Monday, August 16, 2010

A Farmers' Market on Wheels

This is the sixth in a series of posts from a weekend trip to NYC. You can read the first post here (a general overview), the second post here (a review of a small chain of Thai restaurants), the third post here (cupcake truck!), the fourth post here (more cupcakes!), and the fifth post here (Spanish food). The remaining posts will go up over the next several days.

While the first part of the weekend was spent with Kim in Manhattan, the second part was in Brooklyn with Joel's brother Dan and Dan's girlfriend Clara, whom I've mentioned previously regarding their spectacular empanadas. (I've only had the chance to try one of their dessert varieties so far, but I've heard that the others are delicious as well. They're particularly proud of "la americana": ground free-range turkey, dried apricots, apricot preserves & cashews.)

I'd never been to Brooklyn aside from assisting on a few hours of a science documentary shoot last summer when I interned for Veriscope Pictures, so I was eager to explore and Joel was eager to show me some awesome parts of the borough. If I were ever to leave Boston for New York, Brooklyn would be the most likely destination. As a musician and disliker of crowded spaces, I'd fit in more comfortably there than Manhattan.

We spent our last morning in town exploring the Williamsburg area. I found the outskirts interesting: grungy storefront after grungy storefront with the occasional hidden gem type of place squeezed in between. I'd love to go back and explore more. When time permits, we're going to go on a Brooklyn food adventure with Dan and Clara, but this weekend was just too busy for extensive adventuring.

We passed many food trucks: burritos, ice cream, more burritos, more ice cream. Then, we came across another truck that we figured would be even more burritos.

But no! It was...

...a mobile farmers' market! From Vermont!

Curious, we spoke to the workers. (Most important question: When are you coming to Boston? "As soon as we're done conquering New York," they responded.)

The Holton Farms truck ("serviced by smiling Holton Farms employees dancing to happy reggae beats," says the website) does CSA drop-offs around New York City and sells excess produce to non-CSA customers. The CSA program is very flexible: pre-pay for your membership for the season and then choose whatever you want, whenever you want. (Online ordering is even available!) Unlike many other CSAs, you don't get a weekly bag of whatever the farmer selected for you; you choose everything yourself.

In an attempt to be a one-stop mobile farm stand, Holton Farms supplements their own produce selection with meats, dairy, and other products from other farms and businesses. Prices are subsidized for low income customers, and the farm states a commitment to sending the truck into under-served neighborhoods. 

Holton Farms, please come to Boston soon!

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