirect's corn from Altobelli Family Farm is really tasty http://www.freshdirect.com/product.js...)

    1. hi...i haven't noticed any falloff...still seems fun and yummy and crowded...i haven't seen the kimchi people in the last week though, but maybe i wasn't looking hard enough...

      re: tomatoes, well, i've stopped buying them there because too many times i've paid a frighteningly high amount and then gone home to make a salad and cut in a disgusting softball of heirloom mush that tastes like soggy styrofoam...re: corn, i'm not a fan of corn so i can't weigh in on that one :)

      the crucial things i buy there are eggs and sunflower greens...

      1. Saturdays seem as packed as always, though some weekdays are light. Might well be that some regular sellers are in trouble, On the other hand, there are many more Greenmarkets around the city these days, so some sellers might be elsewhere. Re: tomatoes. Way too early for the full crop of field-grown fruits--as of a week or so ago, just the beginnings. Wait till August and into September. Agree about some heirlooms: what's the big deal?

        1. Too early for tomatoes, and a bit too early for corn, as well. Corn peaks in August around here, and tomatoes not until September or so.

          The Saturday market has a many farmers as ever, and yes, there are now more markets, so perhaps some of the farmers you expected to see from past years might be in Tribeca, Brooklyn or on the Upper West Side...You can ask about a specific farmer at the Greenmarket booth in the market.

          1. At the local Long Island farm stands they are selling tomatoes from down South a bit.
            The local corn is at the stands and is fabulous. Great year for corn, sweet as sugar.
            If any of the Union Square farmers are from Long Island they should have great corn.

            1. Well, this is one time I'd be happy to be wrong, since I do hope that the farms are doing all right. I'm not looking for a specific farm, but in the past there had been a considerable selection. Almost no one has had tomatoes. Usually they start earlier, expensive, and the price drops in August.

              And I had my first corn - and my impression had been that the corn season starts around June - but it was pretty bad, puny and tasteless. I'm getting so impatient!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Fida

                Agreed. The potatoes, corn and tomatoes are not ready. I did buy some lovely raspberries, eggs, beets and greens on Saturday.

                1. re: Fida

                  We get our first LI sweet corn around July 4. Upstate is later. Long Island corn is best right now.

                2. Every year is different. Last year was early -- warm weather early. This year is about 2 weeks behind for many produce items. The corn is just starting. I know it's tough to be patient waiting for corn and tomatoes, but give it a week or two.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: visciole

                    I was there today and there are several stands with good beefsteak tomatoes...There is plenty of corn. Van Houten from Pennsylvania has outstanding potatoes and several places have very small ones...The Fly Fish people are there with the best of the best, the trout man is there, you can get ostrich, great greens aplenty--what is this all about with the declining farm stands? I don't follow...

                    1. re: penthouse pup

                      I was there as well, and if you're the person I accidentally rammed with my wheelie cart, please accept my apologies (again). There were as many vendors as there have ever been, as far as I can tell, and plenty of tomatoes and corn. I picked up some very nice okra, red peppers, strawberries, eggs, peaches, tomatoes, bluefish, eggplant, mustard greens...I overbought, is what I'm sayin'.

                      1. re: small h

                        i was there too: kirby cucumbers, smoked trout, yellow squash, oyster mushrooms...