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They Stand Alone

Farmers markets are fine, but try these roadside stands to get some country air

When I was growing up, orangeish looking “tomatoes” were sold in supermarkets in rigid plastic containers covered by a stiff plastic. A sharp pointed knife was needed to puncture the plastic—and the tasteless tomatoes, for that matter. In summertime little farm stands sprung up, where farmers with dirt on their hands offered sun-warmed, juicy red tomatoes with the same dirt clinging to them. Salted or with a dollop of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, they were heavenly.

Farm stands in Western New York offer some of the same heavenly produce today. Artvoice readers shared some favorite places for mouthwatering vegetables and fruits. Here are some ideas.

One tip came from Lisa Rood, whose favorite stand is Goehler’s, at 8285 Boston State Road in Patchin, (in the town of Boston, 941-3086). June Goehler has 55 acres. She has operated the stand since 1967, having been born right there at the farm on Back Creek. Her father was a beekeeper, and his touch remains, though the bees are gone. The building housing the produce was constructed with larch and cherry he harvested and put through the sawmill.

Today, June grows lettuce, broccoli, zucchini, peas, spinach, cherries, and more. She says the farm isn’t certified as organic but it is “spray free.” Her chickens (which are not for sale) are cage-free, free-range, with no hormones or antibiotics, and yield eggs in sizes labeled from “small” to “super super jumbo.” Farm fresh eggs! Bright yellow yoke, sparkling whites, glistening on the breakfast plate, and with a taste no supermarket can match. Committed to showcasing local wares, Goehler’s offers American honey from Seewaldt Apiaries in Varysburg, and New York maple syrup. There is cheese in the cooler from the Cuba Cheese Factory and some other sources. Corn will be arriving in a few weeks, all from local growers.

If the country air charges up your appetite, Lisa suggests having lunch or breakfast at 3 Girls in Patchin, just a hop, skip, and jump from Goehler’s, on the same side of the road, headed south. They have excellent food, lots of specials, and are open only for breakfast and lunch. Cash only. Oh, and the restaurant is run by three girls.

If you are heading to the eastern part of Erie County, reader Gavin Kasper recommends a stand on Pleasantview in Lancaster, a street running between Transit and Harris Hill. The stand is on the north side of the street, closer to Harris Hill, and will open when the corn comes in, in July. In Gavin’s words, “Believe it or not, they sell local fruits and veggies only, picked daily (according to the farmers).Their common stock is fresh corn, which they say, is sowed in the eastern burbs of Alden. The stock is light but delightful. Early in the season, they sell tangy green tomatoes and later large ripe, plump, and sweet red tomatoes. Parking is limited, however. Turnaround time is short so getting in and out depends on the traffic to and fro on Pleasantview.”

A suggestion for a great U-pick came from Linda DeTine, a West Side resident who ventures to Kappus Farms in Burt, New York, on the south shore of Lake Ontario. Linda says, “What I get every year are sour cherries, already pitted, 25 pounds for $40! Less than two dollars a pound. I order, they call me when they’re ready, and I freeze them in quart bags for cherries jubilee over ice cream in the winter, or pies, or mixed with plain yogurt for breakfast. The cherries make lots of their own juice after they are picked, which is one of the best things for your health—just drink it plain.

The farm has an abundance of sweet and tart cherries right now, and will have peaches, nectarines, plums, and apples as the season progresses. For information on what is available, and how to reach them, go to

Western New York in the summer—a treat on every corner. Enjoy.

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