Celebrating Summer at the 125th Street Farmers' Market

Plums and peaches

The 125th Street Farmers' Market is one of the best places to be this time of year. The summer growing season peaks in late July into August, so the market is bursting with the vibrant colors and aromas of produce like tomatoes, peaches, eggplant, beans, plums, and corn. The market also features all kinds of treats including grass-fed meats, hard cider, free-range eggs, jewelry, natural body products, fresh breads, and informational tents for alternative energy sources. There's also fantastic live music courtesy of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny's Supper Club, and Harlem Community Development Corporation.

There's a whole lotta goodness in this slice of Harlem!

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Farmers' markets are fantastic because they offer such unique produce. Sure, you can purchase your typical apples and carrots, but interesting plants like cranberry beans (above), green plums, or yellow string beans (below) are also available at a fair price.

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The 125th Street Farmers' Market is a project of Governor Cuomo's FreshConnect initiative to bring fresh food from New York farms to underserved communities throughout New York. Almost 1.5 million New Yorkers live in an area with limited grocery store access, also known as "food deserts." FreshConnect aims to combat this problem through the "FreshConnect Checks" program. The project provides a $2 rebate check for every $5 in SNAP benefits (formerly known as "Food Stamps") spent at the market. This means that everyone can have access to local, sustainably-grown, delicious food.

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What we love here at Marcus Samuelsson Group about farmers' markets is how they connect us to nature. We live in New York City  surrounded by concrete instead of soil, skyscrapers instead of trees. Sometimes we forget there's a whole natural world out there! Farmers' markets connect us to the environment in a very tangible and delicious way. We're reminded of how scrumptious seasonal produce can be.

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We hope to see you at the 125th Street Farmers' Market on Tuesdays through November 25, 2104 from 10 am to 7 pm, rain or shine on the corner of 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.!

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Savor the Season with Harvest Home

Harvest Home LogoFor the second year in a row, the Marcus Samuelsson Group will join Harvest Home Farmer's Market for their annual Savor the Season fundraising event. The dine-around tasting event will benefit Harvest Home's invaluable work bringing farm-fresh food, which includes a network of farmers markets and other healthy food and lifestyle programs, to underserved communities.

We partnered with Harvest Home this summer and sold Red Rooster tacos from the markets, and on September 26 at the Museum of the City of New York, we will combine forces once again to raise money for an excellent organization.

"We are honored to be working with Chef Nils Noren and the Marcus Samuelsson Group, who are supporters of our Eating for Good Health workshops - a leading-edge program designed to address childhood obesity and improve health outcomes through healthy meal preparation in the communities we serve," Maritza Wellington Owens, Chief Executive Officer of Harvest Home Farmer's Market says, "Savor the Season celebrates the accomplishments of these kind of collaborations and builds awareness of our mission to motivate families to Live, Life Healthy."

Harvest Home

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After last year's successful event which was held at Harlem's iconic Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Red Rooster, Corner Social, Levain Bakery and many others will come out and share delicious bites from their Harlem restaurants. Red Rooster's menu will stay true to the cause and curate a menu using the freshest seasonal produce found at the farmers market.

Event Details: Date: September 26, 2013 Time: 7:30pm-10:00pm Where: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York City Cost: General Admission $125; VIP Admission $250 Website: http://www.savortheseasonnyc.org

We hope to see you for this wonderful cause.

The Best Seasonal Recipes for August

Before the summer is over, dive into a refreshing salad like this tomato watermelon one. The heat wave has come to an end, but it is still summer for a few more weeks. When it's hot out you really don't want to cook, but when the weather cools down, you have a chance to cook great summer-inspired meals. With the farmers market in full bloom, the month of August brings some of summers best offerings. Right now is the best time to eat the following items because they are in their prime season. And there really isn't anything better than enjoying food that's in season. A look at the 21 best recipes to enjoy this month.

Tomatoes -  Tomato and Watermelon Salad      Yellow Tomato and Papaya Gazpacho 

Blackberries -  Vegan Blackberry Ice Cream    Creamy Blackberry Mango Shake 

Raspberries - Raspberry Jam Torte   Raspberry Bellini's 

Peaches - Jerk Chicken Tacos   Baked Peach Pudding with Buttermilk Ice Cream 

Watermelon - Watermelon Basil Salad   Vegan Radish, Watermelon and Bulgar Wheat Salad 

Celery - Braised Celery    Celery Salt 

Cantaloupe - Grilled Cantaloupe with Mint Syrup    Classic Cantaloupe with Prosciutto 

Garlic - Garlic Fried Tofu    Tostones with Parsley Garlic Sauce 

Plums - Vegan Plum Muffins 

Potatoes - New Potato and Egg Crostini      Mayo Free Vegetarian Potato Salad 

Tomatillos - Oaxacan Green Mole Stew    Tomatillo, Onion and Black Bean Salad 

 

Now Available By Prescription: Fruits and Vegetables

stone fruit In a new program to increase access to healthy foods and improve nutrition, doctors will be able to prescribe vouchers for fruits and vegetables to low-income, high-risk patients who need to change their diet for their health.

As reported by Gothamist, the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program is in its pilot stage, launching at Harlem Hospital and the Bronx's Lincoln Medical Center.

Conceived by Michel Nischan and his incredible Wholesome Wave team, the patients receive the equivalent in coupons of a dollar per day for each person in their family for at least four months. In addition to receiving nutrition counseling, the participants' weight and body mass index will also be monitored by their doctors.

Apples from Migliorelli Farms

The 'Healthy Bucks' are valid at 142 farmers' markets across the city.

The new program helps more than just the patients. For doctors, it means being able to influence the nutrition of their patients in a more positive, effective way than suggesting changes. For patients and their families, the chance to afford fresh, seasonal produce. For farmers, it means more business, and continually increasing business as patients bring along their families. If the 140 pilot patients successfully lower their obesity after four months, the city will look to expand the program to other low-income neighborhoods throughout Manhattan.

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It's just another step in the right direction to assist those who might not have easy access to fresh fruits and vegetables and this program proves every step counts.

For more stories about Farmers' Markets, click here.

Fresh Corn, 5 Ways

roasted corn, corn on the cob, leftover corn I couldn't say what's more traditional than corn on the cob for the 4th of July. Both sweet and complex, with butter and salt, it's classic. But for the ears of corn you don't get to this Thursday, or the extra you couldn't resist picking up, try it a different way. Here are five ways to get you started:

Skillet Corn

  1. It's simple, but add it to almost any salad. Mixed in to salsa and guacamole, fresh kernels can complicate a simple, one-note spiciness. Or, make a salad with roasted corn.

  2. Soup - Go for a classic and tasty corn chowder, or just stick with stock to use later, but don't throw out the cores! Throw them in water with other desired meats and vegetables, and they contribute a unique, great flavor.
  3. Cook the kernels on their own, whether you're making Red Rooster corn succotash, fresh corn polenta, simple creamed corn, or skillet corn.
  4. Chase flavors with these Yes, Chef Corn Pancakes with Chili-Covered Gravlax, and don't look back.
  5. Dessert - If you've ever tried sweet corn ice cream, you know that corn easily lends itself to dessert. Try making corn ice cream yourself, or make a creamy corn paletas. Or blueberry and corn clafoutis.

For more tips for farmers' market finds, click here.