Growers, producers bringing market

The benefits aren't only for the producers and vendors, said Spaugh. Consumers will also benefit from the ease of on-line ordering and in knowing they're receiving locally-produced items that are literally hand-picked for them.

"The person who does the primary grocery shopping can sit at home and look at the list and make their decisions about what they want to order and then if someone else in the household or a neighbor is more convenient to the Oval, that person can just take the payment and pick up their order," said Spaugh, who noted that would be of added convenience for people who travel from farther locations like Au Sable Forks and Jay to the south and Chazy and Chateaugay to the north.

"And, with having it on a Thursday, if you forget something or you find you need something else, you still have Friday to get it," noted Spaugh.

The whole business model for on-line ordering isn't something Spaugh is unfamiliar with, she said. Last year, she tested the waters using her business and found on-line ordering was convenient for many people.

"We had 10-12 orders a week," said Spaugh. "People were enthusiastic."

Sam Hendren, owner of Clover Mead Farm in Chesterfield, said he's looking forward to participating in the market, which already has several vendors lined up from northern Essex County to Franklin County and places in between.

In the absence of a local year-round farmers market, Hendren said he's been traveling more than 100 miles south - one way - to sell his cheeses and other goods at the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market.

"In the winter, I drive two and a half hours one way because there are no options up here besides my wholesale accounts, which aren't enough," admitted Hendren. "Downstate, a lot of the summer markets have gone to year-round. It's something that we have to move to up here also if we're going to expect small farmers like us to be able to survive."

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