The Tribeca market is just a couple blocks from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. There were 16 vendors at this market. Danielle was the market manager who greeted us and shared information about the farmers.

After taking lots of pictures and talking with staff at Lani’s Farm’s booth, Eugena was sure to track us down and see what we were up to. She was really interested in our project, as she has travelled as far as San Francisco to learn more about farmers markets to improve her own skills.

For the first time, we saw husk cherries (Physalis pruinosa) at a market. This small fruit is similar in appearance to a tomatillo, only much smaller. Most of these are about the size of a small cherry and much sweeter than tomatillos. Eugena made sure we tasted these delightful fruits. For her, this was a great addition to the many, many types of tomatoes she offered.

Also, for the first time we saw fresh chickpeas being sold at the market. The main ingredient in hummus, this was a popular item for Lani’s Farm.

Seeing these two items reminded us that differentiation is key to successful marketing. Being ‘known’ for certain specialty items will draw customers to buy staples from the stand as well. One customer raved to us that Lani’s Farm was the best stand ever!

Before we left her stand, we realized she was selling lambsquarter!  Many of our neighbors in Southeaster Ohio think of this only as a terrible weed.  It is actually an edible herb, grown for it’s nutrients.  Details on edible weeds and their tremendous amounts of nutrients are here: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/library/hort2/mf2579.pdf 

Peter from Maple Avenue Farms showed us his “Sun Fed Beef” products at the farm market. Ground beef was selling for $12/2 lbs.  Similar to new nomenclature that we are working with in a locally focused meat project in Washington County, this farm promotes ‘Grain Finished Beef.’ This means the animal grows up on the cow’s milk and grass, then gets fed grain for the last three months before being harvested. The farm also offers grass finished beef at the market.

Fantasy Fruit Farm employee Ernesto sold Hal some blueberries. He said we came too late because he sold out of red currants and raspberries for the day.

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