At this time of year why would anyone buy fruits and vegetables imported from who knows where in the grocery store when they can get locally grown, freshly picked produce from the many farms and farm markets found in our region. Not only are locally grown offerings better tasting and often less expensive, by buying from local farmers helps to support our local economy.
This article will highlight a sampling of what the area has to offer. It’s recommended you call ahead, especially of you are traveling any distance, as often crops are affected by the weather and variations in the growing season. Listings in this article are arranged geographically under each classification.
These markets, often located in urban or village areas, bringing the farm to you one or more times a week. Often there are dozens of farmers offering not only fresh produce, but a variety of goods including cheese, flowers, baked goods, meats, canned goods and more. Here are just a few of the communities that have regularly scheduled farmer’s markets.
Clinton-Bailey Market (716-822-2466), 1443-1517 Clinton Street, Buffalo. Open May 1–Thanksgiving Sunday–Friday 7–6, Saturday 6:30–1; remainder of year Saturdays only 6:30–1. Since 1931, this establishment has been the largest ¬privately owned farmer’s market in New York State. Come here for a large and varied selection of locally grown produce.
Downtown Country Market (716-856-3150), Main Street (between Court and Church Streets), Buffalo. Open mid-May–late October Tuesday and Thursday 8–2:30. For over 25 years, farmers have been bringing their goods to downtown office workers and residents. Everything sold here is locally grown in western New York.
Elmwood Village Farmer’s Market (contact Forever Elmwood, 716-881-0707), Corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo. Open April–early November Saturday 8–1. This market, located in the heart of the Elmwood Village, features organic fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
Farmer’s Market at Williamsville Mill, 56 E. Spring Street, in front of the historic mill, Saturday 8AM-1PM, May 24-October 25. Fruits vegetables, baked goods, specialty foods, wine, cheese and fresh cut flowers are offered. They also have entertainment and cooking demonstrations
Clarence Hollow Farmer’s Market, Town parking lot, 10717 Main Street, between Ransom and Salt Roads, Clarence. Saturdays 8 AM–1 PM June–October. This market features local produce, baked goods, cheese, and more. They also have weekly special events, entertainment and educational programs.
East Aurora Farmer’s Market, East Aurora Plaza, Grey Street, East Aurora. Wednesday and Saturdays, May-November 7AM-1PM. A variety of locally grown produce can be found here.
Niagara Falls City Market, Market Square 18th Street at Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls. Wednesday and Friday 9-5. Located in the heart of Niagara’s “Little Italy,” a farmer’s market takes place here during the summer months.
North Tonawanda City Market (716-693-3746), Payne Avenue (at Robinson Street), North Tonawanda. Open year-round Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 7 AM–1 PM. Established in 1908, this is the oldest farmer’s market in Niagara County. About 70 local farmers set up shop in summer and early fall.
Lockport Farmer’s Market, Walnut Street Parking Lot, west of Pine Street, daily 9AM-9PM, May-Mid-November. Enjoy produce from Niagara County farmers.
Genesee Country Farmer’s Market (585-343-9491), corner of Lewiston & Park Roads, Batavia. Open Tuesday and Friday 8–5 mid-June–November. Farm-fresh produce grown on Genesee County farms, plus plants, maple syrup, honey, and baked goods.
Perry Farmer’s Market (www.perryfarmersmarket.com ), Main & Borden Perry. Open Saturday 8:30 AM–12:30 Late June–September. Market features local produce, jellies, honey, maple products, baked goods, and more.
Chautauqua Farmer’s Market (716-357-6200), at the Chautauqua Institution. Open daily 7 AM–11 AM late June–late August. Located in the old powerhouse just inside the main gate of the institution, this market offers in-season locally grown produce, baked goods, cheese, and other specialty items.
The Rochester Public Market (585-428-6907), 280 North Union Street (two blocks north of East Main Street), Rochester. Open year-round Tuesday and Thursday 6–1, Saturday 5–3. This is a bit of a drive. I haven’t been here yet, but I hear it’s worth the trip. Choose from fresh produce, meat, ethnic delicacies, craft items, and more. There are over 300 vending stalls here.
Roadside stands and farm markets
Most of these are family owned farms that have set up market stands on or near their farm. They offer in-season produce, along with a variety of other items.
Badding Brothers Farm Market (716-636-7824), 10830 Transit Road, East Amherst. Open seven days May–December, Monday–Saturday 9–8, Sunday 9–7. This family-owned and operated farm offers in-season produce, annuals, and hanging baskets. In the fall they have a Scarecrow Village, along with pumpkins and other fall produce.
