Is two markets too many?

"Since the Saturday market began, I would say last year, for example, my sales were down about 40 percent compared to the year before," Rugen said. "This is a serious blow to the economy of our farm. We do this to make a living."

Rugen said the Tuesday market had previously been the best performing market the farm participated in, making it worth the distance traveled from Hamilton County. The farm generally does five markets a week, he said.

Hope Valley Farm continues to participate in the Tuesday market.

The number of markets to choose from has increased dramatically in the past few years, including the Delmar Saturday Farmers Market, which organizers say has been a great success. Paul Tick, organizer of the market, said it does not receive any financial backing from the town. The market operates at the Bethlehem Central Middle School and is in its second year.

"From our perspective, the more farmers markets there are, not just in Delmar but all over the country, the better," Tick said. "Farmers markets are growing by leaps and bounds all over the country. We encourage people to support their local farmers through farmers markets and to eat fresh, local and healthy foods as much as possible."

Despite her suspicion the Saturday market is impacting the one earlier in the week, Van Auken said she's pleased to see a buy local spirit being embraced.

"We wish them well, we're happy for the community and we wish them every success," she said of the Saturday market. "You cant blame that on them. They simply wanted to provide a happy community experience for people... There just may not be enough demand to support two markets."

The Delmar Market is held every Tuesday from 2:30 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the United Methodist Church, through November 23. The Delmar Saturday Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Bethlehem Central Middle School. It will move indoors there when the weather gets cold.""

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