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An Ode to Watermelon Agua Fresca

End-of-summer Saturdays mean mowing what’s left of the lawn, catching up on unread articles of the week, and strapping on the ankle weights to hoof Ro Jan Park with my dog, Violet. They are also the days I splurge on a refreshing, nutrient-rich beverage at the farmers market, an attainable treat just a short drive away.

After I park in a non-metered questionable “spot,” I grab my CSA reusable tote, all the cash I can find, and hit the pavement. I breeze past the musical hippie trio, pick up a six-pack of olive rosemary bread regardless of “starting a lower carb diet,” ponder how much seafood is too much seafood to buy for one person, and count out eight $1s for the kale pesto spread I’ll hit on the return loop.

I weave through a mix of blurry-eyed Rivertown guests, pet 1-to-3 dogs, ponder how many dogs are too many dogs for one person, and head straight to the back right corner. Like a palm-lined island oasis in a sea of shisito peppers, the Destino Taco Cart glows. Every week they show up slinging tacos, Mexican Iced Coffee, Horchata, and $3 liquid rose gold—Watermelon Agua Fresca.

This healthful cocktail is nothing new. We’ve been chugging it in the South for a while—Texas produces 14% of the U.S.’s watermelon reserve. It’s a great source of potassium, lycopene and beta carotene. Beyoncé drinks it, look how she bounced back from the twins.

It’s light and hydrating with just the right amount of sweet. Made from watermelons from their Farmers Market neighbor, Martin Farms, pour it over ice and you are instantly transported to a beachside hammock where it’s always a warm 78 degrees.  I’ve started taking mine open-cup without the lid of straw, because, zero waste.

So when you’re making your “grocery” list for the weekend, imagining the Hudson Farmers Market as just another stop on your errand run, remember the Watermelon Agua Fresca. We all need to be kinder to ourselves. Start with the melon water.


The Destino Taco Cart at the Summer Hudson Farmers Market
Saturdays 9AM – 1PM
Through November 18 at the corner of 6th Street + Columbia

The Winter Market begins Saturday, December 2 for the whole month, then resumes February – April.
10Am – 1PM
601 Unions Street at the corner of Union + 6th Street

Alison Matheny is reporting live from all the blocks of Warren Street, the fast lane on the Taconic, and the meat freezer of your CSA. She is an artist, and owns the design studio BEST with her friends, co-workers, and dog, Violet.

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