Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adirondack Family Activities: Producer-Only Farmers’ Markets

Tis the season for zucchini. Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. It is only the closest of friends that can continue to pass out fresh zucchini like it’s a present rather than penance. Since I am in transition, my own garden has been put on hold and I rely on the kindness of others for my fresh veggies. Zucchini, on the other hand, has become the garden growers “gift with purchase.”

I was just given a secret at a recent trip to the Farmers’ Market that if I de-seed the giant green squash first and then chop, it will retain its sweet flavor without having to attempt to swallow seeds the size of cherry pips.

For my children a trip to the Farmers’ Market is a day out on the town. Not because it is errand day. More so because most open-air markets are designed for just that purpose, for people to stroll, smell and experience where food comes from. Sadly and not surprisingly some kids never know the vast amount of travel some of their vegetables have taken before reaching the table.

Lake Placid’s Green Market Wednesday is one of many “producer-only” farmers’ markets. The requirement is simple. The product is either grown at the vendor’s location or made from scratch. Vendors are not allowed to purchase products to resell to customers. This policy provides a creative atmosphere for local farmers and artisans to explore new possibilities with their produce and merchandise.

For us, we show up with little more than water bottles and pick our lunch like it’s right off the vine. Oh wait, it is! The kids weave around the various booths choosing a piece of fruit here and a piece of cheese there.

August 26 will be the last Wednesday Young and Fun series located at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts that runs in conjunction with this particular outdoor market. This is a Salute to Art Day! Clowns, musicians, face painting and crafts are just part of the family-friendly activities available.

Enjoy the market while the children are entertained. Buy a fresh meal while figuring out whether your zucchini toting neighbor is friend or foe.

For a complete list of all Adirondack and beyond Farmers’ Markets check out www.adirondackharvest.com. For a list of producer-only venues, see below.

Lake Placid Green Market on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Schroon Lake on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Plattsburgh Farmers Green Market on Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Essex on Sundays from noon – 4:00 p.m.
Saranac Lake on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Queensbury on Mondays from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Glens Falls on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. – noon
Saratoga Springs on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.




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