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Support your local farmers’ market

June 3, 2009
By RICHARD GAST

If you're looking for ways to shop local, eat fresh and stretch your food dollars, look no further than your local Farmers' Market. Stop in and select from the finest, the freshest and the best local produce that money can buy.

Fresh asparagus, beans, beets, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, greens, peas, sprouts, tomatoes, herbs, meats, eggs, baked goods, teas, body care products, cut flowers, bedding plants; the list goes on! Among the first fresh crops of the season, you'll find tender greens, crunchy carrots, tasty radishes, beautiful rhubarb, sweet asparagus and early strawberries.

While you're purchasing your fresh vegetables and fruits (many of them all-naturally grown), why not try a few yummy, fresh baked cookies, or a delectable pastry or pie, freshly made by local bakers. And don't forget to pick up something sweet, some local honey or homemade maple syrup.

As growing numbers of North Country consumers demand better tasting food with less risk, small-scale sustainable farming operations have been 'cropping up' to meet the demand. The number of farmers' markets in our neck of the woods has doubled and redoubled in the past 10 years. And farmers' markets are enjoying renewed and expanded popularity nationwide.

Shopping at your local farmers' market allows you to meet and visit with the growers, ask questions and get closer to the sources of locally grown and prepared wholesome, nutritious food. Customers can be confident and feel good about buying home grown food from their neighbors. It's fun to talk to the folks that grow it. And producers appreciate feedback from their customers. When you shop at the farmers' market, everybody wins.

In an age of global markets, it is all too easy to see how local towns and communities can easily lose touch with the efforts and the productivity of our area farmers and growers. Shopping at the farmers' market says you support local growers and support the productive use of our land and water, as well. By shopping at the farmers' market you help support the preservation of agricultural land and the knowledge of our agricultural heritage for future generations. What's more, when you shop at the farmers' market, you help strengthen our rural economy.

Fact Box

Where to shop in your area

Saranac Lake

Farmers' Markets

Lake Flour Bakery

River and St. Bernard Streets

Market Manager: Nancy Moriarty

(518) 891-7194

Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 2 to Sept. 29

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Saranac Lake

Village Farmers' Markets

Sponsored by AuSable Grange

Riverside Park

Market Manager: Sam Hendren

Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June to October

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Tupper Lake

Farmers' Market

Wild Center Museum

45 Museum Dr.

Market Manager: Ellen Beberman

(518) 891-7470

Thursdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

June 25 to Sept. 24, 2009

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Lake Placid

Farmers' Market

Green Market Wednesdays

Lake Placid Center for the Arts

17 Algonquin Drive

Market Manager: Sam Hendren

(518) 523-2512

Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June 10 to Oct.14, 2009

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Paul Smiths

Farmer's Market

Paul Smiths College

Market Manager: Ellen Beberman

(518) 891-7470

Fridays 2 to 5 p.m.

June 12 to Sept. 25

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Chateaugay Lake

Farmers' Market

Hollywood Inn Restaurant Lawn in Merrill

Market Manager: Jo Ellen Saumier

(518) 497-6038

Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 20 to Sept. 5

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Elizabethtown Farmers' Market

Behind Adirondack Center Museum

Market Manager: Gina Agoney

(518) 293-7877

Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

May 15 to Oct.

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Keene Farmers' Market

Route 73 at Marcy Airfield

Market Manager: Dick Crawford

(518) 561-7167

Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 14 to Oct. 11

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Malone Farmers' Market

Route 11 at Malone Airport

Market Manager: Vicky Lesniak

(518) 497-0083 or 497-6038

Wednesdays noon to 4:30 p.m.

June 10 to Oct. 21

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Plattsburgh Farmers' and Crafters Market

Durkee Street parking lot

Between Broad and River Streets

Market Manager: Pat Parker

(518) 493-6761

Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Open now to Oct. 10

Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 24 to Sept. 23

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Saranac Farmers' Market

Pavilion behind Town Hall

Market Manager: Lisa Racette

518-293-7849

Saturdays 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

July 11 to Sept. 12

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Willsboro Farmers' Market

Route 22 (exact location to be announced)

Market Manager: Linda Therrien

(518) 963-4383

Thursdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 11 to Oct. 8

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Wilmington Farmers' Market

Heritage Park Route 86 and Hazelton Road

Market Manager: Gina Agoney

(518) 293-7877

Wednesdays 9 a.m til ?

July 1 to Aug. 26

Besides, locally grown and prepared foods tastes better and are more nutritious than fruits and vegetables that are picked before they're ripe and then transported across the continent or halfway around the world.

The tradition of farmers' markets can be traced back to ancient times. Farmers' markets were the centers of villages and towns. They were not only places where people gathered to buy, barter and trade goods and services, but places where people met to exchange news and share stories with one another, as well. Many parts of the world have a tradition of farmers' markets going back many centuries.

In much the same way, farmers' markets have deep roots in our nation's history. In 1806, Thomas Jefferson wrote about buying beef, eggs and vegetables at an outdoor market. Throughout much of the 19th century, outdoor market places were the heart of our American cities, and the Farmers' Markets were the centers of commerce in rural communities. But as the country grew, everything changed. More and better roads were built nationwide, and more modern methods of refrigeration were invented and applied. It became possible to transport produce from large commercial farms to centers hundreds, even thousands of miles away. Wholesalers took advantage of opportunities to place fruit and vegetables produced by large commercial and corporate growers into neighborhood supermarkets owned by even larger corporations. The small farmer was unable to compete.

But, in recent decades, farmers' markets have been making a comeback. Today, Americans spend well over a billion dollars annually at more than 2,500 Farmers Markets nationwide.

Your local farmers' market is a place where people can come together, not just to buy and sell food, but to share gardening tips and ideas, recipes and seasonal information, as well. Shopping at the farmers' market can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The customer gets the freshest, highest quality food possible, and the grower makes some money. There are no middlemen and no stockholders, just local, independent growers selling their own produce direct to the public.

Support local sustainable agriculture. Support your local farmers' market.

For information on farmers' markets across the North Country, visit www.adirondackharvest.com

For information on farmers' markets throughout New York state visit: www.agmkt.state.ny.us. Click on "Farm and Market Search" and then "Farmers Markets."

 
 

 

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