September Color

This is such a beautiful and exciting time of year! Summer and Fall merge, in a glorious display of color.

You can find pumpkins, strawbales, gourds, apples, and apple cider at Kirby's. A great start to the Fall season!

 We love growing a variety of pumpkins and gourds...

This giant gourd variety grows into some very interesting shapes and colors.

 

Little orange and white pumpkins are adorable, in just as many shapes and sizes.


Our large Mums are exploding with color!

And there are a lot of colors to choose from. Complement your mums with some interesting foliage plants from our perennial area. Perennials are all 25% off!

Produce Update

Tomatoes are at their peak, while peaches are beginning to come to a close. Right now we have Cresthaven peaches, which are a freestone variety that's excellent for baking, eating, freezing, and canning. We also Babygold, a clingstone variety that is our personal favorite for canning. They have excellent flavor, you don't have to peel them, and their firm flesh holds up well in a jar.

matas
peaches
applecrates
applecrates

Apple Varieties Available now:

Honeycrisp, Autumn Crisp, Gingergold, McIntosh, Paula Red, and Jonamac

Other homegrown produce in season:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Beets, Broccoli, Garlic, Cauliflower, Plums, Pluots, and Nectarines.

Locally grown produce in season:

Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, and Shiitake Mushrooms

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apples
peppe

NEW Gift Shop Items, & Mother's Day Gift Ideas

springdisplay

May is here! Our doors are open and the market is ready for a new season. Everything is cleaned and polished, out on display, and waiting for you to visit! Just in time for an important holiday...

We have a bunch of new things in our gift shop this Spring, and so many perfect Mother's Day gifts.

These rustic bottle vases are a lot of fun, and we ordered a huge variety. Single double or triple, tall or short. They're perfect to add a little cheer to any corner of the house, with a single flower or a small bouquet.

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garden1
garden3

Or, if you'd like to take a break from the usual flower arrangement, just pick out a container (shiny, rustic, or wooden) and plunk a beautiful plant or two inside. Our greenhouse is full of pretty and interesting plants, with lots of color and texture to choose from.  You've made a little bit of instant beauty that Mom can  enjoy as a centerpiece, and then plant in her garden to enjoy all year.

We also have tools and gardening gloves for the avid gardener. If you really know your gardener Mom's taste in plants, there are some gorgeous perennials in bloom right now. Bleeding Heart, Garden Phlox, Tiarella, and Brunnera are a few colorful examples. Or you could go with green and pick out a hosta or fern from our collection.

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Are there just too many choices? Gift Certificates from Kirby's are a very popular Mother's Day gift.

It's a lot of fun seeing them come back through the rest of the year, exchanged for plants, fruits and veggies, baked goods, jams, or a fun home accessory.

A few more gift ideas for Mother's Day: Dishes and bowls from local potter Rose Vantyne; battery powered candles; pretty mugs and bowls; or votive holders with a locally made soy candle from Sandy Creek!

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stove
pottery
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Growing in the Greenhouse

This time of year, when Spring has barely made it's presence known, the greenhouse is an inspiring place. Warm sunshine falls on thriving green plants, and flats of sprouting seeds.

One small seed placed in the soil, one of thousands transforming into tiny, tender sprouts breaking through and unfurling in the light... after a long, cold, snowy winter like the one we've had, we're all waiting for a chance to branch out in the warmth!

We start our plants by seed, plug, or bare root transplant depending on the type of plant. Vegetables destined for the field are started from seed (tomatoes, peppers, brcooli, etc), as well as enthusiastic annuals (marigolds, allyssum, lobelia, for example) and perennials.

The photos below in the center and on the right show our broccoli seedings. Every two weeks, another crop will be transplanted into the field, giving us a constant supply of broccoli from June until November. 

Most perennials that come in as plugs (young plants growing in trays) are planted in smaller quart pots. Delphinum, Columbine,  and Dianthus are pictured below on the right, growing happily in quart containers. Look at that green!

