October 21, 2021

Farmers’ markets gear up

Homer, Cincinnatus, Cortland open Saturdays

Katie Keyser/contributing photographer

Joan Franklin of Scott at the Cortland Farmers’ Market in July 2018. She will bring her vegetables, and knowledge for cooking them, back to Main Street this year.

Carla Plunkett uses a hoop house, cold frames and her field to grow vegetables for the Cortland Farmers’ Market.

“It’s wet and cool, things are not coming in yet,” she said Tuesday.

She may have some lettuce, definitely apples that she’s stored, and she’ll have baked goods and crafts at Saturday’s opener of the Cortland Farmers Market on Main Street.

“We have five vendors — three vegetable growers, the maple people, and the Murray Center,” she said.

The Cortland market runs 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Joan Franklin of Scott, another vendor, said this is the 47th year of the market. Produce sold there comes from within a 30-mile radius and goods are made locally.

The season has been “horrible,” she said of the rain and cold. “I have some things planted in raised beds. I haven’t put things in my big garden,” she said of her 13 acre spread.

Other markets

Other markets up and running on Saturdays:
• Homer’s Farmers’ Market, 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays at Cayuga and Main streets. It will add 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays on the village green June 26 to Aug. 28.
• Cincinnatus’ Farmers’ Market 9 a.m. to noon at the Rural Services Pavilion on 2704 Lower Cincinnatus Road.
• Virgil Farmers’ Market will be open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 8 to mid-October, at the parking lot of Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill, Route 392, Virgil.

She is watching her granddaughter’s running progress in sectionals and state qualifiers and will start her vending around May 25. She’ll probably have rhubarb and spinach by then, and baked goods.

Plunkett has been a vendor at the Cortland market for 11 years and works half of her 13 acres for the business.

“So much depends on the weather. You get things ready in the spring, seed, you are watering, weeding and picking,” Plunkett said. “I like it. It’s different than other kinds of work. It’s kind of refreshing.”

Supporting local farmers keeps money in the community, she noted. The food is fresh, not shipped in from miles away.

Plunkett doesn’t use any pesticides so her vegetables are healthy.

“I enjoy it,” said Franklin, who’s been at the market since 1992. “I enjoy growing the stuff. I enjoy selling my own stuff to the people so I can tell them how to fix things, really get them to want to buy fresh. It isn’t as tough as you think it is, cooking this,” she said.

Al Saracene, one of the regular Cortland vendors, will have vegetable plants and honey products. On Tuesday, the JM Murray crafters will staff their table of home made cards and gift items.