From Farm to Hertel

It’s finally happening. A step towards environmental responsibility. A nod of support to our local growers. Another win for Hertel.

The North Buffalo Farmers Market will open for the 2014 season on Thursday, June 19, from 3 – 7 pm. It will be located at Holy Spirit Church on Hertel near Delaware.

I’m sure most of you need not be sold on the benefits the come along with supporting local farmers markets, but I’ll reinforce them:

  • Choosing to eat locally is more than a trend, it is a healthy way of life.
  • Eating local means you have access to nutritional, fresh foods.
  • Eating local means you know the farmer that has produced your food.
  • Eating local is being environmentally responsible as you are choosing to eat without imposing a large carbon footprint.
  • Eating local is economically responsible, as the dollars you spend on food are kept in circulation within our local community.

The market is set to run on Thursdays through November 6, but will take the week of July 17 off so volunteers and their families can attend the annual North Buffalo Italian Festival. (I’m sure if the farmers could grow cannoli or zeppole they’d stay open, but without that, no chance.)

A Grand Opening Celebration is planned for July with music and activities when more vendors will be available and fresh produce is in full season. Food trucks are being invited, and vendors are always welcome to apply.

It was no easy feat to get this market off the ground. Securing a location proved to be much more than “let’s do it here” as most of the 15+ sites that were scouted were unavailable. This made securing growers difficult too, as it’s already late in the season. But now we have the foundation to start building what could be a large, annual marketplace. If we show some mighty Buffalove to the few who can join us this year, then we will reap the benefits next year and beyond!

Kudos to Patricia DiFrancesco Banning, Board Member of NorthBuffalo.org and Market Manager, for her hard work and diligence to make this happen. Without her, we’d still be aimlessly saying “Hey, Hertel should get a farmers market.”

Shop Local – Support Farmers – Eat Well – Celebrate Community

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9 reasons why Lexington Co-op should open a second location on Hertel Avenue

The Buffalo News article from June 16 raised my eyebrows with curiosity and optimism.  Where’s the next stop for the Lexington Co-op?  Could it be Hertel? I don’t see why not.  Here’s my 9 reasons why they should open a second shop on Hertel:

Lexington Co-op

1.  It’s still in the city. The Co-op has thrived for over 40 years and rapidly grown in popularity since moving to Elmwood in 2005.  Translation: City = success.  If they’re looking for like-minded city folk, Hertel is where you find us.  After 5 seconds of research, East Aurora was the only other co-op in the County that I could find.  Heading north seems like a logical move.  Hertel is right on the doorstep of Kenmore, Tonawanda & Amherst too so you have a critical mass of potential customers.

Lunetta's

2.  We’ve got JUST the place for you.  The Co-op needs a little room to stretch its’ legs.  Boy do we have the perfect location for you. The old Lunetta’s restaurant has been gone for some time and the location is begging for a new owner.  It comes with plenty ‘o parking (or go bigger store, less parking) and a shop like the co-op could help become an anchor tenant to that small section of Hertel that still hasn’t found its groove.  It’s a match made in heaven.

3.  No direct competition.  Dash’s is the only market on Hertel and considering they do not sell organic products, a CO-op could CO-exist.  While Wegmans (on Amherst St.) has an organic section and produce, it does not offer the same intimate shopping experience as the co-op.

4.  We’re farmers market-less. Hertel is currently lacking that connection with local farmers.  We’re starving for fresh, local and organic produce.  Do you hear me?  STARVING!  The co-op can fill that gap.

5.  Erin Reedy thinks it’s a good idea.  Who’s Erin Reedy?  She’s on the Board for the Social Media Club of Buffalo and is a passionate North Buffalo resident, that’s who!  “I think Hertel Avenue has one of the widest varieties of ethnic cuisine in the city and think the Lexington co-op would be a perfect addition to the growing population of residents seeking variety and healthy options.”

6.  Follow the leader.  Everybody’s doing it.  I know, I know. “If your friend told you to go streaking through the quad and into the gymnasium, would you do that too?” But let’s be honest here, the trend of Elmwood businesses opening additional locations on Hertel seems to be the thing to do and guess what – it’s working! Village Beer Merchant, room, CRAVing, Spot, etc.  The co-op needs to be next on that list.

Scones7.  Scones.  I’m addicted to baked goods.  Like addicted to the point of having dreams of opening my own bakery someday.  I seek out the best of the best when it comes to sugary sweets.  The co-op’s baking up some SERIOUS scones.  I need them in a much closer proximity to me than they currently are.

8.  Walk this way.  Hertel is walkable. Walkable is green.  Green is healthy.  Healthy is the co-op. THEREFORE Hertel is the co-op.  That’s got 11th grade math logic written all over it.

9.  Because I said so?  Can that be a reason?  Sure…it’s my blog.  BECAUSE I SAID SO.Lexington Co-op