by Tiffany Hyman
Do you like to shop for local goods? Ever thought of shopping at a farmers market, but were not sure where to go? Here may just be the solution for you.
Niagara County features many farms that incorporate goods and produce with local businesses. Though there are many outstanding farms within the county, a few notable ones include Kydd's Farm, Lakeside Farm, Peter Baker Farm, Tom Tower's Farm Market and Wagner's Farm.
Kydd's Farm, 3573 Saunders Settlement Road in Sanborn, features a full farmers market with a specialty roadside stand. Unfortunately, the crops were late this season, but are still doing OK, according to co-owner Dan Kydd.
"We had a pretty late growing season, but the crops are doing better now," he said.
In addition to the many crops and fruits, the farm also offers fresh bouquets from the vineyards for consumers to enjoy.
"Fresh bouquets are best sellers," said Kydd.
Some of the many crops and vegetables featured are tomatoes, corn, squash, peppers and a favorite for September and October, pumpkins. Fruits, including apples, strawberries and cherries have already bloomed for the season, he said.
"Our farm is all locally-owned good stuff," said Kydd. "It's convenient for people to shop at."
Kydd's Farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 731-5003.
Lakeside Farm, 1630 Lake Road, Porter, offers consumers quality products at reasonable prices.
The business has been open since 2001. From a variety of crops, fruits and weekend specials, the farm has it all.
"We try to cover all bases as best we can," said Audrey Tower, co-owner. "We offer only top-quality products."
Some of the many crops and fruits include sweet corn, four types of peppers, potatoes, peas, mushrooms, onions, asparagus, celery, beats, sweet cherries, raspberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, bananas, blueberries and a customer favorite, strawberries.
"Strawberries sell very well," said Tower.
Have you ever traveled to a farmer's market for special sauces, mixes and baked good but could not find any? Lakeside Farm provides guests with a wide selection of barbecue sauces, hot sweet pepper sauce, soup mixes and jellies.
According to Tower, the farm also offers specials on the weekend.
"Last week, I sold many no-bake strawberries pies and gave customers the recipe," she said.
The farm also features various teas, Gatorades, pies and Tower's recipes.
"I am so proud of this business," said Tower. "I find it enjoyable to talk to travelers and hope they continue to shop with us."
Lakeside Farm is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. until mid-October. For more information, call 228-2685.
Peter Baker Farm is located in the heart of Ransomville at 2100 Youngstown-Lockport Road. The farm features many crops and luscious fruits that leave customers very satisfied. Although produce is a bit late this season, crops are blooming and fruits are sweet.
"The crops and fruits are doing well, but they could use a shower or two," joked owner Jeff Baker.
Some of the many crops the farm grows are sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, pickles, eggplant and pumpkins. A few of the fruits the market carries are strawberries, apples and cherries. The U-Pick apple stand will be available for consumers to enjoy during the beginning of fall.
"The strawberries were a little behind (growing), but now they're finally blooming," said Baker. "We also have a large variety of apples."
In addition to fruits and vegetables, Peter Baker also offers local honey, Amish jams and jellies.
Baker encourages consumers to buy from their local farm market and meet the growers.
"Any locally grown produce is great," said Baker. "Farms are getting far and few between, so it's important for residents to buy locally."
For more information on Peter Baker's Farm Market, call 791-3440.
Tom Tower's Farm Market, located at 759 Lockport Road in Youngstown, is unlike any other, owner Tom Tower says. This farm offers many crops, fruits, a full-line U-Pick raspberry and blueberry stand, all of course, grown by Tower and his staff. Tower is a farmer who carefully hand picks his crops and fruits.
"This farm is a little different than others ... we literally grow 9/10 of what we sell," said Tower. "It makes me feel like I'm farming in Italy."
Many farms complained of the heavy rains from the spring season - not Tower. The high gravel content in his land allowed for better drainage so the vegetables and fruits to come full bloom early.
"I feel like the heavy rains were a blessing," said Tower. "We're in full bore because it rained during blossom time."
Tower and his team are picking juicy raspberries and strawberries this week.
"These raspberries are the nicest I have ever seen," he said.
A few of the many fruits the farm offers are prunes, plums, peaches, apricots, nectar and of course a customer favorite, apples. The apples are very fresh and waiting to be picked by customers, according to Tower.
One of the farm's best sellers is artichokes. Artichokes are one of the most underused vegetables around. Many people do not realize how nutritious the vegetable is - it contains 16 essential nutrients. The farm is one of the only markets that sells artichokes around the county, Tower said.
Crops like artichokes, as well as peppers, cucumbers and corn are sold from Tower's farm to the retail market to restaurants such as Carmelo's, Bandana's, Oliver's and Hutch's.
"We've been in business for over 30 years now," said Tower. "We provide a good supply of local produce and we listen to what consumers and customers expect."
Tom Tower's Farm Market is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 745-9538.
Wagner's, 2672 Lockport Road in Sanborn, is a locally owned farmer's market and restaurant that has been opened since 1967 year-round. The farm offers a roadside stand filled with a variety of crops and fruits, alone with gift baskets and special offerings for any occasion. Owner Amy Wagner acknowledges the smart consumers that shop at the farm.
"Smart consumers shop with us," she said. "We specialize in what we do, so everything is fresh. Quality is high, prices are lower."
Even though crops were late due to heavy spring rain, Wagner reported the crops are doing well.
"We had so much rain during the spring and now it's really hot," she said. "Crops would get a good boost with some rain."
The full farm market features a U-Pick stand, crops from all around the country including Indiana and California, and delicious, fresh fruits. A few of the crops and fruits the farm offers are apples, cherries, pears, prunes, plums, raspberries, rashes, green onions, peas, sweet corn and many more.
"From bananas to lettuce, we offer it all," said Wagner.
Wagner's Grill presents consumers with great fast food. A few items on the menu include chargrilled hamburgers, chicken, gyros and ice cream for dessert.
Wagner's Farm is open Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the grill is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 731-4440.