Niagara Falls USA is known for its spectacular landscape and natural wonders, but did you realize that includes plenty of lovely farms and vineyards as well? You can visit local wineries, but you can also snap up the local bounty by scheduling stops at the farmers markets that pop up throughout the week, especially in the warmer months of the year. Find out how to max out your farmer’s market visits along with where to go (and when).
IN NIAGARA FALLS PROPER
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Located centrally in Niagara Falls, this is a smaller operation featuring rotating local farmers year-round. Plenty of parking makes for an easy trip to the market, where you can purchase fresh fruit, veggies, plants and delectable baked goods.
Lockport - Wednesdays; Niagara Falls - Thursdays
Veggie Van is a mobile farmer’s market, dedicated to bringing fresh locally sourced food from farms in Western New York to areas in the region that are under-served by grocery stores. You can find them in various locations in the Niagara region on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
IN NIAGARA COUNTY
Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. until October 23, 2021.
Founded in 2011, the Lockport Community Market adds artisans and musicians to their array of local producers, who bring produce, meats, dairy, baked goods and more. Plan to set aside a good chunk of time to spend here on a Saturday, and make sure to bring the kiddos.
Wednesdays from July 7 through September 29: 4:30 - 7 p.m.
For a true taste of small-town summer, head to the weekly market in Newfane, a hamlet just north of Lockport on the shores of Lake Ontario. In addition to locally grown goods and crafts, expect gazebo concerts, community bike rides, sausages with peppers and onions and specials like peach shortcake.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Generations of Niagara County families have been heading to this 100-year-old market to gather fresh fruit, vegetables and fresh florals. Come hungry — there are baked goods aplenty, as well as booths offering samples of delicacies like fresh basil pesto and garlicky bruschetta.
Saturdays from June 5 to October 9: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Expect freshly-brewed coffee and tea, artisanal seasonings, gourmet dog treats, and even locally distilled gin — as well as the usual suspects — at this Academy Park gathering. Yogis will want to check the Facebook page before hitting the market, as community yoga classes are frequently on the docket.
Now that you know where to go, get the most out of your farmer’s market outing with these five simple tips:
- Come early. The best produce will often get snapped up first thing by local chefs and market regulars, and they can get more crowded as the day goes on.
- Do a lap. Before you start purchasing, walk through the whole market. Multiple producers may have the same types of product and you want to suss out what’s the best option before you start purchasing.
- Bring your own bags. Help out the local farmers by bringing your own bags so they don’t have to worry about supplying plastic bags for each item
- Grab small bills. Cash is absolutely necessary to have on hand, and small bills mean less likelihood of a vendor not being able to make change for you.
- Know what’s in season. You’re most likely to be thrilled with your purchases if you buy produce at its peak, so know what to look for. It’ll also help you pick recipes in advance!