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‘Home Grown’ Artisan Farmer’s Market Draws Hundreds

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Nearly 700 people attended ‘Home Grown’, an artisan farmers’ market this weekend. The two day exhibition was hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County.

‘Home Grown’ is different from the more food-oriented farmers’ markets held every Saturday. Business owners from all over the Southern Tier sold candles, plants, and clothing, in addition to food products.

Molly McManus, Event Coordinator for the Broome County Regional Farmers’ Market, encourages residents to take advantage of local products.

“There’s a huge initiative with agriculture and local products within New York State government. I think that the ‘Buy Local’ movement is constantly growing,” said McManus. “It’s important to support people in the community with small businesses.”

Dawn Alfano, owner of JADA Hill Farm in Deposit, sold homemade goat-milk soaps and creams, made from the goats raised on her farm. Alfano produces soap in small batches to ensure quality. She describes the six week soap making process to her customers in detail.

“They’re amazed at what you can do with goat’s milk. The things that it can do and how it’s much more natural for your skin,” said Alfano.

Alfano enjoys the relationships she builds with her customers. She said buying homemade goods provides a different experience than buying name brands in a store.

“It gives a much better idea of what’s out there that’s better for them or more natural and what farms really do. Farms are a dying breed. There’s not a lot of farms so this helps promote them. It really educates the consumer,” said Alfano.

Binghamton local Rachel Smith said events like ‘Home Grown’ are important to build community.

“I came here cause I just love supporting local. Nothing against corporate but if you can support local, I feel like it’s supporting your own family,” said Smith.