Westchester Food Lover’s Guide: Produce
Fruits and veggies and where to get them.
Sure, there are fundamental grocery items (don’t miss the well-priced stacks of dried fruits, nuts, and candies) and, at the White Plains location, fish and deli counters that hold their own with most any in Westchester, but the prime reason to shop at Apple Farm is the produce. While there are organic offerings, that’s not its strength; instead, crates and bins and shelves replete with frequently shipped crunchy vegetables (bright peppers and greens like escarole, broccoli rabe, and romaine); fresh herbs; and relatively bruise-free fruits (moist figs, Asian pears, seedless grapes, Italian prunes, red watermelon) that are quite reasonably priced. Another plus to shopping here: the quickest checkout cashiers in the Northeast!
Mangone’s Garden Center, situated on an acre-sized lot near the Rye City border in Mamaroneck, is more than just a garden center. Sure, it’s brimming with flowers and shrubs, but, besides perennials and pottery, it also sells produce daily from July through October with a specialty in two items: corn and tomatoes. The corn, especially, is nearly always top-notch, with bi-color, white, and yellow ears offered. Yellow is the favorite in New York State (as opposed to New Jersey, where the white kernel is preferred—but what do New Jerseyans know?).
The Ossining Farmers’ Market, held virtually year-round, may not have the verdant backdrop of the Tarrytown Market held in Patriots’ Park or the Hudson River views of the Hastings Farmers’ Market, but the volume of local produce here is unmatched by other outdoor markets. R&G Produce, with 400 acres in the fertile Black Dirt region in southern Orange County, has the most offerings (onions, squash, and lettuces are especially recommended), but there’s also John D Madura Farms (potatoes, arugula, garlic); Locust Grove Fruit Farm (grapes, apples, berries); Mead Orchards, (apples, pumpkins); and Taliaferro Farm (beets, broccoli). If there’s not a fruit or veggie you like here, you may just be a tried-and-true carnivore.
Summer/Fall Market open Saturdays 8:30 am to 1 pm, May 25 to December 21; Winter/Spring Market open Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm, January 5 to May 18
Whether it’s Red Star crimson pears, seedless grapes, kale, or Russet potatoes, there’s no need to check the labels/signs to see if a particular produce offering is organic at Mrs. Green’s, the natural market specializing in organic, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan food—all the produce at this local “chainlet” is organic. Now there is still debate as to whether eating organic is healthier than eating non-organic, but there are few who would argue that supporting organic produce helps reduce the problem of pesticides/chemicals in drinking-water supplies and carbon in the atmosphere. And it just became easier to go organic Mrs. Green’s style: new locations in Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, Hartsdale, and New Canaan, Connecticut, are scheduled to have opened by year’s end.
Top Produce Purveyors
37 Tarrytown Rd
White Plains, (914) 288-9521
262 Boston Post Rd
Port Chester, (914) 937-0000
Mangone’s Garden Center
1427 E Boston Post Rd
Mamaroneck, (914) 698-3865
Mrs. Green’snNatural Market
780 White Plains Rd
Eastchester, (914) 472-0111 (plus 16 tri-state locations)
Ossining Farmers’ Market
Spring and Main Sts
Ossining, (914) 923-4837