Earlier in July, the market received notice from the Saratoga Springs City School District that the market’s vendors will no longer be able to set up on Saturdays in the Division Street Elementary School, which has housed the indoor market for the past several years. The district has received recent legal advice stipulating that city schools are prohibited from allowing private entities to use school facilities to make a profit, “unless 100 percent of proceeds collected are distributed in the community for charitable purposes.”
“Our search for a new space will include outreach to local educational institutions, city leaders, real estate offices, and others who may know of a suitable location,” notes Charles Holub, president of Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association. “We’re moving quickly to secure a site, and we look forward to continuing to bring farm-fresh products to the community during the winter.”
The full RFP is posted in the News section of the market’s website, at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org. Bids will be opened on September 13 at 6 p.m. Some of the market’s requirements for the winter location include:
Minimum of 4,000 square feet within Saratoga Springs city limits
Access between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday from November through April
Parking for 85 vehicles
Heating to 60 degrees, with appropriate restrooms, lighting, and electrical service
For vendors interested in applying for the winter market, the application period begins August 1 and runs through August 14, and applications can be submitted online at www.managemymarket.com. Additional information on becoming a vendor is outlined on the market’s website.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013. During the outdoor market season at High Rock Park, 50 plus vendors bring a wide variety of products to the twice-weekly market, which runs from the beginning of May through the end of October. The Association also runs seasonal outdoor markets in Malta (Tuesdays) and Clifton Park (Thursdays).
From November through April, the Association runs a winter market in Saratoga Springs with 30+ vendors, who typically sell produce, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, baked goods, décor and gift items.
Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association maintains a “producer-only” standard for all of its markets, requiring its members to grow or produce their goods in Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, or Washington counties to ensure that products are fresh and unique, not purchased for re-sale. The market makes a few exceptions to this rule for foods not available locally, including fresh fish and mushrooms. By adhering to this standard, the market ensures that sales provide economic, ecological, and social support to local communities.
More information: www.saratogafarmersmarket.org.