Farmers market has a local flavor

More than just a collection of vendors, the farmers market brings together area businesses, local farms and community members to mingle over a shared love of fresh produce, hand-crafted goods and conversation.

Every Thursday evening and Saturday morning, local vendors gather at Wiswall Park to sell everything from fresh corn, greens and potatoes to jam, spices, cookies, pies and jewelry.

Co-chair of the farmers market committee, Cyndi Pastore, said, Local agriculture is not just veggies. We have maple syrup, herbs and local artisans too.

Most vendors are from the immediate Ballston area, but some come from farther away places like Scotia and Galway.

The Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association runs the farmers market. Each vendor must be a member of the organization to sell products at the market.

Pastore owns Morningview Farms on Goode Road. She sells certified organic produce that she grows on her farm, as well as fresh eggs. Pastore said she has doubled her sales over past year.

The Ballston Spa farmer's market is a small, quaint group of vendors, Pastore said, usually no more than 20.

"This is not like in Saratoga. We are much smaller, but we're good with that," she said.

For small local businesses, going to the farmers market is the best form of advertising.

Richard and Helen Stutzenstein have been setting up shop at the farmers market for three years. They sell maple syrup and honey from their farm in Greenfield Center.

The Stutzensteins said getting involved in the farmers market has been great exposure for them.

"This has been a good avenue for our product. We have gotten our name out there and have generated a lot of clientele," Helen Stutzenstein said.

Barbara Develin sells hand-blended spice packets for $3.95 at the market. She uses no salts or preservatives. Develin's spice packets come with recommended recipes and some of her concoctions are there for tasting.

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