Day 49 of 365 – Ithaca Farmers Market


The Ithaca Farmer’s Market is a cooperative with 150 vendors who live within 30 miles of Ithaca, New York. Agricultural vendors grow and offer high quality fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, poultry and dairy products. Food vendors bring a wide variety of freshly baked goods, jellies, honey, and sauces as well as delicious meals to eat at the market. Many talented artists and craftspeople sell their exceptional, locally made items.

Located in the beautiful Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York, the market pavilion is situated  in a garden-like setting, and is surrounded by trees and flowering plants. On the waterfront where steamboats from Cayuga Lake used to dock, the Ithaca Farmer’s Market has successfully anchored itself and has transformed a wasteland into Steamboat Landing. Built entirely by volunteer labor, the market has developed a former debris site into a beautiful, thriving community gathering place. Visitors can shop for fresh, local produce, or choose a handcrafted gift. They can listen to music while savoring a wide variety of international foods, and sitting at the picnic tables along the waterfront.

The market first opened for business on Saturdays in 1973 as a venue for local growers, craftspeople and food vendors to sell their goods. The rapidly expanding market moved five times before settling in its current location. It opened a midweek market at the edge of Dewitt Park, in downtown Ithaca, and then added a Sunday market at Steamboat Landing. More recently a Thursday afternoon market at Dewitt Park and a Wednesday afternoon market at East Hill Plaza were added.  A dock was built to accommodate local fishermen, people arriving by boat, and those who want a picturesque picnic spot.

The Ithaca farmer’s Market has continued to grow and prosper, often attracting well over 5,000 people a day.  Today over 160 vendors sell at one or all of the five market days. What was originally an innovative way to sell local produce, crafts, and baked goods is now an Ithaca tradition.