Greg’s U-pick (716-741-4239) 9270 Lapp Rd., Clarence. Open June-August. Pick your own strawberries and blueberries at this family run farm.
Ken Spoth’s Family Farm (716-741-2152) 8372 County Road, East Amherst. Open May-November. Choose from a variety of locally grown produce. They specialize in sweet corn. They also have U-pick berries.
Spoth’s Farm Market (716-688-1110), 5757 Transit Road, East Amherst. Open May–December Monday–Friday 8:30–6, Saturday–Sunday 8:30–7. Spoth’s Farm Market has grown from a simple roadside stand to one of the largest and best-known farm markets in the East Amherst/Clarence area.
Bipperts Farm Market (716-668-4328), 5220 Clinton Street (near Transit) Elma. Hours vary seasonally, closed January and February. The Bippert family has been selling fresh produce grown on their 500 acre farm for over 50 years. Their in-house bakery features baked goods made fresh daily, plus a variety of jams and jellies.
Zittels Country Market (716-649-3010), 4415 Southwestern Boulevard (US 20) Hamburg. Hours vary seasonally, closed January–March. The Zittel family has been making their living growing crops since 1898. Fresh produce is offered throughout the summer and early fall, along with fall decorating items. In December choose from trees, wreaths, poinsettias, and more.
Wagners Farm Market (716-731-4440), 2672 Lockport Road, Sanborn. Open daily 9–6. Since 1967, the Wagner family offers a full range of produce along with fresh baked goods, fresh and frozen meats, and gift baskets.
Niagara County Produce (716-639-0755), Transit Road (at Millersport), East Amherst. Open daily year-round 8 AM–9 PM. This market on the border of Erie and Niagara Counties has been in operation for over 70 years. In season, choose from Niagara County crops—including apples, berries, and grapes—picked fresh daily. In the off-season enjoy apples and potatoes from cold storage, as well as produce shipped in from other parts of the country. The market has a full-service deli counter, featuring quality meats and freshly made sausage.
Coulter Farms Market (716-433-5335) Route 93 & 425, U-pick farm on Route 93 just west of farm market. Farm market and bakery open daily 10:30AM-6PM, June-October. U-pick farm open 8-7 weekdays, 8-5 weekends. Get fresh in-season produce from their farm stand or if you want a truly unique experience pick your own. They specialize in u-pick strawberries, raspberries, cherries and peas.
Schwab’s Farm Market (716-735-7570), NY 31, Gasport. Open year-round Monday–Friday 8–8, Saturday 8–6, Sunday 10–5. Choose from home-grown produce in-season, baked goods, deli meats, gift baskets, and locally made handcrafted items.
Kurtz Orchards Country Market and Orchard Tours (905-448-2937; www.kurtzorchards.com ), 16006 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Open 7 days all year long. This large farm market, located along the scenic Niagara Parkway, has a bounty of in-season produce along with jams and preserves, maple syrup, honey, fresh baked goods, Canadian crafts, and more. Group farm tours with gourmet lunches are offered; see website for details.
Bashford’s Fruit Farm Market (585-798-0235), 11074 Ridge Road (NY 104), Medina. Open 11–9 May–October. Vegetables, fruits, flowers, and ice cream. They also have an ice cream stand and a miniature golf course.
Lynoaken on the Ridge (585-798-1060; www.lynoakenfarms.com) 10609 Ridge Road (Route 104) Medina. Open year-round. This farm market has a gift shop with locally made foods and crafts, baked goods and apples from their farm. During the summer months they have fresh produce. A winery is scheduled to open this year.
Smith Family Farm Market (585-798-2656), 4362 South Gravel Road, Medina. Open 10–6 daily May 1–October 31, closed Sunday in July and August. The owners pride themselves on the freshness of their produce, grown on their own farm and by other local growers.
Busti Cider Mill & Farm Market (716-487-0177), 1135 Southwestern Drive (CR 45), Jamestown. Open mid-May–November Monday–Saturday 10–6, Sunday 12–5. Choose from farm-fresh, in-season produce, country gifts, jams and ¬jellies, baked goods, and more. Fresh-pressed apple cider available mid-September–November.
There are many maple producers in our region. Here are a few that are open year-round.
Merle Maple Farm (585-535-7136; www.merlemaple.com ), 1884 NY 98, Attica. Open year-round Monday–Saturday 9–5. Producing maple products has been the livelihood of the Merle family for five generations, since 1800s. They specialize in all sorts of maple products, including syrup, sugars, candy, and gourmet specialties.
