By Himanee Gupta-Carlson
These days leading up to Easter have presented many unprecedented challenges. As a community, we’ve grappled with job losses, pay cuts, shortages of basic goods, fears of the spreading Coronavirus, and in some cases, illness itself.
Farmers, too, face such challenges. Yet, as histories of droughts, hurricanes, floods, crop failures, and climate change show, farmers can adapt innovatively to crises. Many who bring their goods weekly to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market are creating others ways to connect with customers and make their products available in a safe, wholesome manner.
“It is vital that we keep the farmers market running during this time of crisis,” says market manager Emily Meagher. “Because of that, we want to make sure we offer the community as many options as possible to obtain fresh, local food.”
Most of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market vendors are continuing to bring their products to market each Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tomorrow’s market will feature many of the fresh, healing foods of Easter. Look, for instance, for freshly cut lettuce, spinach, and other greens from Pleasant Valley and Green Jeans, lamb from Elihu, duck and goose eggs from Squashville, and maple treats from Slate Valley farms, among others.
Vendors who are not attending the market are inviting shoppers to contact them directly to preorder such items as Mangiamo’s pasta and Lewis Waite meats. Other vendors are offering delivery and/or curbside pickup services at other locations or suggest looking for their items in local specialty stores. A spreadsheet on the farmers’ market website at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org lists the various options available.
The market is following the social distance protocols established by the state’s federation of farmers’ markets. Vendors are spaced several feet apart and have sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, and gloves at their tables. The market is asking shoppers to not crowd around vendor tables and has established a curbside pickup service for preordered items near the mall entrance. Look for the red tent.
“We want our market to be a safe space,” Meagher says. “We might not be able to gather socially as we normally do, but we can still offer our community fresh and wholesome foods from our local farms.”
This week’s recipe: Grilled lamb chops