CORNING | Shoppers turned out Thursday for the first day of the outdoor Corning Farmers Market in Riverfront Centennial Park.
Odessa-Montour student Jacob Cron was busy selling basil and peppers at one booth.
“They’re part of a work-based learning program,” said teacher Meaghan Krazinski.
It’s a stepping stone for the students to raise money for the real project: making and selling their own hot sauce.
“They made their own recipe and found a bottler for it," Krazinski said. “They’re going to be able to sell it in the community.”
She noted that while attending another farmers market, they had a conversation with other sellers, who told them the Corning Farmers Market was the place to be.
She said every part of the experience is educational.
“They’re learning customer service, agriculture, all that kind of stuff,” Krazinski said.
Others at the market Thursday didn’t need to learn or gain experience, having been coming for more than a decade.
One of those was Matthew Glenn of Muddy Fingers Farm, who had a selection of bright green products for sale.
“We’ve got a lot of greens, we’ve got lettuce, spinach, chard … we’ve got onions,” Glenn said.
What’s available, of course, will change as the season goes on.
“In a couple of months, we’ll have all the good summer stuff, like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, garlic -- we grow a little bit of everything,” he said.
The weather has been a little odd this year, but not enough to really hurt the season for them, he said.
“Since we started growing, this was our latest start, as far as when we could work the ground and when we could get things planted outside,” Glenn said.
Another fixture of the market for years now is Cathy Halm, of Leo’s Honey House in Campbell.
She had wildflower honeys from fall and spring for sale, along with “ultra-raw” honey and a selection of beeswax products.
One unusual item: basswood honey.
Since you can’t tell bees where to eat, she said specific varietals such as the basswood honey are based on a deep knowledge of when the basswood tree blossoms, and recognizing the smell and appearance from combs where the basswood nectar has been dominant.
“When I do a hive inspection, as soon as I pop the top I can smell it,” Halm said.
The basswood honey has a distinctive flavor.
“To me, that has a very refreshing flavor,” Halm said. “At the end, you can sometimes detect a little minty finish on your tongue.”
She said the “Leo’s Honey House” name was something her grandfather started about 30 years ago.
“It never really became a business for him, but it became a business for me,” Halm said.
The Corning Farmers Market continues each Thursday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through October.