Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Amsterdam, NY ,

City farmers market opening pushed to August

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - Updated: 10:01 AM


Opening day for Amsterdam's farmers market has now been postponed to Aug. 2.

Originally the market was going to open Saturday in the Walter Elwood Museum parking lot at 100 Church St., but Ben Wallach, marketing director of the Niskayuna Co-op, who is also managing Amsterdam's farmers market, said he had to postpone Saturday's opening.

"We had to delay the market for a few weeks because we got a late start and we want more vendors so there's more variety for the people," Wallach said.

He said the market was initially supposed to run from Saturday until the end of October, but he decided to start in August and run until Oct. 4 instead.

"Having the market run from July until almost November would be way too long," he said. "People would start to not come."

The plan to continue the market at an indoor site in the museum, however, is still in the works.

"There's a location in the museum with a loading dock that would be great for an indoor market," he said. "We really want to continue the market from November until March at that location."

Wallach said the location is ideal.

"There will be free power from the museum and the parking lot offers a lot of space," he said.

The Saturday farmers market currently has eight vendors set for the summer season, but he plans to recruit two organic farms from Gloversville and Hamilton County before the opening date, he said.

"We didn't have any organic farms set for Saturday, and I really thought it was important to have these farms for the market so that the products will really differentiate from Price Chopper or any other department store," he said.

He also said he's working with a few Amish farms to get them as vendors in Amsterdam.

Some items Wallach plans to sell include jams, jellies, pickles, honey, baked goods, cheeses, eggs, meat, organic produce and Schenectady-based Gatherer's Granola.

He said the market will also include crafts, lunch shops with different ethnic foods, a bounce house for children, and different bands each week.

Wallach said anyone interested in being a vendor should contact Cornell University intern Shannon Bush at City Hall: 841-4322.

He said the vendor fee for 10 weeks is $100 with insurance covered by the city. To be a vendor for one day it costs $20.

"I'm really looking for vendors for the whole season," he said. "As far as the one-timers, it will be a first-come, first-served deal for that week. The whole season costs $100 which is $10 a week. It's a good price."

Wallach didn't want to disappoint county residents by postponing but also said he didn't want the market to be a failure.

"This is just a pit stop," he said. "Everyone wants this market to happen so let's do this right. I don't want to disappoint anyone and I don't want people to think the market is never going to happen but these things can't happen quickly."

Wallach compared the Schenectady farmers market to Amsterdam's.

"It actually took Schenectady 11 months to get their market going and they had a whole team of people to help get it started," he said. "I'm doing this with a very small team but I've got the city's support and things are really looking up."


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