Florida's first Farmers Market opens

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:14

    FLORIDA-Florida, a center of the black dirt farming region, gained an outlet for local farmers and a source of fresh farm produce for consumers last Tuesday, June 29. The village's first farmers' market opened opposite the former Big V Supermarket, where Route 17A joins Route 94, and the participating farmers gave it a thumbs up. The market will open at 10 a.m. every Tuesday through October. Closing time will depend on traffic, but market Manager Mary Ulrich of Cornell Cooperative Extension said the tentative plans are to stay open until 7 p.m. The market is sponsored by the Florida Chamber of Commerce and managed by Coop Extension. Farmers at the market, most of whom also sell at similar markets, said last week that for a first day the market shows potential to be an excellent outlet. Florida has not previously had a market. "I've done several openings," said Dominique Herman of The Kitchen Garden, a Warwick organic gardener. "This feels like it will work. There has been constant traffic all day." Diane Lupinski, of John Lupinski Farms of Goshen said the market is "awesome; it feels like a real family market. People come around and talk, and there's been a nice turnout. I do five markets, and this is the best so far." Chandler Webber of Warwick Winery said it's hard to predict success based on one day, but the location is great - "it's on everyone's way home" - and the market "has the potential to be one of the best in the area." Shoppers could choose from a variety of greens, potatoes, carrots, squashes, radishes and many other vegetables. Corn is a couple of weeks away, and tomatoes and peppers should be available a week or two after that, manager Ulrich said. Cheryl Rogowski said she had sold out her entire stock last week; this week she brought more, including raspberries at the very peak of flavor. She warned customers to be careful because the freshly picked berries were easily crushed. Traffic was a little slower this week, which Rogowski attributed to the market's newness and the holiday weekend. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the market also features Maureen Charde's flowers, chicken from Dynes Farms of Oak Hill, N.Y., bread from Janet's Quality Baked Goods in Florida and wines from Warwick Valley Winery. Janet's Baked Goods had sold out by noon this past Tuesday.