By Senator Patty Ritchie
From corn-on the cob to just-picked berries, one of my favorite parts of the summer and fall is being able to shop for fresh food at my local farmers’ market.
And, as it turns out, it’s one of your favorite things too!
Recently, I asked people in the Central and Northern New York regions to cast their votes for their favorite farmers’ market in my 2012 Online Farmers’ Market Survey.
The response was overwhelming, and there definitely were some close calls.
Out of 11 farmers’ markets in Jefferson County, the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce Market, held in front of the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown, took top prize.
In Oswego County, the Oswego Farmers’ Market, held on West First Street, beat out five other markets for the top spot.
Lastly, in St. Lawrence County, you selected the Canton Farmers’ Market, which takes place at the Village Park, as your winner.
There’s more than just these markets, in fact, our region is home to nearly three dozen markets in all (you can view my farmers market guide by visiting www.ritchie.nysenate.gov).
Even though only three markets could be named the “best of the best,” one thing is for sure, we’re all winners when we eat fresh, locally produced, healthy food.
There’s proof that buying and eating locally is catching on.
Today, New York has more than 560 farmers’ markets.
That’s nearly double the amount our state had 10 years ago!
Not only does eating locally produced, fresh food from your farmers’ markets help us to stay healthy, it helps our state’s farmers, too.
When it comes to New York’s economy, agriculture is the cornerstone.
Farming is a $3.6 billion industry in our state and by supporting our local farmers, we can help that number grow.
The season for farmers’ markets is far from over (in fact, many markets run through the fall).
I encourage you to take advantage of the fresh, healthy food available at your favorite market.