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quarts

All bare root transplants are put in gallon pots to give these large root masses plenty of room for an equally large plant. Some particularly vigorous plugs like hosta and helleborous are planted in larger gallon pots as well. Pictured to the left, for example, is Heleborous Ivory Prince with striking red stems and graceful, blue-green leaves.

Below on the left and in the center is Hosta Sum and Substance, one of the largest hostas on the market. It grew so well in the tray that they were impossible to pull out and we had to cut the tray to pieces! Look at all those roots. To keep them from becoming root bound, we sliced off a layer of the bottom of the roots. On the right is Pineapple Lilly, an exotic looking plant with  long pointed leaves and a tall flower stalk.

Autumn's Chill

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cortland

The produce on our tables is always a reflection of the changing seasons. Right now we have: Brussel Sprouts; Winter Squash;  Romanesco;  Cauliflower; Cabbage; Apples; Broccoli; Swiss Chard; Kale; and Pumpkins.  We also have Local Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Grapes, and Pears. It has been a particularly long season for tomatoes and peppers. Plum tomatoes were hanging in there for a while, but no doubt the hard frost last night put an end to them as well.

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romanesco

Field Update: September at Kirby's

Here's a collection  of snapshots from the farm market yesterday. So many beautiful Fall colors to enjoy! Click the thumbnails to enjoy the full image.

Fresh homegrown Swiss Chard

 

Summer is blending into Autumn, as you can see on our produce tables! Sweet corn is coming to a close soon, and peaches are almost done. We have tons of prunes and tomatoes right now, but we're coming up on the last week of pickles. Sweet peppers are going strong, we just started our last planting of beets (they're beautiful!), our yard is filling with pumpkins and we're getting more squash and gourds every day! Stop by to enjoy those last tastes of Summer. Before you know it, they'll be gone until next year!

 

August Field Update

Castleton Prunes (a type of plum) will be ready to harvest in about a week.
Castleton Prunes (a type of plum) will be ready to harvest in about a week.

This is the peak of summer, and our farm market is filled with an amazing variety of Kirbygrown fresh fruits and vegetables! 

A bin full of green peppers waits in the shade.
A bin full of green peppers waits in the shade.
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
Gingergold apples are one of the first varieties we pick. In just a few more days they'll be ready!
Gingergold apples are one of the first varieties we pick. In just a few more days they'll be ready!
  • Pickles
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Corn
  • Red Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Hot Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Locally Grown Potatoes
  • Locally Grown Blueberries

Peaches: Red Haven peaches came in on Saturday. Available by the quart, four quart, peck, or bushel, they're great for baking, eating, and freezing.

Cantaloupe: The first variety of cantaloupe in our market is a small, single-serving variety. It's supers sweet, and so delicious!

Watermelon: It's been a while since we grew watermelon, but it was worth the wait! We have smaller yellow watermelons, and traditional red, both with seeds. They're incredibly flavorful, crisp, and juicy.

Tomatoes: Coming on slowly because of the cool weather, we're hoping to have tomatoes by the bushel by 8/22.

Apples: Jerseymac is our first variety, and Gingergold are close behind.

A full load of apples for the 2013 harvest.
A full load of apples for the 2013 harvest.
60 bushels of fresh green peppers wait to be taken to our short-term storage facility.
60 bushels of fresh green peppers wait to be taken to our short-term storage facility.
Fruit harvests are shaping up to be fantastic this year!
Fruit harvests are shaping up to be fantastic this year!
The weight of ripe fruit will often stress or break a small tree.
The weight of ripe fruit will often stress or break a small tree.
Peaches are always picked tree-ripened: firm to the touch but fully colored.
Peaches are always picked tree-ripened: firm to the touch but fully colored.

Meanwhile, in our Garden Center, our beautiful Mums are just beginning to show color. We have dozens of varieties to chose from!

All of our Perennials are still 25% off! Find some amazing deals on clearance.

July Field Update

Early sour cherry variety.
Early sour cherry variety.

