Indoor farmers market taking off, organizer says

"Though year-round farmers markets are doing very well elsewhere, most farmers markets close in mid-October here because the customer base drops enough that vendors can't justify the time at market," explained Spaugh. "Our producers were taking a risk in joining the market, and I really appreciate that."

One vendor, Richard Lamoy of Hid-in-Pines Vineyard in Morrisonville, agreed.

"The market seems to be off to a pretty good start, especially considering the time of year," said Lamoy. "It is heartening to see so many people of the North Country interested in getting fresh products from small growers and crafters ... The market has provided me with a bit of foot traffic as well as on-line exposure."

Spaugh said she would like to see more vendors participate, particularly those offering more grass-fed beef and artisan breads.

"We expect to have grass-fed beef at the Dec. 23 market, but would love to find a producer who will have it available before then," she said.

The main thing Spaugh said she would like to focus on to enhance the market experience for customers is getting people familiar with on-line ordering in advance - one of the main reasons the market was formed in the first place.

"It would be so convenient for folks in outlying areas or who don't find it convenient to come to market, to put in their individual orders and have one person pick them all up," said Spaugh, who added she can envision a community having a satellite pickup up point for customers in their area if customers consult each other when ordering in advance.

"Pre-ordering may increase as customers get familiar and comfortable with the producers and products, but I think lots of folks enjoy the social community of the farmers market," she said.

The indoor farmers market will continue Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. through Dec. 23. On-line orders may be placed at www.plattsburgh.locallygrown.net.

Those interested in becoming a vendor at the market or in receiving more information may contact Spaugh at 643-7822.

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