Potsdam Farmers' Market celebrates season opening at new location
Sunday, May 30, 2010 - 4:22 pm

The Potsdam Farmers' Market celebrated its new location adjacent to Ives Park with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, May 15.

Despite the increasingly cooler temperatures throughout the day, the weather held out for the vendors and customers, who seemed to enjoy the new setting with its verdant hues, rustling trees, and river backdrop.

Several Potsdam people officiated at the ribbon cutting. Jim Murphy from the Village of Potsdam's Economic Development cut the ribbon, joined by Potsdam Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marylee Ballou, Phil Harnden and Sarah Tulloch from GardenShare, Greg Bouchard, whose agency is donating $200 to the market for a new sign, Potsdam Agway owner Darryl Kolanko, and Potsdam Police Officer Mark Murray. Also on hand was Robin McClellan from Seedcorn, the insurer of the Potsdam market. Mary Strong, who is formulating and maintaining a website free of charge, took lots of photos.

Customers were intrigued by four fenced alpacas, which were brought by Jim and Sharon Dear of Dear Alpaca Farm, Potsdam. The soft murmuring of the animals sparked curiosity, as many people had never seen (or heard) alpacas before. The alpacas, in turn, were intrigued by the Amish horses as they pulled goods-laden carriages to the stall sites. Several alpaca crafts, such as scarves, blankets, and socks, were on sale.

Free punch was served from a mustard yellow Igloo loaned by Evans & White Hardware for the opening day.

A total of 20 vendors were in attendance to launch off the 2010 season. Several vendors from last year are well known to Potsdam Farmers' Market customers: Tim and Kathy Fuller, Gary and Wendy Noble, John and Deb Sipos, Christa Kelson, Moses Yoder, Andy Yoder, Jerry Powers, Guy Drake, Randy LeMay, Valarie Hallett, and Sandee Mayville. Many new vendors have joined the Potsdam market this year including Aviva Carey (lotions, flowers, and sweet treats), Mike and Maria Corse (produce), Stephanie Hill (organic dairy products), Shawn Dorr (wines), Bob and Caroline House (hydroponic produce), Marilyn Planty (wooden crafts), Cliff Cook (meats), and Jim Dear (alpaca crafts). Mike Richael (produce) is rejoining the market this year, with Gerard Monnat (produce, crafts) and Nancy Lynch (meats, eggs) coming on board soon. Evelyn Burkett will continue to have produce and baked goods stall in future weeks. Barb Heller will have freshly cooked hot dogs at various times during the summer.

The formation of the stalls will be restructured to maximize vendor exposure and customer accessibility. While a few vendors will not be present every week, the expansion of the market will help to ensure a variety of offerings to local residents.

T-shirts with the Potsdam Farmers' Market logo, made by the Copy Shop, were on sale to help raise money for the market tent, which will shelter customers and vendors.

Upcoming special events, including music, face painting, children’s games, pony rides, raffles, and dance contests, will enhance the shopping experience this season.

Market hours are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the end of October. Wednesday hours from 2 to 5 p.m. will start in late July or early August, depending on harvests, and run through the end of October.

Manager Juanita Babcock welcomes ideas for upcoming market days, and new vendors are welcome. Contact her at 384-4289.