Hello from the farm! The persistent rain this Spring is a continuing challenge. It slowed things down and delayed the harvest on Spring crops like peas, lettuce, and beets. And then, it shortened the strawberry crop! I don't mind waiting for peas, but I am disappointed that strawberries are already done here.

We've said good bye to Spring crops of Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Spinach - it's time to embrace Summer!

To help you keep up with the changing seasons, here's a loose prediction of what the next month or so will look like.

Peas, Regular and Edible Pod

: Right now we're in our third planting with one more to go. We should have peas for two more weeks (mid-July)!

Lettuce: Our fresh lettuce will be available until mid-July.

Zucchini and Summer Squash are here now and will be until at least the end of July.

Sour Cherries showed up at the end of June. There isn't a lot of the first variety, so they won't be around too long. Later varieties will be here in mid July, and should last about 2 weeks.

Sweet Cherries arrived on June 28th, and they'll be around just into the beginning of August.

Broccoli

Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.
Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.

: our broccoli plantings are shaping up to be pretty epic this year, with a total of about 400,000 broccoli plants in the field.  We're in the first harvest right now! 

Recipes: 

Broccoli SoupBroccoli Salad, and Roasted Broccoli

 

Coming Up:

Pickles

will start showing up in about two weeks.  We're doing a planting each week for the entire month of July, with the last one going in on August 1st. This means we should have a steady supply for all of August and well into September, if Mother Nature cooperates.

3,000 feet of Beets were planted two weeks ago. We're looking forward to having lots to pick in about six weeks!

In our next update, we'll have news on tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and peaches.

Field Update, May 31st

So far the weather has set us up for a pretty average Spring as far as timing goes. Patches of hot weather got things started, alternating with those cold snaps that slowed everything right back down. The rain we had earlier this week was very much appreciated by the plants, fueling the burst of bloom in our strawberry and pea fields. Read on for more details!

spinach

Spinach! Now filling a basket on our produce table, it's freshly pulled from a field behind the market and rinsed in clean, cold water. We only have one planting so it will be here for just a short time... but it WILL be back in the fall! Homegrown spinach is so tender and delicious. And full of nutrients of course!

 

 

peaplant

Next up: Peas! The very first blossom showed up one week ago today. We expect to pick about three weeks after the first bloom, so look for peas around June 14th.



Our strawberries began to bloom right before the coldest weather hit in May. Even with the added protection of a row cover (light-weight fabric that provides a layer of insulati0n) our very first strawberries were killed by the cold. We were sad to lose what is always the biggest berries of the season, but the hundreds of blossoms in our field right now makes us feel a lot better! The strawberries out there right now are already getting some pretty good size to them. We should be picking in about two weeks if Mother Nature continues to be kind.

lettuce

The quilt of lettuce growing in the greenhouse has been planted in neat rows in the field. When you drive by, you might notice two rows of white plastic next to rows and rows of black plastic. That's the lettuce! White plastic will prevent the tender leaves from burning. Black plastic absorbs heat, which can be great to get plants going in the Spring, but it's just too hot for lettuce. Lettuce will be ready for sale around June 14th as well.

broccolibaby

Broccoli is the undertaking of the year! Every week for eighteen weeks, our Captain of Seeding, Ron, is planting 15,000 broccoli plants. This photo shows you just a small percentage of what is soon to be acres of glorious broccoli. We'll start picking around July 1st.

New for the 2013 CSA Season

The most exciting addition this year has to be our new software, allowing us to organize packing, orders, and most of all accept online sales! This means convenience for our members, and way less paperwork for us.

To sign up for our CSA online, click here to go to our store.

Thanks to two seasons of wonderful members and great success with the CSA, we've increased available shares to 300! Farmer Tim insists we can do more, but we've convinced him to take it slow. 

