By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
The holiday shopping season is upon us.
But before you prepare to dive into the crowded shopping center parking lots, consider how the Saratoga Farmers’ Market might make holiday shopping a more affordable and localized experience.
The market is kicking off the holiday season tomorrow with its regular vendors who offer an array of fresh produce, farm-raised meats and dairy products, and locally produced goods. In addition, several shorter-term vendors will be at the market between November and January, offering specialized items that might give your holiday shopping list a refreshing twist.
Among the holiday vendors is Mark Bocian, owner of Freddy’s Rockin’ Hummus, a small-batch hummus producer from Sharon Springs, NY. Bocian, who named his business after his cat, began making hummus about eight years ago and offers a range of different flavors, which he invites customers to sample. All of his preparations have organic chickpeas, lemon juice, and garlic as a base. For the holidays, Bocian recommends a special blend that includes cranberries, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. It is named, appropriately, Scarborough Fair.
These vendors will be part of a holiday market that is aimed in part at supporting local entrepreneurs in building up their businesses. The market’s start tomorrow also coincides with the national Small Business Saturday, which is a U.S. Small Business Administration initiative aimed at encouraging consumers to support small businesses in their communities.
“We saw this as a great opportunity to open up our market space to growing businesses in our community who specialize in locally made crafts and foods,” said Market Administrator Julia Howard. “It’s also a chance for all of our new and regular customers to get their gift shopping done while visiting our market on Saturday mornings.”
Look for features stories about other holiday vendors in upcoming weeks. Currently, the list includes:
- 22 Shades of Grey, artful attire.
- Bliss Angels, cornhusk angels (only on December 3).
- Bon Bon Brazil, specialty candies
- Creations & Spells, dream catches, lip balms and handmade candles
- Pocket Gardens, native plant designs
- Saratoga Suds, handmade soaps
- Wash Green and Clean, laundry and green cleaning product.
- Zoe Burghard Ceramics, handmade ceramic products.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. each Saturday at the Lincoln Baths Building in the Saratoga Spa State Park. Holiday vendor booths will be on the second floor. Customers may access the area via stairs or elevators.
Deviled Eggs with Hummus
Adapted from 10 Things to do with Hummus on Bonappetit.com
*Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 8 hard-boiled eggs*
• ⅓ cup hummus*
• ¼ cup olive oil
• Smoked paprika
• Fresh parsley*
1. Halve hard-boiled eggs lengthwise, then scoop the yolks into a mixing bowl.
2. Mash the yolks with 1/4 cup hummus and 1/4 cup olive oil.
3. Pipe back into the eggs. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with fresh parsley.