The plaza at Borough Hall seems like it was made for a farmer's market. There's ample open space and if you don't look across the street towards the Duane Reade you're nearly surrounded by several of Brooklyn's nice municipal buildings.
On a recent rainy Thursday, commuters hurried by, a few of them stopping for refuge under the tents to pick up their favorite produce from one of the few vendors there. It was 8 AM and Tickle Hill winery was quiet, but they were ready nonetheless.
Asian pears, once considered fancy, are now fairly commonplace. Korean grocers, supermarkets and Greenmarket farmers all have them, despite the fact that only a tiny percentage of pears produced in this country are grown outside the Northwest. They taste somewhere between a Bosc pear and an apple. I like to pair them with blue cheese (try Roaring 40's or Persille de Malzieu) and stack it all on top of ginger snaps for dessert. Or with the colder weather approaching, you cannot fail to caramelize some onions with the pears and top a good, juicy seared pork chop. You can find Asian pears for $2/lb at Phillips Farms at Borough Hall Greenmarket in Brooklyn on Thursdays.
At Phillips Farms, Milford, NJ: cantaloupe, $4/ea; sweet potatoes, $4/bag; blackberries and raspberries, $3/ea; cucumbers, $0.50/ea; green, yellow and red peppers, $2/lb; peaches, $2/lb; apples, between $1.25 and $2/lb; watermelon, $5/ea.
Unidentified farm on the corner: yellow squash, $1.50/lb; Serrano and jalapeño peppers, $2/lb; shitake mushrooms, $10/lb; Portobello mushrooms, $6/lb; potatoes, $1/lb; sweet corn, $0.40/ea; kale, $2/lb; yellow and green beans, $2/lb.