Union Square Greenmarket - who sells spray-free produce?
Does anyone know where I can find a list (or has a list) of the farmers at the Union Square Farmers market that don't use pesticides? The certified organic ones are clearly labeled but I'm curious about the others. Where can I find no-spray apples, for example?
Union Square Greenmarket
Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
The best way to find out is to ask directly about whether they spray, and if so, at what point in the growing cycle and what their overall philosophy is on spraying. While "certified organic" tells you that there is no spraying, there are farmers who aren't certified organic who follow the strictures of organic farming, as well as farmers who generally don't spray unless it's absolutely necessary. (Tomato disease a couple of years ago pretty much made it impossible to find a tomato that wasn't sprayed that summer, so there were virtually no "organic" tomatoes.) I don't know specifically the answer on the apples, but I recall having some interesting and educational conversations with farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket about blueberry spraying as to whether the fruit itself was sprayed or only the plants at the beginning of the season before the edible fruit started forming.
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Apples are notoriously difficult to grow blemish-free without the use of pesticides. Some varieties have resistance to various common apple diseases, and thus are easier to grow organically. Your best bet is to talk to the farmer. And to be willing to consume apples that do not look perfect.
BTW, organic produce is not necessarily "no-spray." There are various insecticides as well as herbicides and fungicides that are approved for use by organic farmers.