The Downtown Farmers Market kicked off its 46th season Tuesday in Clinton Square with beautiful food and live music. Downtown residents and lunch breakers enjoyed the music of Miss E and the Resonators.
They perused the wares of dozens of local vendors, and haggled and swapped recipes with farmers, bakers and craftsmen. Market Director Chuck McFadden said opening day couldn’t come soon enough.
"It's going really great. The weather couldn't be better. Folks are happy to be here. We've had people who live downtown begging us to start earlier than we do. But you have to give the farmers time to grow some product."
McFadden says as interest in the farmers market has grown, the market has been able to take on more diverse and unique vendors. Downtown resident Gabrielle was excited to find and try new things.
"We come with an open mind. I was looking for some greens, but they don't have many fresh, loose greens. I was excited by the strawberries. They're good. We bought some. So this Za'atar place with the flatbreads...I've never seen that before, so I'm going to get some of those before I go. I'm excited about that.”
The flat bread vendor Gabrielle saw was Small Mountain Za’atar run by Nujoud Makhlouf . It was Makhlouf’s very first time selling her homemade flat breads. She hopes to be able to add the Palestinian fare to the growing Syracuse food scene.
"My featured bread is the Za'atar. Then I have plain pita. I've also made my own handcrafted labaneh, which is a yogurt spread."
Rebecca Secreti was also enjoying her first day as a vendor of artisanal grilled cheeses from her booth “Melt.” She says the relaxed patrons have inspired her to stop and appreciate the beauty of the city.
"The people are just really nice. A lot of people sit and relax. At least for me, when people are just sitting on the benches enjoying downtown...when do you ever get to do that? When do you ever think about doing that during your busy day? These people do it a lot, and it's nice."
The downtown farmer’s market will run every Tuesday morning throughout the summer, rain or shine. There will be live music every week sponsored by CNY Arts as part of the “Lunchtime Live Music Series” from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.