New name, same market

It's no longer the Town of Ballston Farm Market, but the same event will open under the flag of the Burnt Hills Farm Market sponsored by the Town of Ballston for the fifth consecutive year starting May 2 and running through the summer.

Patrons sometimes confused the market with the Ballston Spa Farmer's Market, said organizers, making the name change a necessary move in order to expand the vendor-run effort. A board of 10 was formed last year to help run the increasingly complex operation.

We decided as we were growing and we wanted to grow the market bigger, we needed a mission statement and some bylaws, said organizer Robin Larkin. "It's been working well."

The farm market has five full-time vendors and many others who bring their seasonal wares to the market. The season starts with flowers and plants, with salad greens, vegetables, strawberries, blueberries and summer vegetables becoming available as the weeks go on. Fresh eggs, jams, meat, poultry and baked goods are always on hand.

"We're getting a nice mix, and we want to try to add things on," said Lynette Janssen, a bread maker and one of the market's organizers. "It keeps people coming back and not seeing the same old things and the same old faces."

The market is looking for new vendors, especially cheese makers and vegetable growers. The only requirements are that the vendors possess liability insurance and make their product in New York. Interested parties can contact Janssen at 810-5645.

Other recent improvements include the addition of live music (anyone interested in lending their talents can also contact Janssen).

The fact that food is grown locally makes the market a great alternative to shopping at many brick-and-mortar supermarkets, said Larkin.

"Buying locally keeps your money in town, and you're supporting your neighbors," she said. "The food is fresher, and you know the people who grew it."

The market runs every Saturday from May 2 until the end of October, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. During July and August, the market will also be open Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. It's held in the parking lot of the Dollar General on Route 50 in Burnt Hills, with plenty of available parking.

There will be a special kickoff celebration in the first week of June, when the summer's bounty really starts rolling in.

Organizers also said they hope to secure a space to hold a

winter market during the months of November and December.""

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