Emily Blauvelt buys eggs from Josh Vaillancourt of Woven Meadows Farm in Saranac. The farm opened in March and offers CSA memberships.
PLATTSBURGH — Summer is long gone in the North Country, but the Plattsburgh farmers market is still going strong.
Unlike its warm-weather counterpart, the winter market is held indoors, at the City Recreation Center at the Old Base Oval in Plattsburgh.
“We are a producer only market, which means everything for sale here is produced locally,” said Beth Spaugh, owner of Rehoboth Farms and organizer of the winter market.
Spaugh said fresh salad greens are offered all winter long at the market, where a wide range of goods are available.
Vendors include Rehoboth Homestead, Asgaard Farm, Creative Custom Candles, Stone House Vineyard, Underwood Herbs, Adirondack Specialty Foods, The Skinny Baker, Katie’s Creations, Parker Family Maple Farm and Woven Meadows and Farm.
Rhonda Butler and David Brunner, owners of Asgaard Farm in Au Sable Forks, offer a sampling of their farm’s products at the market, which includes grass-fed beef, goat cheese, sausage, soap and caramels.
There is variety there, but Butler said it all goes back to one animal.
“Everything on our farm is related to goats,” Butler said.
But she didn’t stop there. Soon Butler realized that, by utilizing the animals effectively, she could have a fully functioning farm.
“Goats and cattle are very complimentary feeders,” Butler said. “The main advantage is they clean the fields for one another.”
Butler explained that goats can safely ingest the parasites that harm cows, and vice versa.
In addition to ungulates there is also a bright yellow chicken coop, which is now festooned with holiday decorations, that is on wheels for easy relocation.
About four days after the cows move through the fields the chickens, and their coop, follow, picking protein-packed insect larva out of the manure.
After the chickens are finished, the goats return and the cycle begins again.
By rotating livestock in this manner, Butler and Brunner can keep their animals healthy without using pesticides.
This also prevents the animals from grazing the grass too low, which can damage it.
But Asgaard Farms is just one of the vendors at the farmers market.
Craig Lucia visited the market for the first time last weekend with his wife, Susan, who was interested in learning more about grass-fed beef.
Craig picked up a bottle of wine from Stone House Vineyard, and Susan bought a bottle of maple syrup from Parker Family Maple Farm.
Susan said she attends the summer farmers market regularly, and just recently started attending the winter one.
“It’s natural and organic, and it’s local,” Susan said. “I keep a garden at home in the summer, so I like to support this.”
There are some things available that aren’t pulled directly from the earth, too.
Straying from the farmer fold, The Skinny Baker brings an assortment of baked goods—like scones, cookies and muffins— to sell at the market.
The Keeseville-based bake shop recently made all of its products gluten free.
The shift began last summer, and was completed recently.
“It’s opening up to the fact that more of the people having the celiac problem can have something that resembles something normal,” said Bob Zoeller, husband of Skinny Baker’s owners, Christa Zoeller. “Everything is handmade and fresh, that’s why it’s so good.”
The winter farmers market is held at the City Recreation Center at the Old Base Oval in Plattsburgh, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
It will take place Saturday, Dec. 22, and then will take place the second Saturday of every month through April.
The summer farmers market will begin Saturday, May 11 at the Durkee Street pavilion and will continue weekly throughout the summer.