Jamestown Gazette

It May Be Snowing… But Let’s Go To The Farmers’ Market!

Article Contributed by
Jamestown Public Market

For many sweet red strawberries and hot house tomatoes are the quentissential hallmarks of a farmers market. The sun, the promise of a weekend BBQ, and fresh summer produce. What many do not realize is that while summer is an incredible time for farmers markets, there remains an abundance of produce and goods well into the months of fall. Thankfully, there remain opportunity for Chautauqua County community members to indulge!

Several farmers markets will remain open into the months of October, with the Fredonia Farmers Market continuing as the county’s only year-round market.

The Jamestown Public Market will run Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM through September, and move indoors for the month of October. Market goers can continue to find their favorite vendors along Third Street between N. Main and Cherry, and in October within the community space of Covenant Manor at 23 W. Third Street. Vendors continuing through October include Hidden Valley Produce, Abers Acres, Baked Goods by Lizzie Byler, the Biodome Project, and Sunshine Honey, the latter who will have their final market day October 7. Market hours move to 10 AM to 1 PM.

The Fredonia Farmers Market, as the only year round market, will continue to offer fresh, local produce as well as a variety of baked goods and local meats. Vendors include Roberto Fred Farms, Roo Haven Farms, Ohm Nom Gluten Free Bakery, and Maggietti Farms. The market is located within the village center, and runs Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM. Starting in November, the market moves indoors to the local Masonic Lodge, and has reduced hours from 10 AM to 1 PM through May.

The Dunkirk Farmers Market also remains open through October, setting up along Cliffstar Drive. Market goers can shop at Roberto Fred Farms, or Conklin Family Ranch, and in addition to shopping for their local goodies, can see the progress being made on the new pavilion, which will be used in future seasons for an extended season, as well as protect the market from the elements. Funding for this project was provided by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Market’s 2023 Farmers Market Resiliency Grant.

SNAP/EBT benefits will continue to be redeemed at all three markets, and the Double Up Food Bucks NY Program continues through the remainder of October for all open markets. Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons expire in December, so community members who still have these NYS sponsored coupons can redeem them at any of the three open markets, or farm stands.

Finally, shoppers can enjoy the final market day for the Westfield Farmers & Artisans Market September 30, and visit their vendors such as Whiz N Smash or Vanstrom Homestead for the last time before the spring.

Market goers may be wary of visiting a fall or winter market; after all, Chautauqua County can get quite chilly. However, there continue to be many incredible benefits of supporting local well into fall, as well as year round. Chautauqua County farmers continue to invest heavily in establishing ‘year-round’ growing practices. Businesses such as the newly established Snowbelt Gardens are growing hydroponic microgreens, micro-tomatoes, as well as a variety of mushrooms including oyster and lion’s mane. In the North County, Maggietti Farms has seemed to perfect the art of winter time lettuce growing.

Local area farms also continue to open their farm stands throughout the winter months, such as Abers Acres. Moving into their home space, along Route 394 in Kennedy, Abers offers frozen packages of their summer blueberries, raspberries and blueberries, fresh chicken and duck eggs, and a variety of seasonal items such as handmade Christmas wreaths and of course fresh cut Christmas trees.

The benefits of shopping local don’t stop simply because the snow starts, and while it may seem easier to drive to Wegmans or Walmart, many farmers markets and farm stands are just as close. More markets are understanding the value of both moving indoors to protect customers and vendors from the cold, but also the value in supporting local producers and growers to be active in the ‘off-season.’

It is important to remember that the produce variety will be different in fall and winter months, but never the less there are many delicious fruit and vegetable options available.

Produce available in WNY during October-May include: lettuce, kale, chard, carrots, potatoes, onions, beets, and of course winter squash such as delicata, acorn, butternut, hubbard, and honey-nut. Each winter squash brings a unique flavor and composition, crafting delectable dishes.

Fall is also a great time to reach out to your local meat farmer or rancher to inquire about purchasing meat shares, or whole/half animals. Purchasing meat cuts in bulk is often cheaper than purchasing meat in the store, as the price per pound decreases with the amount you purchase. Area farms in Chautauqua offer everything from beef cuts to pork, goat and lamb. Many farms also sell whole chickens. Because these meats are sold frozen, they can be sold anytime of year and several meat farmers participate at local markets or out of their farms through the winter.

Other foods available at fall and winter markets include shelf stable items such as pickles and jams; baked goods; honey; maple syrup; fresh teas; and dairy products or eggs.

Last, community members can always remember that their investment in local, is in investment in local family run farms. Their dollars contribute to our local food economy. As food system expert Mark Winne has said, we can begin to move from being simply “food consumers” to “food citizens”, and this can start with small changes to your food centered habits. Start with visiting a market this fall or winter! You wont’ regret it.

For more information on supporting local over the winter months visit www.freshlocalwny.org

Exit mobile version