To the Editor:
The Potsdam Farmer’s Market had an exceptional 2013 season. The market wishes to thank the loyal customers who supported our local farmers and crafters. Your support promoted the philosophy of buying local, buying fresh, and supporting the local economy.
We would like to thank Fred Hanss, director of Planning and Development, and the village of Potsdam. A special thank you is extended to the generosity of Michelle and Dan Clemons, of Dan’s Plumbing & Heating.
This year the market more than doubled in size, growing from 16 vendors last year to 39 vendors this year. Although all 39 vendors were not present at the same time, they provided a wider variety of products and a longer season. Speaking of a longer season, we want to thank the Potsdam VFW for hosting our winter market last year.
Because of their generosity, we were able to provide our customers with locally grown/produced products throughout the winter months. The response from the community was so positive, that this year we forged a partnership with Clarkson University, who agreed to host the 2013-2014 winter market. By partnering with Clarkson, we are able to showcase 20 vendors every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon in Cheel Arena. Check out our web site at https://sites.google.com/site/thepotsdamfarmersmarket for more information.
The local universities were instrumental in helping with the market. They provided interns to help operate and manage the market. Clarkson’s School of Business afforded us with the expertise of Garrison Cook, a senior at Clarkson, who managed the market from May through August. He was instrumental in expanding the market and making it a point of destination rather than just a place to run an errand.
SUNY Potsdam provided us with Alexa Stowe, a senior in the Community Health program. She spent countless hours educating consumers on eating healthy and buying locally. She was an invaluable resource for consumers of all ages.
Both interns worked with GardenShare to bring new dimensions to the market. GardenShare provided an EBT machine, enabling consumers to purchase products using SNAP and/or debit cards. At our market, SNAP saw a 32 percent increase in use over last year; thus more locally grown foods were consumed, while monies stayed local.
Laura Poposki of GardenShare, worked tirelessly to help develop events and weekly entertainment in order to enhance the market experience.
We look forward to the continued success of the market in 2014.
Market Manager, Potsdam Farmer’s Market