February 4, 2023
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Farmers market season gets underway | Business

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CARTHAGE — A sure sign of summer is the opening of local farmers markets.

The Carthage Area Chamber of Commerce opened the Carthage Craft and Farmers Market Friday with new hours.

Rebecca J. Wallen, chamber executive director and farmers market manager, said the current vendors were asked for their input on hours.

“Then we took to social media and asked the community if they would like later hours and they replied with an astounding yes,” Ms. Wallen said. “So we decided to make the switch and try an evening market to better fit the needs of the community.”

Starting Memorial Day weekend, the market at the pavilion at the end of Riverside Drive will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. every Friday until the second week of October.

The market manager said by shopping at “the Carthage Craft and Farmers Market, you are supporting a friend, a neighbor, a local community member.”

“We have a beautiful market situated next to the scenic Black River, with great views and wonderful local vendors that have a passion for bringing fresh, local products to the Carthage community,” Ms. Wallen said. “It makes for a great day out.”

Farmers and artisans kick off market season

Vendors and visitors mingle at this season’s opening farmers market in Carthage on Friday. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

Vendors present for opening day said they liked the later hours and felt it made it more convenient for customers.

Although the rain may have kept some patrons away Friday, the vendors said they had a good day.

Christina Soltzfus, of Willow Grove Bake Goods, said she sold a lot of tomato and strawberry plants as well as fresh-baked bread and pies.

“I did better today than most of the season last year,” said Melissa A. Myrick, of Bumble Bee Creations.

Aiyala A. Kirk visited the market late in the day with her two daughters.

“We prefer the later hours,” she said. “We would have missed it today if not.”

She noted that they were out of town Friday and noticed the market was still open when they passed by.

“With work and school, this is better,” Ms. Kirk said.

Her daughters, 6-year-old Mya and 8-year-old Sophia, had made their purchases of knitted hats for their baby dolls and were already picking out next week’s selection.

Farmers and artisans kick off market season

Original artwork by Rene Bush, of Turin, hangs for sale at this season’s opening farmers market under the pavilion at the end of Riverside Drive in Carthage on Friday afternoon. Kara Dry/Watertown Daily Times

Jeane A. Eager of Jeane’s Crafts, a new vendor to the Carthage market, said she had been a patron and now decided to sell her wares.

“With COVID I had too much time on my hands,” she said, looking over her inventory of embroidered and handmade items as she knitted a new creation.

The market is still accepting new vendors and there is a vetting process.

“We are always looking to expand and grow,” Ms. Wallen said.

Vendors must grow their produce within the tri-county area and craft vendors must sell homemade items.

Food vendors are also encouraged to apply. The market is also seeking musicians to provide family-friendly entertainment at the market from 4 to 6 p.m. The paid entertainers from all musical genres are scheduled for performances.

Nonprofit organizations are invited to set up at the market free of charge. All nonprofits must be approved by the market manager prior to setting up.

Casey L. Crabtree, outreach coordinator for the Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County, was at opening day and plans to return throughout the summer to inform patrons of VAC services.

“Most people don’t understand that we have other programs,” she said, noting that the agency deals with childhood fatality prevention and provides advocacy for victims of child abuse.

For more information about the market or to submit a vendor application, visit the chamber’s website at www.carthageny.com or call 315-493-3590.

The Lyons Falls Farmers Market, organized by Lyons Falls ALIVE, is planning to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open its market at 11 a.m. June 14 at Riverside Park, 6904 Laura St.

According to organizers, several Lewis County leaders and local businesses have been invited to attend. Since the opening is being held on Flag Day, the first 100 customers will receive a small flag.

The market will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday until Oct. 4.

More than 30 vendors and several nonprofits with booths offering free information about their services have committed to attending the market. Lunch will be available for purchase from the Lyons Falls Fire Department at the park from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekly.

The market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT cards. The market also participates in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which gives $20 coupons to eligible seniors and WIC moms.

The market is accepting applications for farmers, bakers and craft vendors until June 7. Contact Katie Liendecker at cliendecker@gmail.com or call 315-348-8744 for farmers and bakers and contact Patty Corey at lucycatmcalpine@icloud.com or call 315-348-6590 for crafters.

The Lyons Falls ALIVE Farmers & Crafters Market mission is to make available fresh local foods to the people in the area, provide farmers and crafters with an outlet for their products, benefit local businesses with more traffic and increase positive community spirit.

Other Lewis County farmer and craft markets:

Forest Park Pavilion, Lewis County Fairgrounds

5485 Bostwick St., Lowville

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 4 to Oct. 29

Contact: Rhonda Farney, 315-346-6759

Lewis County General Hospital, 7740 West St., Lowville

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays, June 9 to Oct. 6

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, May 28 to Oct. 29

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