June 15, 2009
Farmers market makes debut
13 vendors take part in East End Farmers’ Market at Dexter Park
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Owners of Buried Treasures Organic Farm, Mary McGarry-Newman and her husband, Doug, of Groton, wait on a customer Saturday morning at the farmers market in Dexter Park. Saturday was opening day for the new market.
Parents shopped and children played nearby at the Dexter Park playground as the East End Farmers Market kicked off Saturday.
The market has 14 people signed on as vendors so far, said organizer Lisa Lickona as she stood in the sun Saturday at Dexter Park and looked around at the vendors selling their wares to the public. Thirteen vendors attended Saturday’s market.
Lickona, of Red Rose Farm in McGraw, said the market was off to a good start Saturday.
“It has just been a dream for us. The vendors are so enthusiastic ... they are presenting their beautiful products: meat and veggies and soap and syrup. It well represents what is locally available in Cortland County,” Lickona said.
The market will run Saturdays through Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vendors like Robert Dyer of Ably Acres in Marathon, came to sell his produce. He said he would sell his grass-fed beef next week.
“I am looking for an avenue to sell my meat. This could be a niche to keep me in business,” Dyer said, adding it is the only farmers market he vends at.
Dyer raises chickens, turkeys, lambs, beef, bison, sheep and goats and is learning how to slaughter the animals and harvest the meat with the hopes of ultimately opening a USDA approved plant on his property.
Other vendors sell their products at other markets but were drawn to the East End Market for the convenience.
The East End Market formed because the Main Street Market has limited room for expansion and because the organizers wanted to emphasize local consumption. The market’s mission is to encourage local buying to support the community, eating healthier and conserving resources. The market requires that everything that is sold at the market be produced within a 30-mile radius of Cortland.
Karl Frost of Frosty Morning Farm in Truxton, said he and his wife also sell their products at the Cazenovia market but he was drawn to the Dexter Park market because it is local.
“I like the idea that we don’t have to travel as far. We are putting our foot in the water here and we will see how it flies,” Frost said as he sold his organic plants, and culinary and medicinal herbs.
Cortland resident Melissa Howard praised Frost’s Elderberry Syrup for what she said were its medicinal qualities.
“I give it to my son twice a day and he has no allergy symptoms anymore,” Howard said.
Homer resident Dianne Robinson bought a bottle of the syrup and said she also attends the Main Street market in Cortland, which runs Saturdays and Tuesdays. Robinson said she would likely continue to attend both markets because they offer different vendors.
The East End Market’s vendors encompass three different categories, said Lickona. Most are farm/agricultural vendors, some of which also sell baked goods, there are two artisan vendors and a prepared foods vendor as well.
Dan Sullivan, who is the music coordinator for the East End Market, said the market is booked every week into September with performers who will provide light acoustic music, mainly jazz and blues.
“They bring business to the vendors and make it a more enjoyable experience,” Sullivan said.
Doug Newman and Mary McGarry-Newman of Buried Treasures Organic Farm in Groton were selling their fresh produce Saturday.
Newman explained that the broccoli they were selling had just come out and that the produce would change throughout the season.
“In August you get into tomatoes and eggplants and then in July carrots and onions and in the fall more pumpkins and squash,” Doug said.
The couple sells their products at the Ithaca farmers market but said they were interested in the East End market because of the emphasis on local products.
“The fact it is all local produce is what we are interested in and what we have and want to promote, “Newman said.
McGarry-Newman praised the location, saying it is a good spot for children to play while their parents shop.
One such parent was Cortlandville resident Wendy Patriarco who brought her 6-year-old son Dante and 7-year-old daughter Gracie.
She praised the location as being “very kid friendly” and said she was drawn to the market because it is new.
“I wanted to see what home-grown goods were here,” Patriarco said, adding the organic goods appealed to her.
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