One of the highlights of my vacation last week had to be my trip to the Rochester Public Market with my mom. Located in the same spot on Union Street since 1905 (and one of the longest-running public markets in the nation), the RPM offers the perfect year-round opportunity to explore the wide variety of delicious local produce that the area has to offer on a seasonal basis. With the bizarre Spring weather that saw a warmer-than-usual March followed by crippling frosts that devastated many of the local crops (including apples, peaches, and cherries), the RPM also serves a critical role by enabling the public to seek out and support local farmers! Clearly, the RPM is doing something right, as it was voted America’s Favorite Farmers Market in 2010!

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Below is just a sampling of some of the yummy beauties that we saw for sale on a warm summer Tuesday. There was a mix of both homegrown local options and produce farmed in other regions, including Pennsylvania and beyond, to make up for the shortfall of the crops damaged by the 2012 Spring. Doesn’t your mouth water just looking at them?

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Even the administrative offices of the RPM were in on the act, with a small garden adjacent to the office building that included broccoli and dill.

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There was also an “edible wall,” showcasing a kind of vertical gardening that was a fantastic learning tool for kids and adults alike.

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Two of our favorite purchases of the day, however, had to be the fresh peas and the raspberries. We bought six containers of peas from a local vendor and had an easy time shelling them and boiling them quickly for a perfect vegetable side dish. (Thanks for the tip about adding a bit of sugar to the boiling water, Mom!)

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And the raspberries! Clearly, I was too excited about tasting these beauties from a local farmer in nearby Ontario, NY to actually get a picture that was in focus:

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Nevertheless, rest assured that these berries were put to their highest use almost immediately. That’s right: pie.

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The RPM was a great experience and I encourage you to check it out if you’re ever in the vicinity. Or better yet, find your own local market and take advantage of Summer’s bounty!

PS: Oh yes, there was knitting on the vacation too. Linen top? Done! Shawlette sample? Nearly done! Pictures soon, I promise!

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