Farmers’ Markets Across WNY Offer Community Support, Fresh Produce
By Katie Coleman
You don’t have to leave the city limits to strike up conversation with a farmer. People want to know where their food comes from, and with 20 farmers’ markets dotted across Buffalo and Erie County, city dwellers have seasonal access to farm-fresh produce and local products all year long.
Improving local food security, supporting local farms and small businesses, and providing access to healthy food are some of the community goals farmers’ markets are reaching. And buying food locally has a lot of positive impact, according to Stewart Ritchie, farmer at Native Offerings Farm in Little Valley, NY. Ritchie has had a stand at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’ Market for the past 12 years or so.
“Almost all of our produce is picked the day before,” Ritchie said. “You can ask questions about the food, and everyone here has knowledge and stories to tell.”
Instead of buying wholesale produce at grocery stores that focus on volume, all of the vendors at the market grow and sell their own food, according to Ritchie. Community shoppers directly support the local economy and its farmers with direct producer to consumer sales.
The markets also encourage farmers into cities from rural areas that may have poor economies and little job opportunities, helping farmers make a living off of small-volume sales of fresh produce.
“All of the farms here have employed quite a few people in rural areas where there aren’t a lot of jobs,” Ritchie said.
Another farmer at the market, Bonnie George, has been going to Elmwood to sell fresh meats and eggs for 9 years from Painted Meadows Farm in Franklinville, NY. George said that it’s important to support local farmers’ markets because people need farmers to survive, so they can too.
“Some people in the city wouldn’t know what to do if it wasn’t for a farmer,” George said.
Farmers have knowledge that many people in the city haven’t had access to, and Bonnie is one of them, having grown up on her own farm.
“It’s natural to me. If I want fresh eggs, I go out to the hen house and get eggs,” George said.
Not that long ago small family-farms were a main source of livelihood in Western NY. Now urban areas are well developed and a common lifestyle, but the demand for fresh, local produce is still there, and in the past few years has been on the rise. With an increase in farmers’ markets, family farms still surviving in WNY are able to enter cities, and sell their produce directly to consumers at all of the farmers’ markets listed below.
Farmers Markets in Erie County:
Alden Farmer’s Market
13119 Broadway (Rt. 20) Alden, NY 14001, 716-937-6177, aldenny.org, Open Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 16 through Oct. 10. The Alden Farmers’ Market features different entertainment and events every Sat. at the market, selling vegetables and fruit, locally grown chicken and beef, honey and maple products, baked goods, jams and jellies, specialty pasta, fudge, plants, cut flowers, and spices. Accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Allentown Farmer’s Market
440 South Elmwood Ave. Buffalo NY 14201, (716) 881-1024, allentown.org, Open Fri. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., May 30 through Oct. 31.The Allentown Farmers’ Market sells locally grown and organic vegetables and fruits, organic eggs, Amish-made honey, gluten-free pet treats, jams and jellies, spices, locally roasted coffee from Public Espresso, flower and vegetable plants, as well as grab and go meals from Quaker Bonnet, and vegan veggie burgers from Go Veggies.
Bippert’s Farm Market, 5220 Clinton St. Elma, NY 14059, (716) 668-4328, bippertsfarm.com, Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues. through Sat., and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. and Sun., Easter through Christmas, Bippert’s Farm Market sells fresh brewed coffee every day, locally grown and seasonal fresh produce, annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, certified angus beef steaks, Wendel’s chicken, NYS produced honey, maple syrup, home-raised ground beef, and homemade pies, pastries and cookies from their farm market bakery.
Blasdell Farmers’ Market, The Shoppes at Lake Ave. Plaza, 4271 Lake Ave. Blasdell, NY 14219, (716) 649-7917, hamburg-chamber.org, Open Wed. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., May 20 through Oct. 28, Blasdell Farmers’ Market sells fresh produce, beef, pork and chicken, plants, baked goods, goats milk fudge, pierogi and pasta, soaps and lotions, cut flowers, and sauces. Some vendors accept WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market, 10717 Main St. Clarence, NY 14031, (716) 480-3920, clarencefarmersmarkets.com,Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through Oct. 22, Clarence Hollow Farmers’ Market sells locally grown fruit, grass-fed beef and chicken, organic vegetables and eggs, maple syrup, baked goods, honey, NYS wine tastings, and alpaca products. Some vendors accept WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Colden Community Farmers Market, 8745 Supervisor Ave at Heath Rd., Colden, NY 14033, (716) 863-9892, Open Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 17 through mid Oct., Colden Community Farmers Market sells plants and flowers, baked goods, local produce, honey, eggs, maple syrup, sprouts, goat milk products, local cheese, BBQ sauces, homemade kraut, and crafts. There is live music every week with free coffee and snacks.
Downtown Country Market, Main St. between Court and Church St., (716) 856-3150, buffaloplace.com, Open Tues. and Thurs., 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 19 through Oct. 27, Downtown Country Market sells fresh lemonade, pet foods, homemade pierogies, fruit and vegetables, baked goods, flowers, jams, jellies and relishes, soap and bath products, sausages and patties, dried herbs, and roasted nuts. The market participates in the SNAP program, Double Up Food Bucks, the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, the Farmers’ Market Federation of NY, and the Pride of NY Program.
