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.

What Else Can I Make with Turnips?

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York

Turnip cakes have a fresh and spicy taste and goes well with everything.

Some of our customers have been asking about turnips lately. We have some fresh turnips that we have been bringing with us to the market and there’s a number of people who have never had them before. The easiest thing to do with them is cut them up and eat them with a pinch of salt!


They can be roasted, sautéed, or steamed just as easily too. But in the past, we have made turnip cakes with them, or maybe one giant turnip pancake and split it up with a pizza cutter. It’s not too much work and can be a side, a main dish, or an appetizer.

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

A bunch of turnips (its usually between 3 and 6 depending on size)

Couple cloves of garlic

2 Eggs

1/2 cup of flour (maybe a little more)

Salt and pepper to your liking

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

WHAT YOU’LL DO:

Shred the turnips. We used a Cuisinart but you can do it by hand with a grater. After you’ve got them shredded up, squeeze out as much water as you can. Just using your hands should be good enough. Chop the garlic and throw it in there along with the shredded turnips. Add the 2 eggs and mix well with salt and pepper. Then add the flour (depending on how much water you were able to squeeze out you may need more) and mix well.

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Fisher Hill Farm – Rochester New York

It shouldn’t stick together in a tight ball, but add just enough flour for the mixutre to stay together without completely coming apart. Grease a pan and flatten it into a pancake. We have a big non stick frying pan so we could fit all of ours in one pan to make one giant pancake. You can easily cook them in batches. Or really however you like. The thickness of a regular pancake you’d get at the diner is perfect.

Once they’re browned on both sides, they’re done, about 6 minutes on each side with medium high heat. You can serve them up immediately hot. We had ours with a bit of arugula, some sour cream, and some radish relish. But they’re really good cold too, dipped in a little ranch dressing!

Fisher Hill Farm - Rochester New York
Turnip Cakes with Sour Cream and Radish Relish – Fisher Hill Farm

Turnips are versatile veggies that don’t get enough attention. As great as this recipe is and as awesome as so many recipes can be, we still think that a fresh turnip with a pinch of salt is still the best way to eat them!

Brighton Market Opens This Weekend; What to expect on our tables and more

Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY

Hopefully spring is here to stay for a while.

No more snow, now more cold windy days, and only light freezes that barely impact the crops. Its amazing how fast the mornings warm up and a sweatshirt is just right for chores versus just a few weeks ago when winter gear was still needed the whole day through. The wind is getting warmer at the top of the hill and that means spring is here to stay.

Winter season on the farm is wrapping up quick. We are tying up loose ends before the summer season gets into full swing. It won’t be long. We are working on the last of the egg laying house expansion this week. We have been adding on to each laying hen house so we can accommodate more birds to cover the egg needs in the main season. We have some tractor maintenance to get done too and then its time to get planting. 

On March 23rd we panted the first peas of the season. They are just starting to break through the soil. By the end of the week they should make nice straight lines down the field.

The garlic is growing really fast too. Only 14 days between the two photos!

The greenhouse is in full swing and half full. So far peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and okra have been planted. Onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, lettuce, chard, kale, and beets have been started by other greenhouse for us. it is at first a slow process, but it goes quick. Once things break ground anyway.

Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY
Greenhouse Fisher Hill Farm Rochester NY

Chickens have been started so we can have them fresh every week starting May 8th. We get chicks every other week all summer so we can have fresh chicken for the market. We raise extra each week that we freeze so we can sell them all throughout the winter. We make sure they have as much free reign as possible and they have a steady diet of 100% GMO free and locally milled feed that is to our specifications.

Locally Grown Chicken at Fisher Hill Farm Rochester New York
Chicks getting accustomed to the new barn.

The Brighton Market is starting early this year. This Sunday April 11th to be exact. It will be nice to see everyone again and to get back into the regular swing of the markets. We’ll have a full table this Sunday for you and a similar one for the next few until the new crops break and ripen. We will keep you informed as much as we can so you can plan your shopping.

This week expect:

Micro Greens (spicy, radish, pea, sunflower)

Carrots, Parsnips, Onions, Potatoes, Rutabaga, Kohlrabi, Beets, Celeriac

Frozen Chicken, Frozen Chicken Liver, hearts, and feet, Frozen Turkey, Frozen Duck

Eggs

You can expect something similar at the Rochester Public Market on Saturday.

Hang in there! The season is about to break wide open in the next couple weeks. Coming soon will be scapes, asparagus, rhubarb, fresh chicken, and so much more. It’s been a long winter, but the payoff is a beautiful spring and summer.

Brighton New York Farmers Market Tent Set Up

Crop Report: Spring 2021

Fisher Hill Farm Crop Report

Spring in Western New York is underway and that means it is busy on the farm. Planting starts in the greenhouse in the germination chamber in the winter, but it doesn’t feel like spring until those plants move outdoors.

