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Summer is a vivacious time in Western New York, full events, parties, and family get togethers. The warmer summertime weather signifies a time-honored Jamestown tradition, the Jamestown Public Market. “In one form or another the Jamestown Public Market has existed for over 100 years” remarked Linnea Carlson, Public Market Manager, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.
According to Carlson “the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation has been overseeing the Jamestown Public Market for the last 10 years.” The Jamestown Public Market is a weekly ‘Farmer’s Market’ which will be held Saturdays from 10am-2pm on Cherry St. Jamestown NY (between 2nd and 3rd Streets). June 9th will mark this year’s opening day. Carlson added, “recently the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation was awarded the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant,” which will garner a widespread focus on nutritional awareness and educational activities and events during the Jamestown Public Market.
The grant will allow the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, to revamp the Jamestown Public Market and bring many new features and attractions to the market. The market focuses on giving community members direct access to locally farmed fresh fruits, foods, and vegetables. With emphasis placed on the nutritional benefits of purchasing and preparing fresh foods.
Yearly, the Jamestown Public Market has held one large community event to entice large crowds. However, this year, Linnea said “every Saturday will be a community event, with many new activities taking place weekly.” The Jamestown Public Market is fashioning itself as “the fun place to be on a Saturday, it is a celebration of the community as a whole” Carlson said. Each Saturday will be bursting with activities for the whole family.
The newly added SPROUTS club, sponsored by Jamestown Pediatric Associates, which will feature weekly activities for children in the dedicated SPROUTS tent. Community volunteers and organizations will be on hand weekly, to host the SPROUTS tent. Participation in the SPROUTS activities will allow children to earn $2 to spend on fruits or vegetables at the Market. A weekly story time will also be available for children, every Saturday at 10:30am.
One of the newly expanded events at the Jamestown Public Market will be wine and craft beer tastings. During the Lucille Ball Festival, local winery 21 Brix, will hold wine tastings during the Jamestown Public Market on August 4. In addition to wine and beer tastings there will also be live cooking demos, so participants can learn different ways to cook fresh vegetables and fruits.
Carlson said “every dollar spent on local food, vegetables, and fruits brought back $2.50 into the Chautauqua community.” By purchasing goods from the Jamestown Public Market, you are supporting local farmers, families, and many people working throughout our community. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is taking many steps to support the greater Jamestown community as well.
Carlson said the Jamestown area “is a food dessert.” Which means based on the population the proximity to fresh foods (ie grocery stores) is low. Carlson said the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is working on a Mobile Market which will work on going to low income areas in the city (in partnership with vendors and farmers) to bring fresh food for sale. Carlson said areas like “Olean, NY and Buffalo, NY have successful mobile markets which use refrigerated vans to travel from location to location selling fresh local foods.” The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation hopes to launch a similar program sometime in August.
According to Carlson, the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant has everyone pretty excited for the Jamestown Public Market to begin. This year will even feature a devoted Nutrition Benefits Associate in the Market Information Tent, who will answer any questions you may have about the market. For the first year there will also be gift certificates available for purchase to the Jamestown Public Market. The Market will accept debit and credit cards, SNAP (food stamps), and of course cash.
Starting June 23rd, through the Buffalo based Field and Fork Network all SNAP benefits will be eligible for Double Up Food Bucks Program. With every dollar spent with at the Jamestown Public Market using SNAP benefits, will give the participant an additional dollar for free to spend at the Jamestown Public Market. Essentially doubling your dollar. This aspect again aims to tackle the food insecurities that low income families face.
The Jamestown Public Market has averaged 12 vendors each week. Some vendors have varied week to week and offer a variety of items. Linnea said offerings and vendors include “Abers Acres, Scott’s Farm & Greenhouse, Hidden Valley Produce, Alpacaville, Becki’s Bakery, Eden’s Herbs, The Biodome Project, Gardens of Eternity, and For Peate’s Sake Homestead. The market continues to offer organic produce, locally grown fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat products, artisan goods, homemade baked goods, local honey, handmade soap products and much more.”
For more information on the Jamestown Public Market visit jamestownrenaissance.org follow Jamestown Public Market on Facebook.