East Aurora Farmers’ Market, Tops Plaza Grey St. East Aurora, NY 14052, (716) 771-9950, Open Wed. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 23, The East Aurora Farmers’ Market sells vegetables like bunching onions, beets, Swiss chard, fresh picked lettuces, asparagus, as well as strawberries, hanging baskets, honey, maple syrup, and chicken sausage.
Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’ Market, Elmwood Ave. and Bidwell Parkway 14221, (716) 881-0707, elmwoodmarket.org, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May through mid-Dec., The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers’ Market sells locally grown vegetables like baby kale, carrots, Swiss chard and mushrooms, fresh strawberries, potatoes, honey, dairy products, natural meats, baked goods, and dog treats. The market accepts EBT.
Hamburg Farmers’ Market, Village of Hamburg municipal parking lot, Hamburg, NY 14075, (716) 649-7917, Open Sat. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 2 through Oct. 31, The Hamburg Farmers’ Market sells fresh produce, plants, baked goods, herbs, pasta and pierogies, honey and maple syrup, and cut flowers. Some vendors accept WIC and Senior Nutrition Coupons.
Holland Farmers’ Market, 49 N. Main St. Holland, NY 14080, (716) 537-9590, thehollandmkt.com, Open Sun. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., May through Nov., The Holland Farmers’ Market sells eggs, maple syrup, fresh seasonal produce, crafts, homemade jewelry, soap, herbs, flowers and plants. The market accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Kenmore Farmers’ Market, 2919 Delaware Ave. Kenmore, NY 14217, (716) 874-1784, kenmorefarmersmarket.com, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., June 25 through Oct. 29, The Kenmore Farmers’ Market sells pasta, jams and jellies, fruits and vegetables, flowers, baked goods, wine, chocolates, honey, maple products, pasta, and organic handmade soaps. The market accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Lancaster Farmers’ Market, 4913 Transit Rd. Depew, NY 14043, lancastervillagemarket.com, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sun. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wed. 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., The Lancaster Farmers’ Market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs, organically raised ducks, chicken, goose and meat, locally produced polish and Italian baked sweets, jams, jellies, bread, salsa, cheeses, and organic goat soaps, handmade quilts, and coffee. The market accepts WIC.
Main St. Marketplace, Union Rd. & Main St. West Seneca, NY 14224, Open Thurs. 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 14 through Sept. 3, The Main St. Marketplace has free entertainment every week, sells Italian sausage, fresh strawberries, as well as other local vegetables and fruits from 28 different local farmers and food producers.
Niagara Frontier Growers Co-op Market/Clinton Bailey Farmers’ Market, 1517 Clinton St. Buffalo, NY 14206, (716) 822-2466, clintonbaileyfarmersmarket.org, Open daily 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sat. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through Oct., The Clinton Bailey Farmers’ Market sells fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, home baked treats, organic breads, maple syrup, jams and jellies, sausage, herbs, bushes and shrubs, and flowering plants. The Market accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
The North Buffalo Farmers Market, 1113 Hertel Ave. at Delaware Buffalo, NY, Open Thurs. 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., June 4 through Oct. 29, The North Buffalo Farmers’ Market sells locally grown fruits and vegetables, naturally raised beef, local cheeses, pierogies, sausage, local, organic and dairy-free baked goods, local craft beer, as well as options from different local businesses and food trucks.
Springville Farmers’ Market, Gentners Auction, 341 W. Main St. Springville, NY 14141, (716) 592-4062, Open Wed. 7 p.m. to 3 p.m. year round, The Springville Farmers’ Market sells fresh seasonal produce, plants, livestock, cut flowers, baked goods, crafts, and furniture. Some vendors accept WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Springville Olde Farmers’ Market, Mechanic St. Springville, NY, (716) 592-4746, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through Oct. 29, The Springville Olde Farmers’ Market sells local vegetables and fruits, chicken, duck, organic beef, baked goods, and maple syrup. The market accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
University Community Farmers’ Market, University at Buffalo South Campus near Main St. and Kenmore Ave., (716) 829-6145, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., May through Oct. 15, The University Community Farmers’ Market sells fresh produce, plants, baked goods, flowers, artisan pasta, homemade jams and jellies, desserts, and healthy foods. The market accepts WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.
Williamsville Farmers’ Market, 56 E. Main St. Williamsville, NY 14221, (716) 984-6572, williamsvillefarmersmarket.com, Open Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 21 through Oct. 29, The Williamsville Farmers’ Market features live music and children’s activities and sells organic chicken, beef, local fruits and vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, farm-fresh cheeses, honey products, coffee, and maple syrup. The market accepts Senior Nutrition coupons.
For a complete list of farmer’s markets throughout WNY see http://stepoutbuffalo.com/guide-to-farmers-markets-2014 and http://www.bestofwny.com/farmers_market.