We’ve also had the opportunity to install new plastic on the hen brooding house. This will allow the broody hens to keep warm and dry as we still have plenty of cool nights ahead of us and many April Showers. But we’re confident we have the perfect spot built for them.

Lots of smaller repairs and projects have kept us busy right up until now. We’ve started to see some green out in the fields!

Here’s what’s happening:

Garlic is just coming up and is looking great. Well drained soil is needed for garlic to grow. Any standing water could actually rot the bulb before it has a chance to grow. We grow ours in mounds covered in plastic mulch so the weeds won’t grow up and take away vital nutrients. Garlic is a member of the allium family which includes onions, chives, leeks, scallions, and shallots. We also grow all of those vegetables on the farm too!

Fisher Hill Farm Garlic
Fisher Hill Farm Garlic

Peppers are ready to come out of the germination chamber. Peppers take very little time to sprout for the most part but need lots of maturation time. Most sweet peppers can take up to 3 months before they’re ready for the market. Some hot peppers take even longer. Always worth the wait. Peppers are popular in almost every dish around the world. Honestly, we like them raw and eat them out of the fields like apples!

Tomatoes are ready to be potted soon. Besides strawberries, tomatoes might be the next most popular veggie we grow. Tomatoes need a good amount of water and love to be nice and warm in the sunlight. They always take prime real estate on the farm, but it’s always worth it in the long run.

Eggplant is ready to be potted soon. The coarse and leathery leaves can easily withstand the hot summer weather. They can grow to be quite large if the conditions are right. In fact the largest eggplant ever was over 6lbs! The strangest fact about eggplants are that they are technically a berry by botanical definition.

The first planting of peas went into the ground. The true sign of spring. The first peas that come out of the field always taste sweeter than we can remember. Peas can be easily frozen and last a long time in the freezer. That is if you don’t eat them all before you get home.

Fresh chicken is back for this week and next week. We have had plenty of frozen but just ran out! Having these birds ready was the perfect timing. They work great for the grill and with a little luck, you could fire up the barbecue this weekend and have a great meal. With this comes liver and hearts too. If you have never tried hearts before, we have a recipe for chicken heart yakitori here. Try it out!

So, what does all this mean?

Well for one, it means spring is here and that’s super exciting. But most of all it means that we’re getting into the swing of things again. We still have a few CSA shares left. They can include fresh eggs and chicken all summer too. There are a few different pricing options and lots of pick up locations. You can check all that out here.

We try to maintain this blog throughout the spring and summer to bring you up to date information on how the fields are doing. We don’t always get to it! But it does provide you with information as to what is coming into season next and what to expect on our tables. If you’re new to our farm here’s what we bring with us to the farmer’s market and what is available with our CSA shares as well.

Here’s some examples of past crop reports. These will cue you in on what will be in season and when:

July 2018 – Sweet Corn

June 2019 = Peas and Strawberries

October 2020 = Harvest Time

Fisher Hill Farm Hen Brood

Crop Report: Winter 2020

Winter Crop Report Fisher Hill Farm

With the holiday season fast approaching we wanted to get you what we have in stock as of now. We try and provide these as often as we can to help you plan out your shopping and meals.

Let’s start first with turkey. If you would like to have a fresh turkey for your holiday meal this year, there’s still time! A $20 deposit today will guarantee you a turkey for the holiday and get you as close to the weight you would prefer as possible.

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TURKEY

If you’re not feeling turkey don’t forget that we have duck, chicken, and stewing hens, too. The ducks roast whole really well or can be broken down into parts. Here’s a how to video on breaking down one of our whole ducks:

Here’s what veggies you can find at our farm pick up and on our tables at the market:

Parsnips

Carrots

Turnips

Yellow cooking Onions

Beets (without greens)

Watermelon Radishes

Potatoes – Red, Yukon Gold, White, and Sweets availalbe

Baby Curly Kale

Cabbage

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Brussels Sprouts

Romanesco

Squash – Spaghetti, Butternut, Acorn, Delicata, Honeynut

Apples

Scallions

Rutabaga

Celeriac

Celery

Kohlrabi

And of course, EGGS!

Like to know where to find us?

Farm Pre-Order Pickup Hours:

Wednesday 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Pre-Order HERE!

Address: 6440 Fisher Hill Rd, Canandaigua, NY 14424

Rochester Public Market

Thursday 7am-1pm

Saturday 6am-2pm

Address: 280 Union St N, Rochester, NY 14609

Brighton Farmers Market 

Sunday 10am – 11:30am

Brighton High School Parking Lot

Home Delivery Via Flour City Bread (And Brighton Market!)

www.flourcitybread.com/collections/grocery

Happy Holidays from The Munsons!