Getting to Know Your Farmer

Summer has finally hit New York this month. But for people who love food, the hot and humid weather can have an upside: fresh tomatoes, succulent zucchinis and ripe peaches are just some of the options.

Seeing as my apartment is so tiny, I don't have much room for storage, including my fridge. Luckily there are plenty of green markets dotting the city where I can pick up locally grown produce at a whim. This also reminds me of chefs at school always saying this was their favorite way to shop - to cook with ingredients that are in season.

I stopped at a market near my office in Midtown Manhattan this week to pick up some tomatoes and peaches (both in season now). Usually, I just browse and pick through the selections. But this time I chatted with Amy, who works on a farm across the river in New Jersey.

We talked about everything from the different tastes of the tomatoes she had help grow and harvest to how busy these markets have become over the years as consumers become more aware about buying and eating local.

So when I got home to make my caprese salad, I think it took on more meaning. I shared my salad with a friend over lunch the next day and chatted about this farmer. I don't remember having that type of connection to my food very often, but I have to say it made the meal more meaningful. Corny? Probably. But there's a certain satisfaction I get out of knowing that I supported a local farmer versus a huge corporation. If you have the chance, get to know your farmers.

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