By John Turner
Despite one of the rainiest spring seasons in modern history, the Skaneateles Farmers Market keeps growing—in more ways than one.
According to government statistics, April 2011 was the rainiest ever on record in Central New York, with 8.6 inches of precipitation that included 19 straight days of rain.
Even so, the Thursday Skaneateles farmers market, which moved this year from the Skaneateles Community Center to the Jordan Street side of Austin Park, has 20 vendors that sell their goods.
And the Saturday market, which opened this past weekend in the same location, hopes to take advantage of the activity in Austin Park to bolster its sales.
First-year market manager Sue Murphy, who is liaison to the Skaneateles Town Board, said the Thursday market, which operates from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., has been surprisingly well attended.
“With our new location, we’re definitely seeing some new faces,” Murphy said last week. One addition to this year’s market is Strawberry Fields hydroponic strawberry farm, which opened two years ago on Route 20 in Sennett.
I think we’ll have more of a ‘neighborhood’ feel,” Murphy added.
The Saturday market, which is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., was created to give area consumers who cannot attend the Thursday market another shopping option.
One farmer who sells products at both markets is Rose Ryan of Harvest Home Organics in Moravia. Ryan said last week that even though farmers in the Northeast have struggled more this year because of the weather, local residents have not let that deter them from “eating locally.”
“I think it’s good that people are buying and eating what we sell,” she said.
Ryan’s farm has been in operation for the past decade, and is a member of the New York chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). With chapters in states like Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, NOFA’s aim is to support organic farmers and educate consumers on the advantages of purchasing from them.
Harvest Home grows a variety of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, different types of garlic and onions, herbs, and old-fashioned bouquet flowers like zinnias and sunflowers, much of which Ryan offers at the farmers markets.
In addition, Harvest Home offers a Custom Veggie Delivery Service and provides produce to area restaurants.
Ryan said she applauds residents’ continued support of local farms, a trend that is becoming nationwide. “Doing so really sustains us all,” she said.
ON THE WEB:
To learn more about the Skaneateles Farmers Market visit http://www.localharvest.org/skaneateles-farmers-market-M2962