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What's for Dessert? 48th Downtown Farmers Market is Back Tuesdays in Syracuse!

John Smith / WAER News

The 48th annual Downtown Farmers Market in Syracuse got underway in Syracuse's Clinton Square on Tuesday with noticeably more people and some still wearing masks.  More than two dozen farmers were on hand with their wares.  Otis Vezzose from Carol’s Nursery admits their prices might be a little higher this year due to increased operational costs.  But, can you still get a deal?

“Well, sure!  I mean directly from us… when we pick our own, we eliminate at least one or two middle men, so that helps a lot.  It’s tough to get stuff (seeds planted) into the ground, it’s been raining for the last week.”  

Makayla Youngman-Reed of Youngman Orchards in Williamson says the only thing they noticed since the pandemic began is an extra shot of sales.

“We actually have a farm store location right on Sodus Point right by the lake.  We haven’t had any issues… the pandemic has made us busier.  Everybody wants to shop local, grow their own gardens this year, everybody wants to plant flowers.”

Credit John Smith / WAER News
Youngman Orchards has been coming to the Downtown Farmers Market in Syracuse basically forever.

 Downtown Farmers Director Chuck McFadden says the every-Tuesday event has a way of bringing the community together.

 “We have over 5,000 residents who live Downtown now and this is basically their closest venue to get fresh produce.  Most of this produce that you see was either picked last night or early this morning.”

McFadden adds the market lost one the most popular berry growers who had to invest in automated equipment to harvest berry crops due to a lack of migrant workers.  Something new this year, music performers will be featured on the second Tuesday of every month.

“We’re playing some Tunisian music this month.  Next month we got a traditional American with Elvis and some country music.  September is Spanish Heritage Month.”

Credit John Smith / WAER News
Kambuyu Marimba Ensemble kicked off the music entertainment.

McFadden says the event benefits from being one of the only larger events to take place downtown under the current State Health Department restrictions.  He reminds everyone is welcome and asks those who aren’t vaccinated for COVID-19 to wear a mask.  Several hand sanitization stations are located throughout the market.  The Downtown Syracuse Farmers Marketis every Tuesday through October 12th.  A total of more than 50 farmers will be participating. 

Credit John Smith / WAER News
Look at those berries!  Ready for strawberry shortcake?  Carol's Nursery representing.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.