We're also trying out some new crops: bok choi; radishes; golden beets; collards; celeraic; celery; kohlrabi; spinach; 5 new varieties of lettuce; patty-pan squash; and chinese cabbage. Selected to fill the gaps, these vegetables will add variety to the beginning and end of the season. There are several things in there that I've never tried (kohlrabbi and celeraic) so I'm looking forward to trying them out, and learning new recipes.

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We have three different pickup locations to make it more convenient for you to get your hands on our delicious homegrown produce:

Kirby's Farm Market; Rochester Public Market; and Bindings Bookstore. The greatest difference between these locations is that the market is the only one with a swap table.

Informational Meetings have been scheduled for all of the pickup locations (except Public Market). We hope you can make it to the meeting nearest you, to learn more about our CSA.

UPCOMING INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS

Kirby's Farm Market (Brockport) on March 28th at 7pm
Bindings Bookstore (Albion) on March 26th at 7pm

 

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Kirby's CSA Info Meeting

2013 CSA Informational Meeting

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COMBO1

When: March 28th at 7pm

Where: Kirby’s Farm Market, in the greenhouse. [map]

If you’re interested in learning more about our CSA program, this is the time to get those questions answered! Meet the CSA team, find out what makes our CSA program different, what you can expect in your share, and other important details.

Enjoy some light refreshments, and the wonderfully warm, plant-filled ambiance of the greenhouse in early Spring.

Farm Update: July

Results of the Spring Weather: Right up until the point fruit begins to ripen, it can be very difficult to estimate how much fruit you have on a tree. As Farmer Tim says, “Small green leaves and small green fruit.” After predicting a complete loss for peaches this year, we were pleasantly surprised to discover ten percent of our peach crop on the trees. Even though it’s still a big loss, we’re very happy to be picking ten percent of our usual peach crop. They taste even sweeter then usual! Drought: July has been a very dry month. Counties in the very Northeast corner of New York are officially experiencing a drought, while everywhere from the center of Orleans County to the East is ‘abnormally dry’. Luckily, we’re prepared to irrigate. You have to be in Western New York! A lot of our crops are planted on plastic mulch. Each row has a long line of drip tape running down the center, under the plastic. One of the most efficient irrigation methods available, drip irrigation sends a slow and steady supply of water to each plant. Since roots, drip tape and soil are protected by a covering of plastic, water lost to evaporation and weeds is minimal.

For crops such as sweet corn that are planted in traditional rows without plastic, we have overhead irrigation systems. A large spigot attached to a long thick hose shoots an arc of water with a one hundred and fifty foot range (covers 300 feet). The hose slowly retracts on a reel, watering a large area over a period of hours. Alternatively, a long line of pipe is laid in a field, with smaller spigots every twenty feet or so.  These smaller spigots rotate, shooting streams of water 40 feet long. After one section has enough water, the pipe is moved across the field to the next section. As kids, we would go out barefoot into the fields and sink up to our calves in mud to help our Dad move each section of pipe to the next area. It was pretty fun!

Unfortunately, in conditions like these, you can’t water everything every time it’s needed. Something gets missed and a season will end quicker then usual. This year the blackberries didn’t get enough water and the fruit dried up on the plant a week before the season should have ended.

The effects of drought will also show up in other places. Ears of corn might be smaller, even though they’ve been irrigated. Tomato plants stopped growing until irrigation was set up. Then, as soon as they had some water, they were off again.

“We can’t do what Mother Nature does, we can’t create a perfect rain.” says Tim Kirby. When asked what a perfect rain is, he answers, “Sometimes you get a sprinkle, which just settles the dust. You don’t want a monsoon either, because that washes the soil away.” Huge amounts of rain all at once cause ravines to form as rivers of water run down hills, and soil is washed away from plants. “What we want is a nice steady rain that goes for a few hours, about an inch of water soaking into the soil. That’s a perfect rain.”

 

Q&A with Farmer Tim

What’s your biggest challenge with a CSA?

Tim Kirby: “Figuring out how much to grow of each crop without being wasteful.”

What have you done differently this year?