Flyway Farms (585-798-0751), 10888 West Shelby Road, Medina. Open year-round; call for hours, as they vary. Choose from maple syrup and other maple products produced from over 800 tree taps. Flyway Farms, located next to the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, has won international awards for their maple products.
Maple Grove Farm (585-638-6245) 4394 South Holley Road, Holly. Five generations of this family have produced maple products on the farm.
Sprague’s Maple Farms (716-933-6637 or 800-446-2753; www.spraguesmaplefarms.com ), 1048 NY 305, Portville (exit 28 off I-86 to NY 305). Open year-round Sunday–Thursday 7–8, Friday and Saturday 7–9. While this is not a farm market per se, this is a great place to visit if you are craving maple products. This large pancake house and restaurant, features an all-day breakfast. They also serve down-home country meals, including their special roast-turkey dinners from their own free-range turkeys raised on their farm, along with a Friday fish fry. The gift shop features maple products, gourmet foods, and country crafts. During maple sugaring season, February-April, you can see the process of turning sap into syrup.
Unique Markets and Agri-tourism destinations
Some farm markets offer more than fresh produce. Some have an interesting history, offer tours, and have a variety of kid-friendly activities, classes and other special events.
Murphy Orchards (716-778-7926; www.murphyorchards.com ), 2402 McClew Road, Burt. Open seven days 8:30–6 May–November; Orchard Tea Room open Tuesday–Sunday 11–4 year-round. This 65-acre farm that has been in continuous operation since the mid-1800s. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, there’s a secret room beneath the barn where slaves once hid.
Of course you can get in-season produce here, along with jams, jellies, syrups, vinegars and handcrafted items. Guided group tours are offered—including Underground Railroad Heritage Tours and Wildlife Habitat/Environmental Conservation Tours—which must be booked in advance.
Becker Farms (716-772-2211; www.beckerfarms.com ), 3760 Quaker Road, Gasport. Open May–December. Becker Farms, a popular destination for local families, offers locally grown fruit and vegetables, homemade baked goods, craft items and even wine produced under their own label, Vizcarra Vineyards. Children can pet and feed farm animals. In fall visitors can pick their own apples and pumpkins, get lost in a corn maze, and enjoy other family-oriented activities during the Pumpkin Fiesta.
Watt Farms Country Market (585-589-800 or 800-274-5897; www.wattfarms.com ), 3121 Oak Orchard Road, Albion. Open May–December Monday–Friday 9–6, Saturday 9–7, Sunday 9:30–6; shorter hours November and December, longer hours in summer. The season begins with strawberries in late June, followed by cherries, raspberries, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums and, in the fall, apples. Twenty-five flavors of homemade fudge are available in their country gift shop, plus they have an ice cream parlor. On weekends, take a ride through the orchards on their 70-foot-long, 90-passenger train.
Hurd Orchards (585-638-8838; www.hurdorchards.com ) NY 104 and Monroe/Orleans County Line Road, Holley. Open 9–6 daily May–December. The Hurd family has been farming for seven generations. The market offers a large variety of in-season produce, flowers, herbs, specialty foods, jams, jellies, and gift baskets. Special “tastings,” teas and class’s teas are offered, by reservation only, throughout the season.
Brown’s Berry Patch (585-682-5569; www.brownsberrypatch.com ), 14264 Roosevelt Highway (NY 18), Waterport. Open April–November Monday–Friday 8–6, Saturday–Sunday 8–7. This large farm market offers farm-fresh fruit in-season, both ready picked or u-pick. There is a large country gift shop with handcrafted items, jewelry, and more. Kids will enjoy their Barnyard adventure area, with a playground, jumping pillows and live farm animals to pet; a car cruise is held on Wednesday evenings.
Partyka Farms (585-659-9131; www.partykafarms.com) 1420 County Line Road (Route 272) Kendall. Open 9–9 daily April–November. Lora and Jeff Partyka operate this 400 acre fruit and vegetable farm and market. In-season produce is available, as well as baked goods, jams and country gift items. They also have a seasonal ice cream bar. Lora is best known as the founder of Kendall’s Country Barn Quilt Trail; maps to the trail can be obtained here.
Windmill Farm & Craft Market (315-536-3032; www.thewindmill.com ), 3900 NY 14A, Penn Yan. Open Saturdays 8–4:30 late April–mid-December. Windmill Farm, which opened in 1987, is New York State’s first and largest rural market. Over 250 vendors—in three buildings and along a street of shops on this 31-acre site—carry an assortment of goods from fresh produce to handmade Amish and Mennonite craft items, baked good, furniture, and more.