Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sustainable Saturday-Mystery at the Farmers Market

Saturday.  Otsiningo Park Farmers market day, near Binghamton, New York.

 The first of the garlic is coming in.  We couldn't resist.

One vendor was selling these white currants, and also had black raspberries for sale.  We've been noticing wild raspberries are ripening, and hopefully will be U-picking domestic red raspberries later in the week.

And then, there was the mystery.

My spouse and I struck up a conversation with a vendor called Gimme Cookie, who makes wonderful English muffins and cookies.  (Read her bio on her website, and you'll see why.)  We bought three of her chocolate cookies, which are studded with nuts and raisins.  Yum.

She doesn't make every flavor every week, but if you ask, she will add a particular flavor to her weekly baking schedule.  In chatting, she told us that she also sells at the "farmers market at Highland Park in Endwell." (Endwell is part of our "triple cities" here in the Binghamton, NY area.)

That was really interesting because I had no idea there was a farmers market in Endwell.

That was the problem, she explained.  She goes there Tuesdays, when the market is held (4:30 to 6:30 she said).  Hardly anyone seems to know about the market, either, which is a shame.  It is about time our area had a weekday evening farmers market.  What is more puzzling is that this is a popular park. Highland Park has a (free) carousel and a swimming pool.  Is the market covered by an invisibility cloak?

And then there was last Sunday.  Driving past our neighborhood's Home Depot, we saw someone waving a sign at oncoming traffic.  "Farmers Market in the Home Depot Parking Lot" the sign announced.

News to us.  We entered the parking lot, and found - one lone booth.  We had to be somewhere, and didn't stop to check it out.  I had no idea who it was.  I'm familiar with a number of the vendors in this area, as I attend three local farmers markets (at least one, and sometimes two, each week).

For that matter, there is a twice weekly farmers market at the Y in my neighborhood.  It is in easy walking distance of my house (pity - I can't attend it because its hours coincide with my work hours) but somehow you never seem to hear of it although it has been in operation for two years now.

But the email I got the other day "did it" for me.

Somehow, I've become subscribed to a weekly email from NY Governor Cuomo.  Each week he has done something great for the citizens of New York. I hope I am not coming across as too sarcastic but politics is not the happiest subject for me lately.  But I was please to see this week's email, which said, in part (I hope he doesn't mind me quoting from it):

"Dear Fellow New Yorker:  Summer means a fresh new season of new York produce. Governor Cuomo's FreshConnect program is increasing access to affordable, fresh New York-grown produce for all New Yorkers, while also supporting our local farmers....Click here to find a market near you and for more information on current projects.  In additionl to the Fresh Connect project, New Yorkers can view a full list of farmers' markets in New York State by  clicking here."

So, I should be able to find all farmers' markets in my county by clicking through to the linked website?

Um, no. I clicked on the "full list of farmers' markets in New York State." There were only four listed for the ENTIRE COUNTY I live in, and two of them are actually the same market - the winter Binghamton farmers market (indoors) and the summer one (outside).  That makes three farmers' markets in all of Broome County?

NOT!

So what is the mystery?  The mystery is how farmers markets can operate, with people not knowing about them, and with an official New York State agency not knowing about them!?  Something just doesn't seem right.

Could someone at least let ME know about them?  I'll be happy to give them some publicity, not that I have that many local readers. 

Support your local farmer....if you can find him or her, that is.

Do you have any "mystery" farmers markets in your area?

2 comments:

  1. Arizona has a website - not the most up to date site, mind you, but at least it's there - with all the farmers' markets grouped by county. There's nothing like that for NY? Maybe your blog will payoff and you can start a site and charge them for marketing, Alana!

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  2. Well...the email I received from our Governor featured a link that would list all farmers' markets in NY - it featured a grand total of four (which were really three) in our county. Perhaps I could start a site and charge them for marketing. An idea!

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