TK: “We planted more lettuce, but the deer ate half. We have a second planting that’s ready to pick, but the loss to the deer means there was a gap between plantings. We’re also growing sweet potatoes for the first time. They’re looking good. The plants on the south end of the row are being eaten by woodchucks, but there will still be plenty of sweet potatoes.”

Any other new crops?

TK: It’s the first year we’ve ever grown onions. We have sweet, white, and yellow. We also have Callilou, a new vegetable from Jamaica.

What’s coming up later in the season?

TK: We planted purple and orange cauliflower, beets, and swiss chard for the fall, and we’re seeding broccoli every week in July. Our first broccoli harvest will happen around September 15st. A series of plantings means a longer season of broccoli in the fall.

Pickles and Cherries

It's pickling season! Call now to place your orders for fresh Kirbygrown pickling cucumbers. 3-4" are best for making whole dills, and 5-6" are preferred for bread and butter slices, chunks or relish. If you've been in the market lately, you now that July is also cherry season. We've had sweet cherries for a while and sour cherries will be arriving soon.

One important Cherry tradition at Kirby's is the IQF cherry pickup. IQF stands for Individually Quick Frozen, and there's no sugar added. We have 4lb bags of sour 8lb bags of sweet, and 6lb bags of blueberries available in the market year round. The July pickup is special because you can order them in 20lb or 40lb bags and save money by buying in bulk. IQF fruit is extremely convenient for baking. Since they're pitted it's less work, and the individually frozen fruits don't stick together, so they are easy to pour. They're great for smoothies, and super refreshing on a hot summer day eaten right out of the bag.

Our pickup days this year are August 5th and 6th between 9am and noon. Orders must be placed by July 31st. Bring a nice, big, cooler when you come to pick them up so they'll stay frozen on the trip home.

March on the Farm

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grasses

Even though the ground is still frozen (and no doubt snow will be flying before March is done) we're already seeing the first signs of Spring. With the mild winter we've had this year, green things are popping up pretty early. Have you noticed the daffodils poking through the ground? Maybe a patch of snowdrops or helleborus blooming? At Kirby's, it always gets green long before the rest of WNY thaws out completely. In our greenhouse, the first batch of hanging baskets has been planted. Happy little annuals are growing vigorously on the benches, gaining some size before we hang them up.

14 trays of onions were seeded this morning. Onions are a first for us! Farmer Tim was inspired  by our CSA program to add a few new crops. He's excited about the idea of giving our CSA members as much variety as we can throughout the season. There will be more plantings of lettuce and spinach too. Our regular customers will benefit as well, when that amazing homegrown lettuce stays around for a few weeks longer then usual, and homegrown green onions and beans show up on our market tables.

Soon there will be trays of tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, and pepper seedlings growing in the greenhouse. And before you know it, we'll be out in the fields harvesting delicious produce for your table!

2colorbskt
2colorbskt
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fleur
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chenile

The Holidays at Kirbys

top by to say hello and Happy Holidays before December 24th!

Handblow glass ornaments from Delish Glass in Rochester.
Handblow glass ornaments from Delish Glass in Rochester.

Can you believe the 2011 season is almost over? We'll only be open for twelve more days! We're ready to help you prepare for a wonderful holiday season:

