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Southern Tier

Farmer's markets lacking produce

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Farmer's markets lacking produce
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CORNING, N.Y. -- On opening day of the Corning's Farmer's Market in Centerway Square, you can find wildflowers, honey and jewelry. But something key is missing. So far, there's only one tent for produce.

"I come for the fresh produce, blueberries, things of that nature," said Audrey Starkey of Addison.

"So not much of that today?" we asked.

"No, not much today," said Starkey.

Liz Martin and her husband own Muddy Fingers Farm in Hector and they set up here every summer. For now, she's selling lettuce, beans and herbs. Until the summer heats up, she says cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes won't be available. She says June is early for most produce anyway, but this year's poor weather didn't help.

"We had a few crops fail and some things just get put in late. So it's a slow start. But it's not a terrible start," said Martin.

Farmers tell us that most of the produce you're going to be seeing in the next few weeks at these markets are your greens. So plants, flowers, lettuce, things like that. But vendors say these markets have a lot more to offer than just produce.

"There's so many different people that have their own little businesses. And it's a way for them to get their name out and their product out there," said Luanne Strauser, a jewelry vendor at Wisner Market.

Like Luanne Strauser, who says her jewelry tent has been extremely successful at Elmira's Wisner Park.

Organizers say the Agriculture Department used to regulate how much of these markets had to include produce. But not anymore. And some shoppers are pleased with the new variety of vendors.

"I love looking at the crafts, the flowers, the food, the baked goods, the jewelry," said Laurie Sweeney of Elmira. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP