The Ithaca Farmers Market: Return of a Good Thing
Opening Day at the Ithaca Farmers Market
by Raquel Dalarossa
The Ithaca Farmers Market, a locavore haven since 1973, opened for the season last Saturday, welcoming shoppers to buy the goods from 150 local farmers, craftspeople, and other vendors who all come from within 30 miles of Ithaca. Fresh fruit and produce was sold next to handcrafted jewelry and made-from-scratch pastries. Organic meat from pasture-raised animals was available, along with artisan cheeses and local wine.
This year’s opening day saw the return of mouthwatering market staples like steaming hot breakfast burritos from Solaz and sweet and fluffy apple cider donuts from Littletree Orchards. It also debuted some new products and vendors, including grocery tote bags from Sew Surprised, perfect for carrying around all that local loot.
The excitement and joy at the market on Saturday was palpable. For longtime frequenters of the market, opening day is like the return of an old friend, with plenty of familiar faces and favorite products. For some, last Saturday was their first time visiting the farmers’ market. Student Joey Naftol had heard a lot about it from friends and was looking forward to experiencing the food that [they had] raved about. His favorite discovery was the Cambodian food by Khmer Angkor.
Vendors, too, look forward to returning to the farmers’ market each year with new products and favorites for their customer base. Rebecca McDonald from McDonald Farm was eager for opening day and the chance to re-connect with patrons as well as other vendors. “We’ve been here for years, so we know lots of people,” she said with a smile. “The most exciting part is seeing all the returning customers.”
The market’s classic and picturesque waterside location, along with its open pavilion structure and garden surroundings, make it a warm, friendly and beautiful venue. Whether you’re visiting to pick up farm fresh groceries, browsing the artisanal foods and products, or sampling the delicious, homemade fare, you’re sure to enjoy your taste of some of the Finger Lakes best. If you missed opening day, you can stop by the market on any Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm at Ithaca’s Steamboat Landing. Sunday and Tuesday markets will start later in the season.
Raquel Dalarossa is an intern with Edible Finger Lakes and a junior in the Writing Department at Ithaca College.