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2015 Celebrates 65 years of the Auburn market
For longtime Auburn residents who may recall, the market has traveled to numerous locations over the years. Spots included Polish Falcons, the Fingerlakes Mall, Eddie’s Fish Fry, Nolan’s, inside the Genesee Mall, the old Post Office parking lot and across the way from the Rondina’s building. Once again, the market has moved from its last location, Wegmans, where it’s been since 1987.
The market incorporated in 1976, and the farmers enjoys a downtown presence, close to three senior living centers and Auburn businesses. The market’s new home is the parking lot across from the City Parking Garage, near the gazebo across from City Hall. Without having to make the mad dash across Genesee Street, this new location is safer for shoppers, and just as convenient for farmers to pull up their vehicles and set up shop. The area is also flatter and closed, and in a better environment next door to the attractive Seward House and floral arrangements around the gazebo.
Market members say eating local encourages healthy living, and reduces our carbon footprint. In addition to supporting area small businesses, farmers and the economy, local foods are more nutritious, fresher, require less packaging and travel, ultimately saving on waste and pollution. Buying local also allows shoppers to build a personal relationship with the people that grow their food.
But now there’s much more than just fresh vegetables and fruits offered at the market, there’s also fresh-cut flowers, local baked goods and cheeses and hand-made jewelry. Another enhancement made is the market accepts EBT cards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as WIC’s benefits. Cooking demonstrations are also now offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The market is a regional effort, with farmers bringing the fruits of their labor from Hannibal, Wolcott, Moravia, Cato, and other parts north and south in Cayuga County. This year, farms include Fowler Farms, Wilczek Family Farm, Horsford Farm, Bibbins Produce & Farm Inc., Bednarski Family Farm, Vitale Farm Market, Owens Orchards, Anna’s Flowers and Farm, Pepe’s Fruit Farm, Polmanteer Gardens, Turner Farms, Fingerlakes Farms, Slater Farm, Bradford Heights Delights, Carole Massaro Family Designs and Papas’ Pickins,’.
The strong leadership of Millie Bednarksi and Dave Wilczek makes the wide geographic coordination possible. The market has been part of Wilczek’s life since he was five years old. His grandfather ran the market then, and back in the day, they even sold live chickens. Wilczek now owns a farm in Fleming growing 15 acres of vegetables.
The market runs June 1 thru Oct 31st Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7AM – 2PM. For more information please contact Mark soper @ 315-704-8609 or visit: www.localharvest.org a site that promotes markets in the area and all over the country.
Board Of Directors
Auburn Farmers Co-op Market Inc.
Board of Directors
Ben Vitale - President
Dave Wilczek - V. President
Mark Soper -Secretary
Sharon Vitale - Treasurer
Bob Horsford - Communications Director