The area’s longest running farmers’ market will open for its 42nd season Saturday May 26, on the sidewalk of Main Street in downtown Penn Yan.
The Yates County Cooperative Farm and Craft Market, more commonly known as the Penn Yan Market, sells only locally grown produce and locally made foods and crafts: everything at this market’s grown or made in Yates or an immediately adjacent county.
At least 80 percent of what’s on each stand must be produced by the vendor so customers know they can talk with the people who grew or made the product.
Customers come not only for the produce and crafts, but also to visit with each other and with the vendors. The market is known for its friendly community spirit. Many also stop to shop at the locally owned and staffed stores in the historic business district; and get breakfast or lunch at one of the downtown restaurants.
The mix of products is a little different every week, as both farmers and crafters bring different items through the season; and a little different every year, as new vendors join and occasionally older ones retire.
In 2018, the market is expecting a new meat, cheese, produce, and possibly baked goods vendor, a new crafter making infants’ and children’s clothes, and a vendor bringing jams and jellies; as well as returning flower vendors, multiple produce growers, multiple crafters, baker, and an apiary bringing honey, beeswax, and candles. Some vendors come every week, others only for part of the season. New vendors are still being accepted.
The market is held rain or shine; vendors’ tents and shop awnings provide shelter if needed. The displays start with early produce — asparagus, greens, and other early crops; flowers and hanging baskets; meats and craft vendors. As the season continues and more crops ripen, additional vendors join in, until the market fills the block between Elm and Jacob Streets; and possibly continues around the corner, towards the large free parking lot behind the Main Street buildings.