Saturday saw us (actually me) wake up way too late to make visit the Central New York Regional Market. If you don’t get there before 9 a.m., parking is a beast and the buildings and aisles are difficult to move around with a four-year-old. By the time I stumbled downstairs at 9:30 a.m., The Kid was well into an episode of The Octonauts with no letup in sight. I suggested that we try the Cazenovia Farmers Market and stop at Side Hill Farmers on the way home to get something grillable for dinner.
From Al Dente HQ in Camillus, Cazenovia is a solid 45-minute drive of interstates, rural highways and suburban stop lights. On this particular Saturday, traffic locked up pretty tightly at the corner of Forman and Albany Streets, slowing our progress. That said, we found on street parking right in front of Cannon/Memorial Park (the names are used interchangeably).
Our first impression came from the size of the market. It was…small. No more than 20 vendors lined the sidewalk on Albany Street near the park with the enormous cannon monument. The names assembled were among the finest in the CNY food sphere: Zimmer Bakes, Navarino Orchard, Drover Hill Farm, and Gianforte Farm among them. Per square foot, I’m not sure there is a finer assemblage of purveyors in one space in this area. That said, it took me 40 minutes to drive one way and we were there for 15 minutes.
After walking around the park and taking a lap in the village with The Kid, I stopped back to Navarino for an 8-quart basket of Roma tomatoes that have since been turned into Tom Colicchio’s roasted tomatoes.
If I lived in Fayetteville or Manlius, I would absolutely, without reservations, return. This is a great little market, perfect for the size of the Madison County village. It reminds me of the Rehoboth Beach, Del. Farmers’ Market that brings together artisans and growers each week. With all of the great farms on the West and Southwest sides of Onondaga County, I wish Camillus would pull one like this together.
Cazenovia should be grateful for what it has. Judging by the crowd at 11 a.m. on Saturday, I think it is.
The Cazenovia Farmers Market is operated by the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. It takes place each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-May to early November at Memorial Park. During the rest of the year, it takes place every third saturday of the month at the American Legion Post 88 at 26 Chenango St. in Cazenovia. Follow them on Facebook.