Local Farmers Markets Offer Reasons to Shop and Cook Seasonally

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By Joanne Witmyer

Fall has arrived! This offers us opportunities to revive recipes that showcase this season’s fruits and vegetables. Two of our local farmers markets provide a wonderful selection of seasonal produce and other delicious treats.

We connected with the executive directors of two local markets and asked them for their views about why it’s beneficial for community members to shop at these weekly gatherings.

“Shopping from one’s local farmers market is important, particularly as markets easily accommodate what different people find important,” said Steven Bates, executive director of market operations of the Pleasantville Farmers Market (

“The ability to satisfy so many perspectives is what makes markets so useful. So, in any given season, shoppers will tell you that they feel involved in the seasons and the foods that arrive and depart with each. You will hear from shoppers the importance to them of sustaining farms within our region, and their enjoyment at knowing their farmers as neighbors they see each week. And you’ll hear shoppers enjoying each other’s company.

“Shopping at local markets enables visitors to feel engaged with the seasons, with the producers of their foods, with one another, and all that is topped with the pleasure of creating meals with wonderful ingredients, which become another opportunity to share time with family and friends.”

Pascale Le Draoulec, a food writer and executive director of the Chappaqua Farmers Market (, shares her perspective.

“For the most part, the produce at the farmers markets has been grown without harmful chemicals and pesticides and has been harvested mere hours before market,” Le Draoulec said. “It’s more fresh than the produce that has been traveling on a truck for days from California or Florida. Not only is locally grown produce better for you, but because it doesn’t travel far to get to market, it is also better for our planet.”

So, consider heading to one, or both, of these local markets and picking up some ingredients to try the following seasonal apple recipe. If you have a favorite seasonal recipe, please send it to me so I can try it.

Healthy and Delicious Apple Crisp
(Yields 6 servings)

For the apples:

  • 5 Granny Smith apples (or other cooking apples available at the market when you visit)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the crumble topping:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel apples and dice into cubes of approximately equal size. In a large bowl, toss with maple syrup, water and cinnamon. Pour apples into greased 9-by-9-inch baking dish.
  2. In the same (now empty) bowl, add oats, almond flour, nuts, cinnamon, salt, coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir crumble topping together and pour into baking dish on top of apples.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until apples are soft, covering pan loosely with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent from over-browning.
  4. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


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