Elmwood-Bidwell Famers Market moves to campus for winter months

Patrick Koster & Anthony Reyes, The Record Editors


For the first time ever, the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market will continue during the winter – at an indoor location right on SUNY Buffalo State’s campus.

The new market will run from Dec. 5 to April 30, 2016 in Buckham Hall. It will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring 15 to 20 vendors every week.

“We are extremely excited to have found a nearby location to accommodate our vendors, and we now look forward to serving our loyal customers year-round thanks to our new winter location,” Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market Board President Stewart Ritchie said in an Elmwood Village Association press release.

Ritchie said the inaugural winter market will be open on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 before taking a two-week vacation for the holidays and then continuing on Jan. 9.

“The Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market is a long-standing and much-beloved part of the Elmwood Village community, and we are thrilled to see the market expand to a year-round endeavor,” Elmwood Village Association Executive Director Carly Battin said in the press release. “Access to fresh fruits and vegetables and locally-made food and beverages is both an asset to residents and a wonderful way to support and foster our local farmers and small businesses. We’re very pleased and thankful that SUNY Buffalo State is opening up their campus to provide this neighborhood amenity, and hope that this market continues to strengthen the bond between the campus and the surrounding community.”

This new winter market allows for vendors to pick up right where they left off from the normal seasonal run.

The normal seasonal run for the market typically ends on the last Saturday in November. With the new winter market beginning the following Saturday, Dec. 5, there won’t be any breaks between the original and winter runs.

“Buffalo State is very excited about hosting the winter farmers’ market,” Special Advisor to the Provost for Economic Development at Buffalo State, Susan A. McCartney, said in the press release. “The market represents an exceptional economic eco-system: local, sustainable and entrepreneurial. Further, the winter market will benefit our campus constituents, our neighbors and our community.”

Ritchie said the Farmers Market proposed the idea to McCartney, who then brought it to others at Buffalo State.

“Well I think it’s great because we have students coming to the Farmers Market, and it’d just be nice to be able to offer our products to [more of] them, just to let them become knowledgeable of different farmers and businesses in the community,” Ritchie said.

The Farmers Market is a producer-only market, meaning it doesn’t have any second-hand vendors selling to patrons. Every vendor is a producer or grower of what they sell.

Being a producer-only market, Ritchie said, the market allows consumers to get direct feedback from producers on what is being sold to them.

“For a lot of vendors, it’s a hardship when the season ends,” Ritchie said, “because all of a sudden, they don’t have ways to market their honey or their apples, or their other products until May of the next year. So from a business standpoint, it’s really helpful for the liability of businesses and farms to market year-round.”

If students don’t know how to prepare their own meals with the products they purchase at the market, they shouldn’t have too much to worry about. McCartney said there are discussions of having demonstrations about how to prepare food in 2016. There are also talks of the hospitality and tourism and dietetics and nutrition departments collaborating with the market.

Treasurer of LynOaken Farms Wendy Oakes-Wilson said she will be selling apples and cider at the winter market.

“It’s really important for those of us that have storage capacities and growing capacities to be able to market our products during the winter,” Oakes-Wilson said. “So for us, it’s key to keeping that relationship going with people that want our products throughout the winter.”

Vendors will also have convenient parking available to them so they won’t have to carry their products very far to Buckham Hall.

“I like that there’s parking,” Kent Miller, owner of Plato Dale Farm, said. “That’s really the big thing for us.”

Buckham Hall is located on Rockwell Rd., close to Grant St., right next to the Technology Building.

“I’m just excited to be there,” Ritchie said. “It’s been a long time coming, and I think the city needs a winter market.”


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