April 24, 2019

New options for residents at Homer Farmers’ Market

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Dave Root, the owner of Dave’s Veggies off Route 41 in Homer, grabs a hanging basket in his greenhouse. Root will be one of several vendors this year at the Homer Farmers’ Market.

Dave Root of Dave’s Veggies in Homer already has flowers blooming and is watching as his vegetables grow, taking shape each day in preparation for the Homer Farmers’ Market in May. This year customers of the market can participate in a new membership program and could see new vendors.

Kristen Case, the village deputy clerk and market manager, met with previous vendors a few weeks back where she discussed ideas on how to expand the market. From the talks came the idea to offer a friends or family membership.

“We were trying to come up with a way to make it more of a community farmers’ market,” she said.

The Friends of the Homer Farmers’ Market benefits would include:
• 10% off all purchases made from any vendor at the market.
• A reusable Homer Farmers’ Market canvas bag.
• Automatic weekly entries into a monthly drawing.
• Complimentary beverages at Saturday morning markets.

It would cost $30 to $45 with an additional bag.

The Family of the Homer Farmers’ Market benefits would include:
• 20% off all purchases made from any vendor at the market.
• A reusable Homer Farmers’ Market canvas bag.
• A three-piece set of reusable mesh produce bags.
• Automatic weekly entries into a monthly drawing.
• Complimentary beverages at Saturday morning markets.

It would cost $50 to $60 with an additional bag.

“It would be a good idea if we can get the customers to do it,” Root said about the memberships. “I don’t think any other markets in the area do this.”


Opening day

When: May 11, 9 a.m. until Noon
Where: Corner of Cayuga and Main streets, Homer

How to sign up for a membership or to be a vendor:
n Contact the village at 607-749-3322
n Download the vendor application: bit.ly/2UBSFfm


Case said she hasn’t had anyone sign up for the memberships yet, but that she had just put it out to people on the village’s website and social media page last week.

Case will also look at doing order applications at senior housing facilities in Homer.

She would make out order forms every week with which items were available from vendors and then drop them off to the two senior housing facilities. From there, a resident could fill out the order sheet and give it back with the payment to Case. She would pick up and deliver the orders. She noted many older people are able to participate in programs that help them buy food from farmers’ markets.

“But they’re not going to be able to utilize that if they can’t come down,” she said. “It’s just trying to make it more accessible to people who can’t make it there. It will fill a need.”

Case will also do a raffle every month where customers will get a card punched every month when they make a purchase and will be entered to win Homer Farmers’ Market bucks or a basket of varied goods from vendors.

“That’s so smart,” McCabe said during the village board meeting Wednesday where Case talked about the market.

As for vendors, Case doesn’t have a set number she is looking to get, but that she is estimating seven to eight vendors from last year coming back, including Dave’s Veggies, Cayuga Street Cookies and More, and Blue Owl Farms.

The market will also be moving a little further down the Village Green-but not too far.

The market will be down at the corner of Cayuga and Main streets, instead of at the opposite side of the Village Green, Case said.

“I wanted to keep us all together,” she said. “I think it will be more noticeable. I’d like to expand as much as I can,” she said.

Case said she hopes to offer more to customers.

“It’s important for people to have nutritious food and local food is the best you can do,” she said.

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