PLATTSBURGH - The vendors are lined up and the schedule has been set as the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market returns for the season.
Market manager Patricia Parker said 23 vendors are registered to participate this year, including two new vendors - Lakeside Coffee of Rouses Point and The Bakery at Conroy Organics, Beekmantown.
When the market returns this Saturday, May 9, a wide selection of homegrown and homemade items will be offered from across the North Country, said Parker. Her own business, Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy, which was recently certified as an organic producer, will also return this year, offering maple syrup and other maple products. This season, Parker's business will offer USDA-certified beef products, which has not been done previously at the Durkee Street market, she said.
"It's something else for the market to offer," she said.
The market is in the process of arranging to accept electronic benefit transfer, or EBT cards, as well as WIC cards as forms of payment, which would be accepted in addition to WIC Farmers Market coupons, said Parker.
However, what Parker expects to be even more popular is the market's anticipated ability to accept debit and credit cards. Currently, only a handful of vendors accept debit and credit cards for payment. If everything goes as planned, within the next few weeks, the market itself could payment with debit and credits to reimburse individual vendors whether or not they accept the cards.
"It'll be a central location where, if you have a debit or credit card and want to buy something, you can pick up the slip, it'll be run through, then you can go back and pick up the item," Parker explained.
Often times people don't carry cash on them, said Parker, leading to a need for the market to accept debit and credit cards.
"I think we'll see quite an increase in sales," she said. "It's really going to benefit the farmers market."
On opening day, the Battle of Plattsburgh Association will hold an exhibit and book sale at the market and a representative from Cornell Cooperative Extension's Master Gardener program will also be on-hand. Parker said it is her hope other nonprofit organizations will express interest in participating at the market, sharing their information with the public, free of charge.
"We really, really encourage any nonprofit in our communities to come down, especially if they're doing a fundraiser. There's no charge for their space," she said. "That's because we feel we need to give back to the community for all they give us."
"I really cannot stress strongly enough how wonderful the community is to us," Parker added.
The Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market will now be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 10. Each Saturday, a raffle will be held for a gift basket donated by the featured "Vendor of the Week."
Beginning June 24, the market will be open Wednesdays until Sept. 23. The market will be open those days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Northern Tier farmers market plans continue
As the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market kicks off its season in Plattsburgh, preparations for its Northern Tier counterpart in Rouses Point are also under way.
The market will host a satellite location in Rouse Park on Lake Street Thursdays, July 2 until Sept. 3, from 2-6 p.m.
Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market manager Patricia Parker said several vendors from the Plattsburgh market will participate in Rouses Point market, which will be overseen by Rouses Point resident Geri Favreau.
"I think it's going to be great," said Parker. "The village has been so cooperative and Geri's been great, doing most of the work."
For more information regarding the Rouses Point farmers market, contact Favreau at 297-2064 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.