Outdoor Batavia Farmers Market ready for last day of season

After what organizers are calling “an extremely successful” season, the outdoor Batavia Farmers Market is set for its final day of the season on Saturday.

The previous farmers market events were held on North River Street in Batavia. The final outdoor market will move Saturday across the river to Houston Street and the parking lot near the Peg Bond Center.

The hours for the market on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to coordinate with Batavia MainStreet’s annual BatFest. 

Batavia MainStreet Farmers Market Coordinator Kathy Kuchta said this was the market’s 27th season. 

“This season was extremely successful,” Kuchta said. “The market averaged about 2,500 attendees each week.”

In November, the market will move inside to The Dock at 150 First St. The Batavia MainStreet Indoor Farmers Market will feature some of the regular vendors who participated in the outdoor market, so customers can keep their Saturday at the market tradition year-round, Kuchta said. 

“Patrons will be able to shop locally-grown produce, fresh baked goods and farm-raised meats,” she said. 

World War II veteran Gust Flodstrom has been coming to the Batavia Farmers Market since its inception, he said. 

“I get to visit with a lot of people I know,” said Flodstrom, 94. 

He likes to get the fresh corn and rhubarb pie when in season as well as an occasional purchase of cookies. 

“Every week I eat well and behave myself. Everything in moderation,” he said. 

A variety of items are offered at the booth for a farm from Benton Harbor, Michigan, at the outdoor Batavia Farmers Market. The market's last day of the season is Saturday.

Jason Latham of Benton Harbor, Michigan, has been part of the farmers market since its inception. His children are the fifth generation on the family’s Benton Harbor farm. His stand at the market offers Michigan-grown raspberries, plums, pears, apples and Concord grapes. 

“My in-laws started with a card table and the customers just kept growing,” he said of the family’s history at the market. “Now it is a really nice market.”

It is sad to see the outdoor season end for the market, he said.

 “It’s bittersweet to have the outdoor farmers market come to a close for the season,” Latham said. “The farmers market was amazing even during the early months of the pandemic because people were eager to get outdoors and catch up with friends.”

Kris Gawrych of Yorkville owns and operates Sol Gardens, a USDA certified organic farm based in Yorkville that takes part in the outdoor market.

  “All of the produce is grown on our farm in Yorkville,” Gawrych said.

The family-owned stand uses two vintage ironing boards for counters and umbrellas for customers to get some cover while they make their selections.

  “We try to do everything differently,” Gawrych said. 

Gawrych is ready to call it a season at the market.

  “I love the growing season but I get tired around this time of year. I am ready to slow things down,” Gawrych said. 

The outdoor Batavia Farmers Market has averaged about 45 vendors per week. 

“We often hear from customers that they really like the variety of vendors that we have curated for the market and the quality of products that they sell. The market is a great gathering place as well,” Kuchta said. 

Linda Girardi is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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