Enjoy the Bounty: Our Local Farmer’s Markets

June is the start of my favorite season of the year: Farmer’s Market season! Although the Rochester Public Market is open year-round and I often go to the indoor Brighton Winter Farm Market—it’s seeing local produce, local farmers, and my neighbors out on a sunny day that really makes my heart—and taste buds—sing.

Many farmer’s markets restrict themselves to produce and products that are local, others allow vendors who grow or buy from out of the area. If it’s important to you to buy local or organic, you should ask vendors where their products come from and how they are grown. By this time of year you should be able to find a wide variety of locally grown vegetables and fruits available.

Of course, fruits and veggies aren’t the only things you can buy these days at a farmer’s market. Most markets also include vendorsselling honey and honey-flavored products, maple syrup and candies, breads and baked goods, meat and eggs, as well as teas and soaps made with local herbs and flowers. Some markets even make every week a festival with live music and food trucks.

What’s local and in season now? Rhubarb, strawberries, peas, lettuce, potatoes, herbs, mushrooms of all varieties, onions and leeks, honey, and even more from those who use hoop houses, cold frames and greenhouses for an early start. For a quick list of what’s in season you can go to the Spruce or download a PDF at the NY State agriculture site.

To check out where to find local farmer’s markets, there’s a great resource from the Democrat and Chronicle listing all the farmer’s markets in our area.

But if you don’t want to wait for the day your local farmer’s market is open, then head out to a farm market or roadside stand where one farmer or family sells their produce on-site. Although there isn’t the variety that you’ll find at a farmer’s market—and you can’t compare prices for the best buy—you’ll still find a lot to choose from and know that you’re buying straight from the farm. Check out Local Harvest for a list of area farm markets.

Want to enjoy your bounty and pick it yourself?  You can find a list of where to pick strawberries, cherries, berries, and other summer fruit in Rochester at Beyond the Nest. With so many places to choose from, you can go to a different farmer’s market any day of the week, or check out a local farm stand and know you’re eating fresh fruits and vegetables direct from the farm to your table.

Connie Herrera is the author of 60 Fun Things to Do Within 60 Miles of Rochester and 60 Great Places to Go With Kids Within 60 Miles of Rochester, as well as travel guides for Buffalo, East Aurora, and Palm Springs, CA.  “My goal is to help people rediscover where they live and see it with new eyes. So, if you’re new to the area, I want you to be astounded at your luck in moving here. If you’re here for a visit, I hope you’ll want to come back again to do more. And, if you’ve lived here all your life, I hope you’ll be surprised at how many places you haven’t yet explored and how many you want to visit again!” You can find out more at my website: www.60funthingstodo.com.

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