The Central New York Regional Market is the focal point of area agriculture, but it’s not the only farmer’s market in Syracuse. During the summer, you cannot swing a cat without hitting a market. Downtown Syracuse, Baldwinsville, Skaneateles, Fayetteville, and Cazenovia all host them (among others) during the warm-weather months.
Once the leaves fall off the trees, so do the choices. Cazenovia moves indoors and becomes a monthly operation. The CNY Regional Market moves to an indoor operation spread out over a few buildings. But, that’s about it until May.
Well, it was until this past weekend.
Farmshed CNY, an organization aimed at connecting the populace with local farmers and purveyors, cut the ribbon on its first winter farmer’s market at Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus. About 20 vendors crowded into the exhibit room at the center from market stalwarts like Zimmer Bakes and Flour City Pasta to meats from Creekside Meadows Farms to produce from Elderberry Pond. A stand by Farmshed featured produce from throughout the region.
Margaret McCormick of Eat First wrote about the market last week in the Syracuse New Times. She and I met and walked through the market together. Parking was at a premium at the top of the hill, with cars packing the center’s lot and lining either side of Bishop Hill Road. The room itself was wall to wall when we walked in at 10:30 a.m. After making a first pass around the room and talking to the vendors, we each got to work on what we were seeking. I ended up with carrots and broccoli from the Farmshed table, and Swiss chard from Good Karma Garlic in Jordan, as well as cookies from Zimmer’s.
It was also a chance to interact with some people I knew tangentially and meet a couple of new people that Margaret introduced me to. I also had a chance to catch up with the people from Flour City, whom I have talked to in a while.
We celebrate agriculture in our community, but we do not talk enough about the venues that help farmers connect with consumers. It’s a simple enough undertaking at the outset, getting a group of farmers and producers together for three hours once each month. But, it’s the sum of these actions events that get consumers in touch with the people who make their food that we need to celebrate as well. Farmshed CNY is doing good work here.
The Winter Farmers Market at Baltimore Woods takes place on the second Saturday of the month from November 2014 to April 2015. Hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Baltimore Woods Nature Center is located on Bishop Hill Road just south of the village of Marcellus.