Who we are: Friends of the Market is an all-volunteer group that works with the Saratoga Farmers’ Market to bring shoppers, vendors, and members of the community together. We are people who love eating, shopping at the market, and growing our own food. Members of our groups are at the market on Saturday mornings and in the summer on Wednesday afternoons greeting market goers, answering questions, helping customers transport purchases to their cars, minding vendor stalls so they can take breaks, and be engaging in a number of other activities.
Our mission: To help the Saratoga Farmers’ Market continue to thrive through support for vendors and customers, and through education of the community and customers of the market.
Our history: We created the Friends of the Market in 2011 because we all loved the market and wanted to give something back to the farmers and other vendors who give us so much. We also wanted to forge tighter connections between the market and the Saratoga area communities it serves. We drafted our mission, held a number of brainstorming sessions, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.
We began our vendor relief efforts in 2011, and also hosted several food-tasting and educational events. After a winter of planning, we rolled out our signature Veggie Valet service in May 2012. We began forming partnerships with community organizations in 2014, and currently have relationships with the Franklin Community Center, Lake Avenue Elementary School, Saratoga Springs Public Library, and Skidmore College. We also have been expanding our scope since 2016 to include promotions, education, community service, hands-on volunteering, and much more.
Some of our crew:
Some of our crew:
Pattie Garrett: An active member of the League of Women Voters, Pattie serves as market photographer and maintains the Friends of the Market Facebook page.
Himanee Gupta-Carlson: A writer and college professor, Himanee coordinates the market’s weekly features for Saratoga Today and serves as primary liaison between the market and Franklin Community Center.
Jim Gupta-Carlson: A farmer and photographer, Jim coordinates our home-compost collection program and does much of the behind-the-scene “heavy lifting” for both market and volunteer activities.
Ann Haden: A nutritionist and food educator, Ann coordinates cooking classes for Skidmore College students, greets customers, and assists at the market shed.
Alexandra Morgan: A retired landscape architect, Alexandra serves as the Friends of the Market convener and often spends her market hours minding vendor stalls.
Chris Toole: Also a library volunteer, Chris serves as a market greeter and is often on hand to answer customer questions.
Kathy Burdick: Between her position at Albany Med and cooking locally-sourced meals, Kathy is the friendly face that greets and assists customer and vendors primarily at the Wednesday farmers’ market.
How to join us: We always welcome new volunteers. To join our organization or simply to learn more, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-257-2681. We conduct an informal interview with our new volunteers to gauge interest and availability and follow this interview with an orientation and opportunity to meet our vendors.