January 27, 2022

Enjoy a taste of summer all winter long

Visitors center to host monthly indoor farmers market

Yuner Gao/staff reporter

Carly Dougherty, the co-owner of Food and Ferments in Cortland, holds sample products Monday at her building on south Main Street.

In the darkest, coldest, longest nights of the year, Experience Cortland will offer a reminder: of long days, warm toes and that perfect bit of summer springing from the garden.

The Cortland County Visitors Center will play host to a monthly, indoor farmers market through the winter, featuring local farms and foods.

The market, noon to 3 p.m. on the first Friday in January, February, March and April, will feature whole roasting chickens, late autumn and early winter produce, pickles and sauces and fresh baked goods at 42 Main St., Cortland.

Each month through April, Experience Cortland will publish a recipe on its official website, which is created based on that month’s farmers market selection.

Among the participating sellers:

• Main Street Farms: Winter produce, including root vegetables, squashes and greens

• Daisy Hollow Farm: Granola, chickens and natural skin-care items.

• Gracie Cakes: Cupcakes and sugar cookies.

• Food & Ferments: Pickled veggies, kombucha, kimchi and tonics.

“This is our first time doing the one in Cortland during the winter,” said Robert “Bobcat” Bonagura, the co-owner of Main Street Farms, based around Cortland. It was founded in 2011 to bring local produce into lunch rooms from elementary schools to colleges.

Bonagura listed several advantages of the market: “One is that it helps people be better connected with where the food comes from. And, get people something to do in the middle of winter.”

“It’s a good way by buying food to support the local economy, support local businesses,” he added.

Carly Dougherty, the co-owner of Food and Ferments, also felt excited. “We’ve partnered with Main Street Farms a couple of times before to do something like this, but not with quite as many vendors as this one will be,” Dougherty said.

Food and Ferments makes naturally fermented sauerkrauts, beet kvass, kimchi and lactofermented pickles using local vegetables.

Dougherty said another thing that makes the market different is it’s during the day, rather than the late afternoon and early evening of earlier efforts.

“It would be really nice to in the middle of winter to be able to share our local products and see our community,” she said.

“Especially in winter, it’s easy to feel isolated in your own bubble,” Dougherty said. “It will be a nice way to just pop out in your lunch break, get out in the middle of the day, have a chat with some other folks, feel a little less wandering in this long winter.”