Area Farmers Markets Gear Up for the 2023 Season

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Fredonia Farmers Market.

Article Contributed by
Jamestown Public Market
A Program of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church

It is that time of year once again! The ground is awakening from its slumber, days are filled with sunshine, and local farmers find themselves hard at work cultivating crops for our community.

Local area farmers’ markets are finally returning after a long winter, and many have fun and unique seasons planned. Several markets have major announcements regarding their market’s growth and are excited to welcome community shoppers.

The Fredonia Farmers’ Market, the county’s only year-round farmers’ market, returned to its outdoor market the weekend of May 20. Running each Saturday from 9 AM to 1 PM, the market features a variety of local vendors offering fresh, locally grown produce; locally raised meat products, some organic; baked goods, including gluten free; and artisan offerings.

According to Market Manager Anneliese Bruegel, “we have a lot of new vendors, mostly craft vendors”, an exciting addition to an already well-established and plentiful market. The Fredonia Farmers’ Market accepts SNAP benefits, as well as participates in the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program. In addition, until the DUFB program begins the week of July 1, the market will also be distributing ‘Fresh Connect’ coupons.

Empanadas, offered by the Jamestown Public Market’s first prepared food vendor Sazon Colombiano, joining this season.

In an exciting move, New York State announced in April an increase in the budget for the Fresh Connect program, a state run, local food access initiative. According to NYS, “The FreshConnect Fresh2You initiative will now provide SNAP beneficiaries at participating farmers’ markets with $2 checks for every $2 spent as part of the SNAP program, up from $2 for every $5 spent. This new initiative is part of the long-standing FreshConnect Checks Program, which is administered by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. It helps expand access to fresh food in underserved communities, to improve the diet of individuals in those communities and to foster economic development by supporting local farmers…”

The Mayville Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market began May 25, and will run each Thursday through September 7 from noon to 4 pm in the heart of the village. Shannon Biekarck, the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, shared “This is our 3rd season and we will have a new setup/area for our vendors to maximize foot traffic to each of them. We are looking forward to return vendors and welcoming some new ones. We will have food trucks, a variety of vendors and lunchtime music every week… We’re hoping for beautiful weather and a successful season to bring people into the Village and our many local businesses!”

The Jamestown Public Market (JPM) is also hoping for beautiful weather, and support of local businesses, as it begins its season June 10th along Third Street in downtown Jamestown. Open each Saturday through the end of October from 10 AM to 2 PM, the JPM continues its tradition of proud collaborative energy with local businesses, events, and organizations.

June 10th also marks the Third Annual Jamestown Pride Festival, which will partner with the JPM for a market street festival. This season the market will welcome up to 28 vendors per week, with returning ‘anchor’ vendors such as Abers Acres; Scott’s Farm and Greenhouse; Sunshine Honey; and Barbara’s Special Teas. New vendors joining include Snowbelt Gardens, offering locally grown mushrooms and CBD products; Good Intentions, with hand-crafted tea blends and candles; and Sazon Colombiano, the market’s first prepared food vendor, offering authentic Colombian empanadas, arepas, and other staples as part of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s ‘Migrant Support’ initiative.

Jamestown Mobile Market, a program of the JPM, will hit the road starting June 14th and visit a variety of locations each Wednesday and Thursday. For a complete list of sites visit @Jamestown Public Market on Facebook or Instagram. The JPM and Mobile Market both accept SNAP, DUFB, Fresh Connect, Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, and credit/debit cards.

The Dunkirk Farmers Market also accepts SNAP, DUFB and Fresh Connect, and is excited to announce its growth this season. For the first time in three years, the Dunkirk market welcomes a local meat vendor, Conklin Family Ranch, a family-owned and operated farm raising and producing beef and pork products, as well as jams and jellies. The market will also see the return of Roberto Fred Farms and Richard Feinen Farms, with locally grown produce; Gardens of Eternity, with hand-made soap and fresh baked goods; and Lazy Acres Farm and Greenhouse, offering fresh cut seasonal flowers and potted plants.

The Dunkirk Farmers Market is also thrilled to announce the awarding of a NYS Farmers Market Resiliency Grant, which will assist in the construction of a permanent market pavilion at its location along Cliff Star Drive. The Dunkirk Farmers’ Market opens June 14, and runs every Wednesday through October from 9 AM to 2 PM.

The Lakewood Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market is changing locations for the 2023 season, aiming for more foot traffic and accessibility. They will be located at 15 W. Fairmount Ave in Lakewood, and open each Thursday from 10 AM to 2 PM, starting June 1st and ending August 24th. In another exciting development, the Lakewood market will begin accepting SNAP/EBT benefits this season; customers are asked to follow the market’s Facebook page for updates on when the program will begin. They will also be offering a new ‘artist corner’ where local artists can display their work.

Abers Acres produce.

Other markets in the area include the Westfield Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market, which opened May 27, and will run Saturdays 9 AM to 2 PM; and the Cassadaga Farmers’ Market, which opened May 28, and will run on the Village Common each Sunday from 12:30 to 3:30.

With so many markets in the region Chautauqua County residents and visitors have no excuse to refrain from shopping local. And as each market grows, there is more opportunity for local farmers and artisans to thrive and grow our local economy.

As Linnea Haskin, JPM Director and former chair of the Chautauqua County Food Policy shared, “for every $1 spent locally, around $2.50 is spent in the local economy. By purchasing local, you are investing in local: local families, local small businesses, and local community. Your food isn’t traveling as far, is more nutritious and delicious, and as markets expand SNAP and other benefit programs, local food is more accessible than ever!”

In early 2023, the Chautauqua County Food Policy Council welcomed several local farmers’ market managers to meet with the council to share barriers, successes, and ways in which markets across the county can better collaborate.

While Chautauqua County has a substantial agricultural community, there is a limited number of what Haskin calls ‘market vendors’, or farms or businesses that have the capacity and desire to sell at a farmers’ market.

“It is a lot of work for a local farmer or artisan to set up at a market each week, and to be profitable, many have to visit more than one market. If those markets have conflicting times or days, or do not accept nutrition benefits, or lack a good location, they won’t be as successful” Haskin states. “We can all learn from one another, and each market is a unique space in our county. It is my hope we continue to share and work together, and community members shop at the markets in their village or city, because if one market is successful, we all are.”

For more information on area farmers’ markets, farm stands, or local produce markets visit: https://chautauqua.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua-grown OR www.freshlocalwny.org