Indoor market attracts buyers, sellers

The American Legion parking lot was packed the morning of Saturday Jan. 15 for the Winter Farmer's Market, put on by the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. Residents from all over Cazenovia braved the snow to purchase locally grown produce and handmade crafts from 36 vendors. Held every summer weekend at the village green, the farmer's market continues once a month from November through April at the legion.

The legion's upper level was occupied by produce vendors, offering samples of area cheeses, breads, honey and wine. Vendors on the lower level displayed their handmade jewelry, handbags and fur hats. Locally made wood products, soaps, jams and candy, as well as locally grown vegetables, wheat, barley and beans were available for purchase at the market.

Chamber Chairman Gene Gissin congratulated Andy Shepard, market manager, for suggesting the continuation of the market through the winter season.

"He came to us and asked us about a trial winter's market, and it's really taken off. Next year, he's going to talk to a lot of the people and see if we want to do it twice a month," Gissin said. "With the attendance we're getting, I think we may do it."

Every month the market features a cooking demonstration by local chefs. On Saturday, Glenn Loch cook D.J. Grant was the guest of honor. Demonstrations are intended not only to educate attendees about new recipes, but to encourage the use of local products. Many of the demonstration's ingredients come from vendors at the market. The Golden Pheasant's burger stand on the lower level offered hamburgers made from Drover Hill Farm beef.

Shepard was thankful for the turnout, excited to see residents who appreciate the market running through winter.

"This winter farmer's market is relatively new, but it's a growing trend nationwide. People want to know where their food is from, support sustainability and buy local. This is where all that's possible," Shepard said.

The next Winter Farmer's Market will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at the same location, 26 Chenango St. in Cazenovia.

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