Broaden your horizons, better your health

The Fredonia Farmers’ Market’s winter market is held every Saturday from November through mid-May at the Masonic Forest Lodge, 321 E. Main St. (Route 20) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. An abundance of fresh, local produce and meat is available each weekend along with specialty foods including vegetable sushi, spring rolls, local wines and baked goods.

Tempt your tastebuds and treat yourself to homegrown goodness at Chautauqua County’s only year-round farmers’ market

By ERICA CARLSON

Special to the OBSERVER

Are you having a tough time sticking to your New Year’s resolution to improve your health and fitness? You’re not alone, and Chautauqua County’s only year-round farmers’ market is a valuable resource for those watching their waistlines and monitoring their wellness.

It can be a challenge to find locally sourced, healthy foods this time of year in Western New York. However, with some thoughtful planning it is possible to have farm-fresh food at every meal – even on days when it’s in the single digits outside and it’s hard to recall the flavor of an in-season tomato or berry.

At the Fredonia Farmers’ Market, an abundance of local food is available each weekend at the winter market, held Saturdays from November through mid-May at the Masonic Forest Lodge, 321 E. Main St., Fredonia, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pasture-raised meat (beef, pork, poultry and more), cheese, eggs, honey, maple syrup, garlic, root vegetables, greens, preserves, marinades, sauces, baked goods, treats, beverages and more are sold by more than a dozen local farms and crafters. When you spend your dollars at the FFM, you’re supporting local businesses and the regional economy. The money spent at the market stays in the community.

Making major lifestyle changes can start with small steps, such as supporting local farms and trying a new ingredient or recipe. If you want to strengthen your body, your spirit, your family, your community and the local economy a great place to start is the Fredonia Farmers’ Market. Read below to learn more about what the winter market offers.

A focus on fresh

Sushi, salads and spring rolls — Gong Garden has been cooking up a storm in the kitchen with exotic vegetable sushi (no fish included!) as well as noodle salads and popular spring rolls. They regularly sell out of their prepared offerings, so arrive early to ensure they can accommodate your order.

Fresh greens — Grab some greens, peppers, potatoes, carrots, celery and more. A few of our farmers grow produce in hothouses over the winter.

Root vegetables and dried beans — Jump on the garlic and dried beans bandwagon. Roast potatoes and carrots in beef tallow or rendered chicken fat for a hearty meal.

Raw honey — Raw honey is used as a cough suppressant and is believed by some to decrease severity of allergies, among numerous healing properties.

Coffee, juice and tea — Organic tea, tart cherry juice, cocoa and coffee are available for sale.

Baked goods, chocolate and specialty foods — Bagels, English muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, pie and cake all made from scratch and free of preservatives are big sellers. Tart cherry juice and olive oil are also available.

Pasture-raised protein — Ethically raised pork, beef and poultry are sold by several vendors. Ask the sellers for cooking tips.

Bone broth — It’s soup season and there are myriad benefits of incorporating bone broth into your diet. Cover some bones with water in a crockpot and simmer overnight before straining and enjoying a hot cup of mineral- and gelatin-rich broth

Lotions and soaps — Dry, chapped skin got you itching and scratching? Essential oil-infused personal care products, balms and salves are in stock.

Decor and accessories — Check out our vendors’ beaded jewelry, sewn/quilted/knitted accessories as well as home decor items including baskets and candles.

How to shop: Visit the market manager’s informational table to shop with your credit card via our credit card token program. Cash is king at the market, but several vendors accept checks. SNAP users are encouraged to shop via the market’s EBT token program. Gift certificates in increments of $5 are also sold.

Who’s there? The following farms and vendors regularly participate in the winter Fredonia Farmers’ Market: Odd Birds Bakery, Om Nom Gluten-Free Bakery, Stand Fast Beef, Labyrinth Knits, Spider Herbs, Woodbury Winery, Aeress Designs, Someday Maybe Farms, Gong Garden, Roo Haven Farm, Toboggan Hill Farm, Ceres Farm, DeGolier’s Maple Products, Lake Country Baskets, Mekus Farms, J.M. Joy Farms, the Fredonia Presbyterian Church, Green Heron Growers and Small Meadows Farm.

Get involved: The nonprofit FFM is seeking volunteers to help support its mission and bolster the local economy. If you’d like to volunteer your time, please visit www.fredoniafarmersmarket.org or the FFM Facebook page. The market welcomes volunteers to help assist in event planning, fundraising, promotions, children’s programs, cooking and recipe demonstrations and live music. In addition, potential vendors are encouraged to read the FFM’s rules and regulations and fill out its membership and vendor applications for consideration by the board. E-mail inquiries to: FredoniaFarmersMkt@gmail.com.

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