SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Downtown Farmers Market is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!
Vendors like Tim Hoxie are still trying to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a challenge but, you know, it’s rewarding,” Hoxie said.
Hoxie has been a vendor at the Downtown Farmers Market for over 40 years. During that time, he says, the people coming to the market have changed more than the event itself.
“People have different attitudes now,” Hoxie said. “They eat fresh instead of more canning and freezing…they like to come to the market and eat fresh produce, you know.”
While the change in attitude has brought more people to the event for its 50th anniversary, many farmers were hit too hard by the pandemic.
“There are long-time farmers that normally do come, and they just don’t have the staff…they don’t have the product,” Hoxie said.
The market may not have to worry about that issue in the future. This week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that Onondaga County farms will receive over $750,000 as part of the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program.
Farmers Market Director Rob Travers says even though the money won’t go directly to the event, the market will still benefit from the program.
“Hopefully some of that money will get some more farmers – younger farmers back in the business,” Travers said.
While the event is already better than than the last two years, Travers plans on doubling the number of vendors for next year.
The Downtown Farmers Market is held at Clinton Square every Tuesday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. through October 11th.