Potsdam Farmers Market has successful year
Friday, November 18, 2011 - 12:16 pm

To the Editor:

The Potsdam Farmers Market had a hugely successful year in 2011 and many people contributed to this growth and expansion. The market wishes first of all to thank the loyal customers who supported the farmers and crafters week after week, rain or shine. Your steady support promoted this philosophy of buying local, buying fresh, and supporting our farmers and vendors.

Fred Hanss and Jim Murphy provided endless hours of guidance and assistance in various crucial ways. Bruce Henderson and the Potsdam Police Department spearheaded traffic issues, while Lori Queor kept us updates in scheduling needs and in compliance with local regulations.

We thank the various entertainers and educators for providing a stimulating and pleasant ambience throughout the summer. Chelle Linhal coordinated two Sustainable Living Project workshops with Valarie Hallett and herbs and Caron Collins and solar ovens and washing machines. Entertainers included Barb Heller, Veils of the Nile, Rustic Riders, Beth Canfield, and the BF Harridan Morris dancers.

Several craft demonstrators braved the inclement weather on Homestead Day in October. Many thanks to George Trejos, Ky Pinkerton and her mother Becky, and JoAnn Gadway and her associate Margaret for their courageous participation in this event.

The market has had excellent guidance from our board of directors, formulated only last year. President Pamela Maurer has displayed superior leadership and advocacy in the market’s mission, as have the other board members, who have donated their time to this cause.

Thanks to Steve Gadapee at Canton-Potsdam Hospital who opened doors to our market for future business with our farmers and bakers.

Thanks to Gerard Monnat for his steady hand in sign maintenance and for filling in for me for four market days this summer.

Thanks to Mary Strong, who formulated a website and a Facebook page for our market and helped us advertise.

GardenShare’s Phil Harnden and Aviva Gold made it possible for EBT recipients to participate at every Wednesday and Saturday market this year. Thanks to you and all the volunteers who ran the booth which enabled EBT customers to partake of garden fresh produce and baked goods.

Thanks to Marylee Ballou and the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce who welcomed the market into its fold and supported our various efforts throughout the year.

Barb Rascoe from the Canton WIC clinic and Karen Bage from the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative launched an expansion of local farmers markets by coordinating satellite farmers markets at various St. Lawrence County WIC clinic sites. Many thanks to both agencies for allowing our vendors to provide produce directly to WIC recipients.

Our many vendors, established and new, have helped form the market to where it is today. Each vendor brought a can-do and dependable element, which was indispensable to this year’s success. A most sincere gratitude and respect for your back-bowing work, day in and day out, weather notwithstanding, and then offering your wares with an esprit de corps that was infectious to all at the market. We admire you vendors more than you will ever know.

The folks at North Country This Week were an absolute joy to work with. Georgia designed our bi-weekly ads, Debbie made sure we had additional flyers, and Craig ensured we were advertised every week. Thanks so much for helping to further and promote our market all this past year.

We bid a heartfelt and sad farewell to Andy Yoder and his family, who were at every single market without fail. Andy knows almost all of his customers by name and brought a ready smile and a gregarious spirit to each market day. We will miss him dearly but wish him the very best in his new dairy business in Brushton.

Next year, I will be at the market as a customer and advocate, as I am not able to return as manager due to other work commitments. The past three years have been thrilling and edifying, and I will profoundly miss the vendors, customers, and the market experience. Thanks to everyone who made this such an important part of my life.

Next year’s market will be expanding to include more hours and a new Wednesday schedule. In 2012, the market will be open all Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will open on Saturday, May 12 at 9 a.m. The market sincerely hopes to see you next year for your produce and craft needs and to make 2012 an even bigger year for the market.

Juanita Babcock

Market Manager