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Farmers Market offers freshness twice a week

Alex Green • Jul 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM


The quaint Lakeside community transforms into an urban-like market twice every week.

Shoppers can find some of the purest food around by strolling down Walnut Avenue between Second and Third streets.

It features just 10 vendors, but the small number does not reflect the variety of food available at the bi-weekly farmers' market.

"I'm one of the only produce guys here," Tom Thompson, a vendor, said. "(The organizers) do that so you don't have everyone selling produce."

Instead, one stand sells fresh bread. Another sells homemade pies.

Betty Jo Hoyt's popular stand has dubbed her "the pie lady", but the ordinary nickname seems to sell her short.

Her pies are anything but ordinary, rather, Hoyt bakes a whopping 15 different kinds of pies.

"I learned it from my mother," Hoyt said. "I call it a mindless activity."

How a mindless activity can result in a mouth-watering dessert should be left for only the wisest minds to answer.

Some of the farmers and bakers sell their products as a livelihood, but others like Hoyt and Thompson simply sell their's as a hobby.

Thompson is a retired businessman from Catawba Island who had greenhouses built years ago with the hopes of one day using the houses for growing produce.

Based on consumer feedback, Thompson clearly knows what he is doing.

His hydroponic strawberries rarely last past the first hour of the three-hour market, he said.

He also sells a myriad of peppers, tomatoes and other fresh veggies.

According to Thompson, there is one overwhelming reason why shoppers keep going back to the market.

"You know where the produce is coming from," he said.

Meanwhile, grocery store strawberries are being shipped from California.

The market is held every Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The last market will be held Aug. 29.

A complimentary shopping pass is available at the Lakeside Chautauqua gates. Shoppers can stay within the gates for up to 90-minutes.

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