One of my favorite things about summer in Rochester are the local Farmer’s Markets. With the weather being nice and the lack of classes, I really don’t have an excuse not to go each Saturday morning.
My farmer’s market of choice is the Rochester Public Market because of its size and hours. The Rochester Public Market is a great place for a lot of different reasons. Number one: It forces me to wake up early on the weekend, which I otherwise would absolutely not do. Number two: It is close enough that I can bike there (and we all know how much I encourage biking from my previous article). Third: It is a great way to spend some time outdoors. Most people who work standard jobs are stuck indoors the majority of the week. What better way to start your weekend than meandering around stalls of fresh produce? And that brings me to the last, and most important point: the food.
The majority of the produce sold at Rochester Public Market is fresh, local, in season, and unpackaged- all very important in the realm of sustainability. Most of the vendors are local residents or farmers, meaning the food you purchase probably hasn’t traveled very far. This decreases the carbon footprint of the food you consume. Since they are local, these farmers don’t need to pick their produce until the day, or even hours before the market opens, meaning your food is fresh. Since big companies aren’t permitted to sell their produce at the market, only fruits and vegetables that are in season will be sold. Growing foods that are not in season usually require more water, energy, and temperature regulation making them much less sustainable. And best of all, the food you buy comes unpackaged so you can bring your own reusable bag!
Public Markets are more than a source of great food. According to the Project for Public Spaces, public markets promote public health, renew neighborhoods, create active public space, bring together diverse groups of people, provide economic opportunities, and link urban and rural space. Markets like the one in the center of Rochester increase access to fresh, healthy food and promote the local economy. The produce at the Public Market is always cheaper than going to the local grocery store, and since it is so much more sustainable, why wouldn’t you go?
The Rochester Public Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. year-round and Saturdays from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round. The Market is open an additional 50 days annually for free admission, City-sponsored special events.
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017