By Emily Meagher
Weekend farmers’ markets are a great way to unwind from the week, spend time with family and friends, and stock your fridge for the week ahead. But there’s no need to wait until the weekend to do this – the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s midweek market, rain or shine, on Wednesdays, 3-6 pm, offers a way to get the freshest foods – usually picked off the land the day before or even that morning.
This year’s return of the midweek market to downtown Saratoga in High Rock Park offers a more intimate, slower-paced alternative to the Saturday markets. Product offerings include fresh produce, plants and flowers, eggs, baked goods, prepared foods, tool sharpening services, and more.
Vendors appreciate the market’s different characteristics. “Midweek markets are a great opportunity for farmers since it provides a platform to sell your freshest products that otherwise might not make it to the weekend,” says Charles Holub, owner of Scotch Ridge Berry & Tree Farm. He notes that since his farm doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides, they must pick berries every other day to avoid critters. “And naturally grown fruit doesn’t keep long after picking – just a day or two – so these midweek markets let us sell more of our product,” Holub adds.
For customers, the smaller size of the Wednesday market is a draw, especially this year. “Many customers prefer the smaller crowds – plus it makes it easier to have more meaningful personal interactions with customers,” says Becky Dennison of Shushan Valley Hydro Farms. “Since there’s less traffic, products don’t sell out as quickly, and there’s not such a rush for customers to get to the market. The atmosphere is very laid back,” adds Charles Holub.
A family-friendly affair, this season’s Wednesday markets will offer the Power of Produce Club with themed activities for children of all ages (running June 30th through September 1). Market-goers can also expect weekly live music and community guests (including the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners offering gardening tips and soil testing every third Wednesday of the month). Also, on Wednesday, July 21 and Wednesday, August 11, representatives from the Office for the Aging will hand out free Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons to be spent on fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market.
Visit the Wednesday market every week, 3-6pm at High Rock Park!
This week’s recipe: Pasta with Spring Vegetables