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Live wire // Rochester Public Market

An original series that explores the people and products of our region’s farmers markets

Editor’s note: Live wire is an original web series (words, photo, and video) produced by (585)’s summer 2014 interns. It explores the people and products of our region’s farmers markets.

The Rochester Public Market is the main destination for local shoppers to find farm fresh produce and meet local growers, so that’s where Sophie and I decided to start.

On a mild Thursday morning, the Public Market on North Union Street was bustling with vendors, shoppers, and (more than a few) school field trip groups. As we fought our way through the crowd, we found plenty of fresh faces eager to share stories with us.

Pam Davis of Auburn says she married into the honey business, and she and her husband have about 300 boxes of bees that they collect honey from. “We used to have 3,000,” Davis says, adding that although they must work every day to maintain their business, it’s a wonderful experience. Davis Honey produces year-round, and the taste of honey varies immensely, depending on the flowers in season. Summer honey, for example, comes from clover and wildflower and has a sweet, traditional taste; whereas honey from fall flowers—like goldenrod and aster—has a stronger taste and a darker color.

Next, we met Philomina Emeka-Iheukwu, author of Children Who Eat Their Fruits and Vegetables and Cook Healthy, Eat Healthy, Feel Healthy America. An advocate for healthy living, Emeka-Iheukwu draws from her own weight loss journey to help others beat obesity and strive for healthy, positive living. “So many people encourage me that what I am doing is good,” she says. “I have changed lots of lives, so many lives, I can’t count them.” Emeka-Iheukwu spends her free time preparing naturally sweetened snacks in a shared kitchen in downtown Rochester. She encourages people to consume primarily natural fats and avoid refined sugars.

Lastly, we met Alex Weiser, who works at Lighthouse Gardens in Honeoye Falls. The greenhouse is certified organic—and local growers use their organic potting soil, Living Earth, to increase biological diversity and plant health. “Everything we grow is made with that potting soil. We use compost and we use a lot of different minerals,” Weiser says.

As we squeezed through crowds and spoke with a few vendors, Sophie and I experienced a small taste of what the Rochester Public Market has to offer. But we didn’t even come close to covering the huge variety of people and produce, so check it out for yourself on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday morning this summer.

Live wire: Rochester Public Market from (585) magazine on Vimeo.

Story + video by Georgie Silvarole; photos + captions by Sophie Stewart

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