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soil movers

Movers of the soil: Farmers of the Rochester Public Market 

Gary Eaton, of Eaton Farms. - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLERThe Rochester Public Market on North Union Street is one of the region's liveliest, most entertaining community gathering places, attracting tens of thousands of people every week, May through October.

Operated at this site by the City of Rochester since 1905, the market's open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays year round. And this summer, it celebrates completion of an $8.5 million renovation, including a new enclosed structure for vendors. Ribbon cutting for the renovation will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 12.

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  • PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER
  • Gary Eaton, of Eaton Farms.

The nine-acre complex serves as a marketplace offering everything from fresh produce, poultry, and seafood to specialty foods, kitchen supplies, and wine. It's an event space for concerts, food tastings, movies, plant sales, garage sales, and Food Truck Rodeos.

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  • Ginny Eaton and her husband Gary (seen on the cover of this issue), of Eaton Farms in Ontario, sell all types of fruits and vegetables and also an assortment of flowers. On market days, they get up at 3:30 a.m. to make it to Rochester by 4:30 a.m. “You get up and get washed and get coffee.”

Ginny Eaton and her husband Gary (seen on the cover of this issue), of Eaton Farms in Ontario, sell all types of fruits and vegetables and also an assortment of flowers. On market days, they get up at 3:30 a.m. to make it to Rochester by 4:30 a.m. - “You get up and get washed and get coffee.” - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLERThe heartbeat of the market, though, are the men, women, and children who work the region's fields, orchards, and vineyards, rise early on market days, and bring the results of that labor to provide food for Rochester homes and businesses.

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  • Meg Davis and her husband Paul Watson have been selling annuals, perennials, herbs, seasonal produce, and Christmas greenery at the market for nearly 10 years. Watson’s family has been a staple at the market, operating as a vendor for nearly 45 years: “You get to make people really happy with what you provide for them.Meg Davis and her husband Paul Watson have been selling annuals, perennials, herbs, seasonal produce, and Christmas greenery at the market for nearly 10 years. Watson’s family has been a staple at the market, operating as a vendor for nearly 45 years: - “You get to make people really happy with what you provide for them. They come back again and again.” - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER They come back again and again.”
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  • Lucas Welker, who is 7 years old, and his 12-year-old cousin Abraham Amsler both live in Walworth and help operate the Amsler family farm, Oldhome Farm.Lucas gets up at 6 a.m. to make it to the market for what he calls the “second shift.” Abraham has to get up at 2:30. Lucas and Abraham finished their chores in the dairy barn, which included milking cows, around 10 p.m. the night before. “You get to help out and people get the stuff they need.”
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  • Abraham Amsler
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  • The Rochester Public Market on North Union Street is one of the region’s liveliest, most entertaining community gathering places, attracting tens of thousands of people every week, May through October.
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  • Henry Swarey has been selling baked goods at the Rochester Public Market for nearly seven years. Swarey’s bakery, which is based in Seneca Lake, is a popular stop at the market.
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PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLERThe people

Average number of farmers on Saturday, May-October: 45

Number of vendors of all types: 300-320

Estimated number of customers per week May-October: 25, 000-40, 000

Number of Public Market staff: 5.5

Estimated number of languages spoken at the Market on an average Saturday: 30 (based on a decade-old study)

Number of special events in 2017: 47 free events sponsored by the Market, plus two privately sponsored, ticketed events – Foodlink's Festival of Food and the Flour City Brewers Fest – with admission fees

Cost to rent vendor space in unenclosed sheds in September: $20 on Tuesday, $40 on Thursday, $80 on Saturday

Lucas Welker,  who is 7 years old,  and his 12-year-old cousin Abraham Amsler both live in Walworth and help operate the Amsler family farm,  Oldhome Farm. - Lucas gets up at 6 a.m. to make it to the market for what he calls the “second shift.” Abraham has to get up at 2:30. Lucas and Abraham finished their chores in the dairy barn,  which included milking cows,  around 10 p.m. the night before. “You get to help out and people get the stuff they need.” - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER Abraham Amsler - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER Henry Swarey has been selling baked goods at the Rochester Public Market for nearly seven years. Swarey’s bakery,  which is based in Seneca Lake,  is a popular stop at the market. - PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER PHOTO BY KEVIN FULLER





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