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Growers, producers bringing market

PLATTSBURGH - As many farmers markets wind down and close up shop for the season, one is just getting started.

Beth Spaugh, owner of Rehoboth Homestead in Peru, has organized an indoor farmers market to be held Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at the City Recreation Center on the PARC Oval. Inspiration for the market, said Spaugh, came from a group of farmers in Athens, Ga., who banded together several years ago to host an indoor market during the fall season. The most attractive feature of the market? Ordering is done on-line in advance.

"A person selling can go in on their own computer and list their products, put up photos of their products, describe them, set their own price, tell how many are available," explained Spaugh. "The market is open on-line for two days for people to put in their orders and is closed before the physical market opens."

The idea behind integrating on-line ordering into the indoor market, said Spaugh, is to reduce waste.

"That way, if a vendor is baking, they know just how much to bake and not baking things that won't sell," said Spaugh. "If I'm harvesting salad mix, I know just how much to harvest and I'm not harvesting more than I need one week and not having enough the next week."

"It's wonderful, from a business management standpoint," she added.

Even though the market is designed in a made to order fashion, Spaugh said there will likely still be goods available for those who haven't ordered in advance.

"The first two weeks, we'll have it set up like a regular farmers market, so that people can touch and feel and see and taste. And, some of our vendors will still do that on a regular basis," said Spaugh. "Some of them feel they generate sales if people can sample their products."

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