Late Summer Scenes: The Borough Park Farmer’s Market

Patrons stroll through stalls at Borough Park Farmer's Market

Locals stroll through Brooklyn’s Borough Park farmer’s market on August 21. (Safia Samee Ali/NY City Lens)

Every Thursday afternoon on a small patch of Brooklyn’s 14th Street, the Borough Park farmer’s market sets up shop.

Five white tents, pitched side by side, are fortuitously tucked under a small patch of trees sheltered from New York City’s late August heat. A tight sidewalk path, shared with the local YMCA, serves as passageway for the market’s consistently high foot traffic.

Under each of the tents, local farmers proudly display the week’s harvest atop faded brown wooden crates. Luscious plums, firm green and yellow apples, ruby red tomatoes, and long blanched husks of corn are the most common items. But today, peaches seem to be the fan favorite.

A tall man in a dark oversized suit stops at one of the tents and begins to examine an overfilled crate of peaches. Two long auburn tendrils hang from either side of his large black-brimmed hat and white fringes dangle from under his coat.  He removes his small gold-framed glasses and brings the peach closer to his face. He meticulously spins the fruit several times to catch every angle.

The vendor, an astute older woman, watches him closely. She stands behind a tattered sign hanging against one of her wooden crates that reads, “today’s squeeze is tomorrow’s bruise,” a concern that has likely prompted her stare.

“Price?” he asks. The vendor holds up three fingers. He hesitates for a moment, then grabs a white plastic bag from the table and begins to fill it with several peaches.

Parked next to the man is a large white transport truck, with the passenger door wide open. Inside sits a woman in a bright pink T-shirt and large straw cowboy hat. She signals with her hand to come over.

Her name is Connie Dirago and she is a local farmer. She explains how she, like the other farmers, come every week and build on the relationships they’ve cultivated with local residents over several years. “It feels like family when I come here,” she says.

Shortly after 3 p.m, a brisk breeze picks up, flapping all the paper signs. It’s almost like a concluding signal, like flickering lights at the end of a party.  Vendors begin to fold up tables and carefully pack up their unsold goods.  Time to close up shop—at least until next week.