June 12 marked the opening of the Congo Square Market at Ithaca’s Southside Community Center. Advertising live music, delectable Cuban cuisine, local produce and textile vendors, 305 S. Plain Street promised a cultural feast for the senses.
Despite the success of the Ithaca Farmer’s Market at Steamboat Landing, the new market came to be in response to claims that only a small demographic of Ithacans utilize the Steamboat Landing market’s resources. This new market — which is open on Fridays from 4:00-8:00 p.m. through Sept. 4 — represents just one of several recent efforts to extend the offerings of the Ithaca Farmer’s Market to a more diverse group of Ithacans, including lower income residents and ethnic communities.
A few months back a friend and I were walking through the farmer’s market and taking in the beautiful autumn weather. As we reached the end of the market near the Gimme! coffee shop, a guitar and cello-playing duo was performing Weezer’s “Holiday” with a folk twist. Aside from grabbing my attention by covering an unlikely Weezer song, the duo was singing with so much emotion and love in their voices that this version of “Holiday” was a completely new listening experience. Only the lyrics remained the same. In fact, having no thought that they were anything more than band mates, I mentioned to my friend ‘how in love’ the musicians acted. Much to my pleasure, at the conclusion of the song, the duo announced that they had just been married two days earlier.
A 137-year-old farmers’ market in the small city of Orillia, Canada might lose its land, and Cornell University may be the only actor able to save it. As a result of an 1872 covenant drawn by Mr. Goldwin Smith, Patrick Kehoe, a concerned Orillia resident, is now appealing to Cornell to become the “Guardian of the Covenant.”
Even though the University has had to deal with its own internal problems brought on by the current recession, the Cornell Cooperative Extension is still making a concerted effort to help New York dairy farmers cope with the downturn of the dairy market.
“The milk market over the last 10 years has developed a pattern of spikes and valleys in prices,” said Carl Tillinghast, executive director of the Franklin County branch of CCE. “This is our fourth cycle; we had experienced higher prices over the last year or two and now we’re bottoming out. Time will tell if the price goes back up and to what extent.”
From authentic Cambodian cuisine to massage therapy, adventures abound at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market. Every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from early April through Dec. 23, over 150 vendors gather on the shores of the Cayuga Inlet to sell local produce, crafts and food. However, despite its popularity, a proportionally low number of Cornell students venture off the Hill to experience the market for themselves.