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Farm stand helps link local growers, consumers

In addition to its shelves, DaCy Meadow is also working on a way to connect to consumers through the World Wide Web. The Johnstons are currently working on an electronic database that would help coordinate the needs of buyers with the products vendors have available at any given time.

The farm also hosts regular public events, such as its open-mike night that brought in several local musicians, or its upcoming "Blues and Blueberries" on July 8 featuring live music, fresh blueberries from AuSable Forks, and homemade hamburgers. "It's just fun for us," said Cynthia. "It's a fun, creative activity."

Although it's still too early to tell what effect the new market is having for its vendors, the Johnstons are confident they are part of a growing trend.

"It's not a fad," said David. "It's a return to the way we once interacted as communities."

Both David and Cynthia recalled growing up in large extended families who owned farms and grew much of the food they ate. Part of their goal is to bring back that nostalgia through the foods they offer in their farm stand and the art on display in their gallery.

The farm's art gallery, which sits adjacent to the farm stand building, features several drawings and paintings by local artists. Its rustic decor merges Adirondack and agricultural themes.

"I try to find artists that reflect farm history in their work," said Cynthia, a school administrator and former art teacher.

The gallery also has a large banquet table where the Johnstons or a guest chef can use a licensed commercial kitchen to serve family-style meals made with Adirondack Harvest products for groups of up to eight people.

"We would like to be a place where families can come and appreciate the fun of being in a rural setting," said David, who sees elements of education and tourism as valuable by-products to their goals.

Even with such lofty aspirations, The Johnstons agree their objective is to keep things simple. That way, they can continue to offer a venue that offers a low level of commitment for both vendors and buyers.

"We don't want to grow bigger than we can handle," David said. "We want to make sure that people have a good experience."

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