Spring Festival Highlights Local Food Systems

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By Himanee Gupta-Carlson

 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market hosts its third annual Spring Festival tomorrow. Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., the festival will feature hourly workshops and family-friendly activities aimed at helping both market regulars and newcomers gain a stronger understanding of how the local food system operates.

All of the workshops are free, open to all ages, and will offer attendees gifts. The schedule includes:

  • A 9 a.m. presentation on beekeeping by Rick Green of Ballston Lake Apiaries. Green, a recently retired market vendor, will discuss the life cycle of bees and give an introduction to beekeeping. Hives will be available for purchase, and free beverages will be offered to all attendees.
  • A 10 a.m. session on making the most of your CSA with Justine Denison of Denison Farm. This workshop will offer tips on storing and using produce and will outline the benefits of signing up for a CSA share. Anouk Booneman, co-founder of Spring Into Health will offer a live cooking demonstration during this session, using seasonal produce. Attendees will receive a free Saratoga Farmers’ Market tote bag.
  • A 11 a.m. workshop on seed bombs by Cornell Cooperation Extension Master Gardener Lori Bishop. Bishop will demonstrate how to make seed bombs and will send attendees home with seed packets to create these life giving bombs themselves.
  • A 12 p.m. demonstration on succulents by Suzanne Balet of Balet Flowers and Design. Balet will offer information about planting and caring for succulents and offer all attendees to plant their own succulent to take home.

In addition, the Friends of the Market will host a take-home planting activity for children of all ages and abilities, and the Children’s Museum of Saratoga will offer a spring-themed activity.

Over the past two years, the festival has drawn hundreds of visitors, and in 2016 it prompted I Love NY to declare the Saratoga Farmers’ Market the No. 1 Must Visit Farmers’ Market in the state.

The goal, says market director Julia Howard, is to raise awareness of the value of local food and farming in a fun way. “Getting people involved in their local food scene is a great way to get them to participate in it. The farmers’ market embraces its role in this respect as an educator and resource on local food.”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park through April. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; and contact friends@saratogafarmersmarket.org for volunteer opportunities.