Centerville woman building on farmers market sales to open store

Sheri Stresing of Centerville holds a planter filled with plants, some of the seedlings she has for sale outside her new store, Back Porch Produce, 10260 Fairview Road, Farmersville Station.

CENTERVILLE — A Centerville woman who has been making a name for herself at farm markets has expanded by opening a store across from her gardens and high tunnels.

Cheri Stresing of 10260 Fairview Road, Farmersville Station — off Route 243 just across the Cattaraugus-Allegany County line — has been working toward this since 2013.

Last year, she resurrected the Arcade Farmers Market with between 20 and 25 vendors a week. She bought her 5-acre farm in 2016 and has been sharpening her growing skills and baking with what she grows.

The farm is USDA-certified organic. Her commercial kitchen is inspected by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The new farm market store — Back Porch Produce — will focus on products using vegetables she’s growing in raised beds, regular beds and high tunnels.

This week’s baked goods include rhubarb cobbler, herb butter and her signature peanut butter bread.

“I made 18 loaves of the peanut butter bread Sunday and the last loaf sold this morning,” Stresing said.

With her three high tunnels, she’s been selling produce since mid-April. That lets her get a jump on others who sell produce. Stresing now makes weekly visits to the Hamburg Famers Market and the new bi-weekly Eden Farmers Market.

Another big part of her growing business is community supported agriculture. She sells subscriptions for weekly fresh food deliveries early in the year. That cash infusion gets her through till spring when the harvests begin.

From the wool Stresing’s sheep produce, she makes mittens for sale. She also makes salads, jams and jellies and this fall she’ll be making soups.

She also bakes pies for sale and makes pesto, pickles, a variety of pickled items, herb butter and tomato sauce. She’ll also have mint tea available by the glass. Everything is seasonal.

“I’m used to always having a garden,” Stresing said. “Starting in 2013, I planted a bigger garden and started putting things (for sale) on a table out by the road. It’s a hobby that turned into a lifestyle.”

In the three high tunnels she’s planted tomatoes, peppers and strawberries. Zucchini has started to flower.

A new service this year will include you-pick flowers.

Stresing is looking to bottle a blueberry, basil vinaigrette salad dressing. She’s working with Cornell University to extend the dressing’s shelf life.

“I’m a good cook,” Stresing said. “And I deliver, too.”

To find out what Stresing’s selling this week, check out Back Porch Produce on Facebook or call her at (716) 946-8308.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)

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