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New vendors bring a fresh take as Rochester Farmers Market moves outside

Food writer Holly Ebel says 14 new vendors will bring the total number to nearly 100, meaning there's a fresh food option for everyone.

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Mushrooms from Fiddlehead Knob, a new market vendor, are pictured on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the farmer's market in Rochester.
Contributed / Holly Ebel
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For thousands of Rochester Farmers Market shoppers, when the market moves out of the barns the first Saturday in May and into the great outdoors at Graham Park, it signals a new, exciting, growing season.

Just two weeks into it, you can already feel the excitement of both vendors and shoppers. Just because it's early May and maybe coolish, don't let that stop you from coming.

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There is a healthy selection to choose from (pun intended.) You'll find fresh eggs; meats including beef, lamb, and pork; jams, jellies and salsas; honey; cheeses; asparagus; ramps and rhubarb; and a large selection of baked goods.

You can even buy a cup of hot coffee, freshly brewed, of course.

As the weeks go by and the weather turns warmer, there will be even more choices including a wide variety of plants and flowers. Unique to this market is that everything sold must have been grown within 50 miles of Rochester. Abby Shepler, former market manager, makes sure of that.

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Just about all of the old favorites are back but what's also exciting is to see who's new and what they offer. Shepler said that for this season there are 14 new vendors, bringing the total to almost 100.

"This is also the year of the mushroom," Shepler said. "We have four different growers. One, Frozen Cap Mushrooms, even sells to Crave."

Some of these are foraged but most are grown in greenhouses in basements.

Also new and unique are three friends who are making kombucha, a fermented, slightly effervescent beverage purported to have multiple health benefits.

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Kalvin Stern of Leroy displays some mushrooms from Fiddlehead Knob, a new market vendor, are pictured on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the farmer's market in Rochester.
Contributed / Holly Ebel

Yet another item new to market is Sam Sa'House, a producer of small-batch, premium hot sauces, until now only available for purchase at Hot Chip Burger Bar.

Regulars are always looking over the baked goods, of which there are many. Among the new bakers this year is Dennison Daily Breads, which specializes in scones and mini-bundt cakes. Interestingly, Shepler mentioned that more produce vendors have started bring along baked goods to sell as well.

"Anything home-baked is always a good seller," she said.

From a variety of breads, to croissants, coffee cakes, muffins and pies, you'll see them all. Advice: Buy when you see what looks good to you. Chances are it won't be there long.

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There are also many special events being offered. Once again there are exercise classes on the green beginning at 8 a.m., and musicians are also offering their talents throughout the market. Chef demonstration, always a favorite, are scheduled throughout the summer.

Coming up May 21 is National Bike Day, and anyone riding their bike to market will be rewarded with market swag.

National Egg Week, National Wellness Day and International Picnic Day among many others will all be celebrated. It's a packed summer of activities as well as an on-going emphasis on educational programs and activities for youngsters.

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Mushrooms from Fiddlehead Knob, a new market vendor, are pictured on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the farmer's market in Rochester.
Contributed / Holly Ebel

There are no COVID restrictions this year, but Shepler asks us to be mindful of crowding, and to stay home if you're not feeling well.

Market hours are Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to noon, rain or shine until the last Saturday in October. Wednesday Markets begin June 15, and run from 2-6 p.m. midweek through October. The website is www.rochfarmmkt.org .

Post Bulletin food writer Holly Ebel knows what’s cookin’. Send comments or story tips to life@postbulletin.com .

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Related Topics: FOODRECIPESHOLLY EBEL
Post Bulletin food writer Holly Ebel knows what’s cookin’. Send comments or story tips to life@postbulletin.com.
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