Social, local shopping

Chris Chandler of Mariaville Farms, which is family owned and operated, has been at the market since it started. What she likes most about the market is getting to meet new people.

"I think it has grown really fast. The market has grown and we have grown and we are changing the ways we do things so we can accommodate our customers," said Chandler. "Every vendor there, they've all got different personalities and different stories. We have made a lot of new friends being at the Schenectady Greenmarket."

Chandler and her husband grew up in Rotterdam, but moved out to Duanesburg before raising their three sons. The farming started out as a hobby with her children, but now she is thinking of building a storefront outside of the market to sell her products since the demand has increased. Besides the Schenectady Greenmarket, she is going to participate in two other farmers markets. Having a storefront, she said, would allow customers more options on when to purchase her products outside of the Greenmarket.

"We have to work to support the farm, but we are actually starting to break even with the retail," said Chandler.

She sells meat at the market and said there are some people that won't buy store-bought meat anymore after trying her local product. Her family doesn't inject or feed the animals with any antibiotics. Animals are also raised in a "non-stress" environment.

"We have so many customers now that won't even buy factory-raised meat anymore, because it has no flavor," she said. "It is buying something and knowing where it is coming from."

Another vendor, Josephine Carenza, owner of Josephine's Wholegrain Baking in Glenville, is nearing her second year of selling at the market. With the market trying to offer a wide variety of products, she said she helped fill a niche with her whole-grain bread. She produces her products out of her home, which also include muffins, rolls and other treats.

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