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Skaneateles: A berry good buy at P

Strawberries are in season and ready for purchase locally at the P&C in Skaneateles.

While the store has a stock of the juicy berries from California, P&C received its first delivery of locally grown strawberries from Reeves Farms in Baldwinsville on Thursday morning.

Owner Brian Reeves said the farm, located about four miles from the village of Baldwinsville on Route 370, hadn't previously had a truck in the area and so had not made deliveries to Skaneateles in the past. Now with berries going to locations in Auburn and Elbridge, it's just a hop, skip and a short drive to get to Skaneateles.

"We've been doing a lot of P&C stores," Reeves said. "We just didn't have a truck near here."

The family farm was started by Reeves' great-great-grandfather after he migrated from England to the United States in 1871. Since then the farm has been passed down through the family, with Reeves and his brother Mark officially taking the reigns in 1990.

The first deliveries of the season depended greatly on Mother Nature. With a fear of rain on Wednesday June 10, the originally scheduled date for the drop-off, the farm rescheduled the delivery to Skaneateles for Thursday.

Working with Bill LeMon of Coolican-LeMon Inc., an advertising and public relations company in DeWitt, Reeves Farms has taken a role in the company's "The Cart Starts Here" program. The program, which promotes locally grown brands, has instituted a marketing plan and regularly airs commercials on Channel 5 for products such as Gianelli sausage and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, LeMon said.

"A lot of people would prefer to buy local," said Jerry Locastro, produce manager of the Skaneateles P&C. "You can't get these [strawberries] any fresher unless you pick them yourself."

Purchasing and eating the locally grown fruits also helps to stimulate the local economy, Locastro said.

"The money stays here," he said.

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