Saratoga Farmers’ Market Plans Workshops to Kick off Spring


By: Jeremy Riccardi

One of the joys of shopping at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market is the opportunity to daydream about growing the food and and producing some of the items that local farmers offer. This Saturday will offer visitors to the market a chance to find out what it takes through a series of free workshops.

The workshops are a part of a Spring Festival that will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the market. They include sessions on:

• Bee keeping at 9 a.m., with Rick Green, owner of Ballston Lake Apiaries, a honey vendor.

• Inoculating mushroom logs at 10 a.m., with Bobby Chandler of Mariaville Mushroom Men, a regular market vendor.

• Fermenting, at 11 a.m., with Diane Whitten of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Serve.

• Growing greens, at Noon, with Sadie Ross, a horticulturalist and member of the Friends of the Saratoga Market.

In addition to these special one-hour workshops, the Spring Festival also will offer children an opportunity to create an eggshell seed starter and to play with gummy worms and Oreo dirt throughout the entire 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. market. These activities are being offered by the Friends of the Market and Serendipity Art Studio.

The festival is part of the market’s effort to reach out to the local community, while celebrating spring in the process, said market director Julia Howard.

“Spring is such an important time to plan for the next cycle of the year, which makes this the perfect time to offer this free event to our customers”, Howard said. “The festival is a way to help us end a fantastic winter season and usher in our summer market. It’s also a way to say thank you to the community for making the winter market such a success.”

In addition to the activities above, representatives from Skidmore College’s Sustainability Program will offer information on composting and a demonstration, and members of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s master gardener program will be on hand to offer information on and do soil testing for a $1 fee. Live music will be provided by American jazz pianist and vocalist Nancy Kamen .

The market runs Saturdays through April 30 at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. The first summer market wil be 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, May 4 at High Rock Park.