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Market to make its mark on Scotia

The Village of Scotia will begin hosting its first farmers market from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, with two local growers, John and Linda Berger and Clifford Bard, setting up shop in the parking lot next to the fire department on Mohawk Avenue.

Kathy DeMarco, of the clerk's office in Scotia, said the village is very excited to be hosting the market from now through the end of October.

She said the summer fruits and vegetables, along with squash pumpkins and apples in the fall, are expected to be very popular.

A representative of the Schenectady Farmer's Bureau, which organizes local farmers markets and helps municipalities get started, said that people are after fresh produce now more than ever because they know it's quality, and in some cases it's cheaper than a stop at the local supermarket.

Bureau President Mel Berger said the organization, which meets every third Wednesday of the month, gives farmers and non-farmers the opportunity to be part of a group dedicated to supporting and enriching the rural way of life.

It's not just about setting up shop and selling produce. It provides an opportunity for farmers and local communities to join together. The bureau is active within the political system on a broad range of issues that concern every rural New York landowner, from taxation to conservation. We work hard to promote public policy that protects an owner's right to use land, said Berger.

The Schenectady Farmer's Bureau has been holding a farmers market on Union Street in Schenectady that has been popular, so organizers figured working with the village would be a great choice.

Stephen Freeney of the Schenectady County Department of Economic Development and Planning said that shopping at the farmers market plays a vital role in creating a local food system. He said that he believes that as people are becoming more health conscience, they are learning that eating locally produced food improves diet, conserves energy, contributes to a cleaner environment and supports the local economy.

"We are a culture that is now more aware of the importance of being green, supporting our local economy and making healthy choice. Farmers markets help support that line of thinking," said Freeney.

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