Often we think that farms are only about food. We know and love our favorite farmers at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for the produce they grow and the animals they raise. Less known perhaps is the creativity that comes from farming and its spirit of doing things one’s self.
That creativity shows itself in full force at the holiday market.
The holiday market is a special offering of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market that takes place through Dec. 30 alongside the regular market. It features specialty foods, handicrafts, and opportunities to participate in such activities as making your own wrapping paper.
Last Saturday at the market, I headed upstairs where the holiday vendors were based. For the next half hour, I sampled Saratoga Chocolate Co. niblets, sniffed beans roasted by the Upper Hudson Coffee, and admired the horseshoe wine racks made by metal worker William Herrington, and the ceramic creations from Zoe Burghard, and the market’s newest holiday addition, handmade furniture from Dark Horse Designs in Ballston Spa.
The artists behind these creations greeted market shoppers and described their creations. Dark Horse’s Heather Mason, for instance, noted that the work benches, dog beds, and kitchen islands on display all came from the horse farm itself. The farm recently replaced its fencing. Rather than throw out the wood, owner Kyle Hauptfleisch turned it into kitchen islands that contain shelving, work tables, drawers, and even horseshoes for hanging dish towels on the side. Mason added paint and other designs.
I also made wrapping paper with help from Emily Vallee, of Living Resources Art. Vallee laid down a sheet of plain packaging paper and handed me raw potatoes, purchased from the vendors downstairs and cut to create stamps of trees and stars. I created my paper by dipping the stamps into paint and imprinting them on paper. Vallee taped my paper to some railing and I did my weekly shopping as the paint dried.
Living Resources gallery and workshop space at 70 Beekman St. is running holiday wrapping paper workshops all day on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of December. For those who wish to create more intricate wrapping paper designs with self-carved linoleum blocks, the fee is $10. They are also open 7 days a week: Sundays and Mondays from 12-6 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11-8 p.m.; and Saturday from 12-8 p.m.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturdays at the Lincoln Baths Building in Saratoga Spa State Park. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.