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Farmers' Markets in Brockport give locals and students a chance to buy fresh

by Alexandra Weaver-Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Sep 5th 2017 05:00 pm
Photos taken by Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR The Farmers' Market in town has been serving locals for about a decade. The weekly installation gives people a chance to buy their produce directly, eliminating the middle man and cutting down on the price.
Photos taken by Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR The Farmers' Market in town has been serving locals for about a decade. The weekly installation gives people a chance to buy their produce directly, eliminating the middle man and cutting down on the price.
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Eating healthy in college can be a challenge. The food that's cheap and accessible to students is often unhealthy and healthy food can be expensive or require more effort to find or cook. 

Many would consider farmers' markets to be an exception to the rule, as their produce is often significantly cheaper than what can be found at the gorcery store and some consider it higher quality because the produce hasn't been transported to the store, which can take several days. The money spent on the produce also goes directly to the farmer.

Kirby's Farm Market is only about a 10 minute drive from the Brockport campus. The store is located at 9739 W Ridge Road and is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The market runs from May 1 until December 24.

The building is made to look like a farm stand. All the produce sold at Kirby's is locally-grown. Its website even includes a time table for each type of produce, so people can find out what's in season. The market is currently selling gorgeous-looking plums and donut peaches, which look like flattened peaches that are pinched in at the center, as their name implies. The market also has a colorful assortment of sweet and hot peppers.

Kirby's has a wide selection of local jams. The jars are the size of large Smucker's jams, sans the high fructose corn syrup. The large size also makes them a better value than the small-sized jars of higher quality jams that supermarkets sell. Kirby's also sells an assortment of canned vegetables.

Students without cars still have the ability to visit a farmers' market. There is a local farmer's market every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Market Street right off of Main Street, between Bittersweet and Next Level Barber Shop. The market includes locally-grown produce and live music.

Rain or shine, the dedicated area farmers set up their trucks and tents from mid June to early October. Many of the farms have been staples of the Brockport Farmers' Market since it began.

One such farm is DeConick Farm of Spencerport, New York. The farm is celebrating its 105th year of existence, spanning four generations of DeConicks. 

"They really need to check out the farmers' market [...] the prices and the freshness can't compare," Grace DeConick said.

The market is chock full of produce of all kinds, and almost everything is under $5. Produce baskets that are filled to the brim with peaches, pears, apples and other mouth-watering fruits are only $2. Potatoes, onions, wax beans, eggplants and a rainbow of other vegetables are available at similar prices. 

The market includes Ranko's Meat Processing, which sells sausages at only $4 or $5 per pound, and a food cart from Greg'ry's Bakery, which sells pastries. One vendor even sells homemade pickles.

A few vendors sell specialty produce that isn't available at Wegmans, such as sugar cube melons.

"The people are wonderful," Sharon Durrant said. 

Durrant has been selling Partyka Farms' produce at the farmers' market for three or four years. She started selling for Partyka after 30 years of buying their corn. Though she works a full-time job during the week, Durrant loves spending her Sunday mornings at the farmers' market. 

Fruits and vegetables are crucial to a healthy diet. Though the high prices at the supermarket can make fruits and vegetables seem inaccessible to students, there are other options for finding fruits and vegetables that are also close to campus.