Top 5 Tips for Shopping the Rochester Public Market

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester Public Market

The Rochester Public Market is known for being one of the best markets in the area. There are very few cities and states lucky enough to have a market as robust.

Every week at the market, there are always a few people who let us know that they have just started coming to the market regularly. Sometimes it’s their first time! It’s great to see people discovering a treasure of local goods and services right in their backyard.

But if you’ve never been to the market, or if it’s been years, here are a few tips that can help you navigate unfamiliar territory. It can be a little overwhelming and we know it! It can get pretty busy during peak hours, so if you’re not one for crowds then the earlier the better. Thursdays are usually a lot less busy and if you are near downtown at all for work or otherwise, it can be a productive shopping event. We’re there on Thursdays from June through October. Click here to see our full market schedule.

Here are our top 5 tips for shopping at the Rochester Public Market:

#1 – Parking

This is by the far the thing that we hear the most about the market. Parking is difficult. It is downtown and parking is always at a premium. There are 5 city owned lots for parking. The largest is between Scio and Union. The second largest is between Pennsylvania and Railroad.

The red outlines the 2 largest city owned parking lots associated with the market.

There are also 3 smaller lots. Here’s the information from the Rochester Public Market website on the location of all the lots and where to access:

https://www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket/

Another option is to park near by and bike in. If you can’t get there early (before 10am) to get a prime parking spot in one of the free lots this can be a great and healthy option. We are seeing more and more people do this recently. There are some paid for parking areas too.

#2 Hauling

Now you’ve made it there but what the heck can you do about carrying all your great stuff? There are some great cart options out there and some stores sell them locally. But the best option is a good back pack. It doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest, but just something comfortable that you won’t mind walking with. Bring a lunchbox inside with a cold pack in it for meats and maybe an extra bag in case you find a watermelon or pumpkin that you can’t live without.

Look for a “Day Trip” backpack that is meant for hiking. They have lots of compartments and are meant to be comfortable on your back with weight in it. People also refer to them as rucksacks. An outdoor store like REI has them, as does Walmart. Find something comfortable and then you won’t mind wearing it.

#3 Money

There is at least one cash machine that we know of, but most vendors accept a card. But just to be on the safe side, bring some cash with you in case the vendor doesn’t accept a card. We do with no minimum, but we can’t speak for all vendors. Prices are usually clearly marked on the baskets. Cash or charge there probably won’t be any breaks. You make one break you gotta break for em all!

#4 Vendors

A very typical question is “Which ones are farmers and which ones are wholesalers?” That can be a tricky one, but there are a few tell tale signs your dealing with a farmer.

-They have a logo. You see a logo, it’s probably a farm. They probably have ‘farm’ in the name. Maybe on T-Shirts or the side of the truck.

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester NY
The crew at Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester NY

-They have dirt. Could be on their hands, shoes, the truck, the boxes… somewhere there is dirt. We grow stuff. It grows in dirt. It’s hard to get it off everything.

-They tell you. When all else fails…ASK! Farmers will tell you if they grew it or not, if it’s on consignment from another farm, or if they traded with a farm, or who’s farm it’s from. Just ask.

Get to know your farmer and your favorite stop at the market and follow them on social media. You’ll know what’s coming out and what’s in season and what other markets they’ll be at.

The wholesalers can have some great stuff and you shouldn’t count them out! But since we’re a local farm we like to see local farms get most of the business!

#5 Restrooms

There are public restrooms in the updated indoor B shed. It’s the main building with the Public Market sign on the front. There are also restrooms in the middle brick building as well. Some businesses may have restrooms but we can’t endorse whether they are open to the public or not. The best option is the B shed. The new bathrooms are updated and very nice. The staff keep them clean even on the busiest days. Thank you very much to the hard workers at the market.

These are probably the most common questions that come up. We hope your market experience is excellent. Getting the freshest local ingredients leads to the best meals.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken at Home

With the fate of the New York State Fair still waiting to be determined we got thinking about the great food that will be missed out on. You can keep deep fried Oreos, what we’re thinking about is the chicken!

There’s something that just tastes better in that chicken. You can go purchase the State Fair Sauce marinade but it just never comes out the same. So we tried a few things and came up with this recipe. The marinade is important, but what’s even more important is the smoke and heat. But don’t worry, we used a simple Weber grill with some store bought charcoal and a piece of maple wood.

First you’ll need a marinade. We made our own Italian Dressing but after trying this out a few times we realized that the marinade isn’t as  important as we thought. So if you want to skip this part and purchase an oil and vinegar based Italian Dressing that will work fine. We chose to make ours because it’s pretty easy and won’t contain any preservatives.

Basic Italian Dressing for Marinade:

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of the following: Dried Oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

(Optional is fresh thyme and mint, rough chopped)

If you put all of this in a jar or tupperware you can give it a good mix. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour. We made double this recipe to use what we didn’t pour over the chicken for a pasta salad as a side.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken

The Chicken Part

Cut a whole chicken in half. Don’t trim any skin or fat it’s not necessary. Just split it in two and put it into a one gallon ziplock bag.

Pour in enough Italian Dressing marinade to almost cover the chicken. Then arrange the two halves so the bag can lay flat. This will effectively submerge half of the chicken at a time. Put it in the fridge (*pro tip: put the plastic bag into a tupperware or on a sheet tray just in case someone accidentally pokes a hole in the bag. You and your fridge will thank us later!)

