What's better than fresh, crisp corn on the cob with your steak for dinner?
Strawberry shortcake topped with fresh and perfectly ripened strawberries for dessert.
These things and many other fresh produce items are available through local farmers' markets every week.
The Downtown Jamestown Farmers’ Market runs June through October every Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located on the corner of West Third and Cherry streets.
Ward Smith, of Dancing Sun Farms in Kennedy, participates in the Downtown Jamestown Farmers' Market every week. He said that he does it for a variety of reasons.
''It gives me a chance to network with other farmers,'' Smith said. ''I meet nice and interesting people here. It's a place to sell my goods, and it's been made very simple by the DJDC. ... It also gives me a chance to find out what people like, so I can plan for the future.''
Smith added that a lot of the farmers are organic and grow food that is pure and wholesome. ''It gives people who don't normally get out an opportunity to get this food.''
Although some farmers' market shoppers are just passing through and decide to stop, there are many people who regularly buy from a farmers' market. Denise Harenda from Sugar Grove said that she shops at a farmers' market twice every week, once in Busti and once in Jamestown. ''You can get the homegrown product without the work. And it's very convenient that it's local,'' Harenda said.
Produce obtained through a farmers' market are typically grown naturally and humanly and picked at the peak of flavor. And, because the product doesn't have to travel cross country to get to your home, it is oftentimes cheaper than grocery store-bought produce.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Edward Schafer has proclaimed Aug. 3-9 as National Farmers' Market Week. According to Schafer, farmers' markets are important nationwide outlets for agricultural producers, providing them with increased marketing opportunities. He said that more than 4,400 farmers' markets across the country offer consumers farm-fresh, affordable, convenient and healthful products such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, herbs, fish, flowers, baked goods, meat and much more.
The popularity of these markets continues to rise as more and more consumers discover the joys of shopping for unique ingredients sold directly from the farm as well as the pleasure of buying familiar products in their freshest possible state, according to Schafer.
There are several registered farmers' markets in Chautauqua County, in addition to the countless amount of roadside produce stands, like the one on Foote Avenue between Tanning Bed and Flowers by Denny, or the one on Route 394 in Kennedy. The Downtown Jamestown Farmers' Market runs June through October every Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located right downtown on the corner of West Third and Cherry streets.
Others include Chautauqua Institution's farmers' market, which will be reaching the end of its run this year in August; Fredonia's, which operates every Saturday in the Barker Commons village square; and finally, The Cross Roads Farm and Craft Market in Westfield, which is held in Moore Park and also runs every Saturday.