  • Locally made Gifts and Delicious Treats
  • Christmas Trees - Concolor, Douglas and Frasier Fir,
  • Handmade Wreaths
  • A variety of gorgeous Poinsettias
  • Traditional End of the Year Sales
  • Stock up on produce like apples, potatoes, onions, and squash for the winter.
Fresh picked Romanesco, the perfect Christmas vegetable!
Fresh picked Romanesco, the perfect Christmas vegetable!
Owners Tim and Linda Kirby spend some time in the greenhouse together.
Owners Tim and Linda Kirby spend some time in the greenhouse together.
Twenty Ounce apples on special in November. Fill your own 1/2 bushel basket for seven dollars!
Twenty Ounce apples on special in November. Fill your own 1/2 bushel basket for seven dollars!
One of our handmade wreaths. We harvest most of our own greens, including boxwood, holly, fir, pine, dogwood, and rosehips. This is a ten inch wreath that also includes cedar
One of our handmade wreaths. We harvest most of our own greens, including boxwood, holly, fir, pine, dogwood, and rosehips. This is a ten inch wreath that also includes cedar
We ship apples from October 1st, until the second week in December to anywhere in the continental USA. Choose any combination of vairieties to sendas a gift or a treat for yourself. Pictured here is Empire and Crispin.
We ship apples from October 1st, until the second week in December to anywhere in the continental USA. Choose any combination of vairieties to sendas a gift or a treat for yourself. Pictured here is Empire and Crispin.
One of our handmade wreaths. We harvest most of our own greens, including boxwood, holly, fir, pine, dogwood, and rosehips. This is a ten inch wreath that also includes Ilex berries.
One of our handmade wreaths. We harvest most of our own greens, including boxwood, holly, fir, pine, dogwood, and rosehips. This is a ten inch wreath that also includes Ilex berries.
4.5" Poinsettias in pink, marble, and white. Other colors available include red, white, and varigated red and white 'jinglebells'. We also have 6.5" and 8" in all of these colors.
4.5" Poinsettias in pink, marble, and white. Other colors available include red, white, and varigated red and white 'jinglebells'. We also have 6.5" and 8" in all of these colors.
A beautifully varigated red and white poinsettia called 'Jinglebells', in a 6.5" pot.
A beautifully varigated red and white poinsettia called 'Jinglebells', in a 6.5" pot.
A 10" poinsettia in red. The greenhouse at Kirby's is a beautiful place to visit in Decemeber, with gorgeous, brilliant color from wall to wall.
A 10" poinsettia in red. The greenhouse at Kirby's is a beautiful place to visit in Decemeber, with gorgeous, brilliant color from wall to wall.

The Peak of Harvest Season!

Below is a listing of everything available from the fields and orchards at Kirby's Farm Market for the end of September and early October! Call to place orders for large quantities (585)637-2600.

Decorate for Fall: Little white and orange Pumpkins, Gourds, Pie Pumpkins, tons of beautiful Mums, and Straw Bales. Soon to come: cornstalks and a fun variety of big pumpkins!

Kirbygrown Vegetables: Acorn Squash, Delicata Squash, Swiss Chard, Kale, Garlic, Sweet Corn(done by Sept 30th),  Eggplant, Cucumbers, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Sweet Hungarian Peppers, Hot Peppers

Kirbygrown Fruit (done by early October): Tomatoes, Peaches, Nectarines, Prunes, Pluots

Kirbygrown Apples: Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Cortland, Gingergold   (Coming soon, dates are Approximate: Twenty Ounce 9/23, Empire 10/03, Golden Delicious 10/05, Macoun 10/05, Red Delicious 10/08, Jonagold 10/10, Crispin 10/15, Northern Spy 10/15)

Locally Grown Produce: Potatoes, Onions, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots

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It's Canning Season!

The weather right now couldn't be better for canning. Spend a few hours in a steamy kitchen with baskets of gorgeous fruits and vegetables, putting them up for the coming winter, and you will relish every cool breeze. But you'll relish the satisfaction of putting up your own fruits and vegetables for a delicious and healthy winter even more!

Some of the most popular things to put up this time of year: stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, canned peaches, canned pears, peach jam, applesauce, and apple butter. Every family has their own traditions. Last week the Kirby family canned tomatoes and peaches, this week we're making salsa! What preserving traditions do you have?

Freezing produce instead of canning is a great alternative. Quick, easy and definitely less steamy! You can freeze just about anything, but peaches, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and sauces work wonderfully.

Follow this link to read tons of great information on preserving, canning and freezing fruits and vegetables form the experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension. They have fantastically comprehensive lists that will inspire you to make the most of the fresh fruits and vegetables so unique to WNY!