Food for soul

Let me confess something: I have never heard of the Oswego Farmers’ Market. Another fact is that I am also in my fourth and last year as an undergraduate. Still yet, not many people I’ve talked to have heard about it either.

The Oswego Farmers’ Market is a weekly event that happens from May 14 to Oct. 8. Understandably not many of us know about it, at least at the beginning, seeing as that coincides with the yearly pilgrimage home most of the college students make. It seems like they throw the best parties only after we’re gone – Harborfest, anyone? – and only when we come back do we realize what we missed.

Needless to say, I accompanied a friend when he offered to go. We went down to West First Street, and it was like the city had exploded. Fire trucks joined the police blockades at the corner, and there was a great beat issuing from further in. Stands lined the sidewalks, manned by one person to entire families as they presented their wares. Fruits and vegetables were next to honey and beeswax, which in turn could be next to homemade jewelry, which could be next to another produce stand. It also didn’t hurt that everything worked very nicely within a student’s budget.

There are a great many things to do there for any age group. I saw college students I knew enjoying the music, young families with children who marveled at all of the sights and sounds and the regular citizens of Oswego who seemed like they’d been going since it began. There was some delicious-smelling food, live music and friendly people behind everything. Everyone seemed to know each other, and the vendors were incredibly willing to get to know you. I got to chat with representatives from local vineyards and organic farmers, who all seemed so grateful for this market and so enthusiastic about it. They talked about the great sense of community and the lovely welcome they had received from the city and its inhabitants.

The Oswego Farmers’ Market is every Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and this year it ends on Oct. 13. It is a great way to get to know the community. If you want to get some good, cheap produce and have fun while you’re doing it, don’t miss the Farmers’ Market.