24 hours in the marinade is what the goal is. Flip the bag over to submerge the other side of the chicken every 8 hours.

The Grill Part

Get your charcoal started by a chimney and let them get hot. Once they’re red hot, place them on half of your weber grill. We got a large piece of maple from a neighbor and used that. We butted it up against the coals to provide extra smokey flavor. But if you don’t have a large piece of maple, you can purchase smaller ones. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.

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Once the coals and wood is in place, rotate the grill so the part that was over the coals is now not over the coals. Once you take the chicken out of the marinade, let it drip dry while you get the fire going. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill skin side down, but NOT over the coals. Make sure the damper is wide open and close the lid.

Keep close. With the oil and fat with the chicken there’s always the chance that it’s dripping on the coals and you need to put it out. You can always put a tin of water underneath the chicken to make sure it doesn’t catch. But if you don’t line it up right it can catch anyway.

At the 30 minute mark, flip the chicken. Put the lid back on and close the damper half way. Let it go for 45 minutes.

Open up the lid. The wood should be burnt out and the coals should be hot but not red not anymore. Put the chicken directly over the coals skin side down and put the lid back on for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and open the dampers. Let it smoke another 30 minutes.

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The best way to know if your chicken is done is to use a thermometer and get an internal temperature of 165 degrees. But once the meat starts pulling away from the bone it’s usually close.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes if not longer before eating. We served our with pasta salad. It’s really good that day. But somehow ten times better the next day, cold out of the fridge.

 

Brighton Farmers Market Opens

The Brighton Farmers Market will be open this year, however it will be under a different set of rules. We are continuing our partnership with Flour City Bread and have partnered with K&S Bischoping Farms to bring you a one stop shopping Brighton Market experience. 

Here are the 2020 rules:

-Pre-order only (SNAP and FMNP included)

-First hour (9am to 10am) is Seniors ONLY

-The it moves to alphabetical (A through H — 10-11; I through P — 11-12; Q through Z — 12-1)

-One person per family, please.

-No dogs

-Social distance rules apply

The Brighton Market officially opens THIS SUNDAY May 24th and the link through the online grocery store for Flour City Bread is open starting NOW!

https://flourcitybread.com/collecti…/brighton-farmers-market

If you would like more info about the Brighton Farmers Market and the other vendors that will be there please use this link: https://brightonfarmersmarket.org/

Don’t know K&S Bischoping farms? They are the tent that has been to our left the last few years at the Brighton Market. They sell apples, berries, and lots more. You can check out more info here.

Thanks everyone.

 

Our Top 5 Posts of 2019

Here’s a quick look at our top 5 posts from 2019.

We took a look at how many views they got, how many times they were shared, and comments received. We always appreciate it when we hear how you’re keeping up with us on our website. We all lead such busy lives but it’s important to feel connected to your community and your food!

Plus we couldn’t resist a good end of the year countdown list!

5. The Uncertainty of Farm Life

Things don’t always go as planned, but you always have to keep a level head and do your best.

4. Crop Report (late) July

This one came at the end of July. We love the excitement at the market this time of year. So busy!

3. Crop Report (early) July

The first crop report in July  and starting to head into peak season, we posted what was out, what was new, and put this video clip of Sandi explaining why farming is so important.

2. How to Freeze 10 Ears of Corn

What really amazed us about this post wasn’t the response it got, but rather how many pounds of corn kernels came from just 10 ears

1.When Bad Things Happen to Great People

Re-read this post from Phillip and take perspective on the things that truly matter in life.

 

Happy holidays to everyone out there. We appreciate your friendship, kindness, business, and connection every day and we hope we never take any of that for granted. Everyone that visits with us is an integral part of this farm and raising our children. We are grateful and so excited to ring in the near year with all of you.

A decade is over and a new one is going to begin. We hope for the best for everyone and look forward to another great growing season.

 

 

Crop Report: July 2019

Fisher Hill Farm - Local Sweet Corn 2

We like to put these out as often as we can to ensure that our customer base knows what they can expect to find on our tables at the market. This way you can plan ahead for your meal, pair our offerings with neighboring farms, or look up some recipes in advance to know what other ingredients you may need.

This past week we saw a lot of rain, which we needed, but it can sometimes put us a bit behind. Now that we’ve caught up and all the crops are watered we ready to go for another weekend!

Just as a reminder, we’re not just at weekend markets! You can find us almost every day of the week during the summer!

Fisher Hill Farm Summer Market Schedule

Fisher Hill Farm Summer Market Schedule

In other news, we’ve partnered again with Hearth and Cellar for another dinner on the farm where one of our barns is turned into a five star restaurant. If you haven’t been before then we recommend you join us this September 8th (which is actually Grandparents day!) right here on the farm. Tickets are still available but usually don’t last for very long. If you would like more information please click below:

Purchase tickets here. 

 

What you will find on our tables at market this coming weekend:

Bunched Beets

Spring Onions

Sweet Onions bunched with greens

String Beans

Scallions

Shallots

Swiss Chard

Kale (Red Russian, Curly)

Lettuce

Radishes

Zucchini and Summer Squash

Cucumbers

Basil

Sweet Corn

New Potatoes

Fresh Chicken

 

As always we look forward to seeing all of you at the market this weekend and it’s supposed to be nice weather, too.