Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Farmers' Market

School’s out for summer! That means a few months of family fun, relaxing, and, well... boredom. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s Power of Produce (POP) Club is here to keep local kids active and learning all summer long with educational activities, interactions with their local farmers, and challenges to try fresh market produce to get even the pickiest eaters to try new fruits and veggies.

This year’s POP Club, now in its 6th season, will run June 30 through September 1, every Wednesday at the High Rock Park market. Children may show up any time between 3-6 p.m. to participate in a fun, educational activity. Every week’s activity will be hosted by a community guest, including the Saratoga Springs Public Library, Cornell Cooperative Extension Food & Nutrition, Caffe Lena Music School, The Children’s Museum of Saratoga, Northern Rivers, and C.R.E.A.T.E. Community Studios. Children may participate in cooking demonstrations, scavenger hunts, crafts, gardening, and farmer meet and greet that provide nutrition and education. 

Children who participate are given a $2 POP coin to spend on fresh fruit and vegetables at the market, and they will earn a stamp in their POP Passport - four stamps earn them a prize. Buying produce with a POP coin gives kids the opportunity to meet farmers, learn money skills, and make smart food choices. “It’s great to see kids as young as kindergarteners come up to our stand, excited to shop for themselves. Especially when that week’s POP tasting has been a fruit or vegetable they hadn’t tried before but realize they like, and then spend their token to get more,” says Mark Bascom, owner of Owl Wood Farm and the market association’s president.

POP Club is open to all local children but is especially geared toward those aged 5-12. It is a free program, made possible through the generous support of the Christopher Dailey Foundation and the Adirondack Trust Company.

On Wednesday, July 7, 3-6 p.m., don’t miss POP Club at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s ‘End of School Celebration.’ This free family event will offer activities for children of all ages and a concert by Jack and Steve Zucchini (formerly of The Zucchini Brothers)!

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Published in Food
Thursday, 17 June 2021 14:44

A Fresher Way to Get through the Week

Weekend farmers’ markets are a great way to unwind from the week, spend time with family and friends, and stock your fridge for the week ahead. But there’s no need to wait until the weekend to do this - the Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s midweek market, rain or shine, on Wednesdays, 3-6 pm, offers a way to get the freshest foods - usually picked off the land the day before or even that morning.

This year’s return of the midweek market to downtown Saratoga in High Rock Park offers a more intimate, slower-paced alternative to the Saturday markets. Product offerings include fresh produce, plants and flowers, eggs, baked goods, prepared foods, tool sharpening services, and more.

Vendors appreciate the market’s different characteristics. “Midweek markets are a great opportunity for farmers since it provides a platform to sell your freshest products that otherwise might not make it to the weekend,” says Charles Holub, owner of Scotch Ridge Berry & Tree Farm. He notes that since his farm doesn’t use pesticides or herbicides, they must pick berries every other day to avoid critters. “And naturally grown fruit doesn’t keep long after picking - just a day or two - so these midweek markets let us sell more of our product,” Holub adds.

For customers, the smaller size of the Wednesday market is a draw, especially this year. “Many customers prefer the smaller crowds - plus it makes it easier to have more meaningful personal interactions with customers,” says Becky Dennison of Shushan Valley Hydro Farms. “Since there’s less traffic, products don’t sell out as quickly, and there’s not such a rush for customers to get to the market. The atmosphere is very laid back,” adds Charles Holub.

A family-friendly affair, this season’s Wednesday 

markets will offer the Power of Produce Club with themed activities for children of all ages (running June 30th through September 1). Market-goers can also expect weekly live music and community guests (including the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners offering gardening tips and soil testing every third Wednesday of the month). Also, on Wednesday, July 21 and Wednesday, August 11, representatives from the Office for the Aging will hand out free Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program coupons to be spent on fruits and vegetables at the farmers’ market.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Published in Food

If you’re a regular customer at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, you will likely recognize vendor Marcie Place standing behind her tables of neatly packaged white bakery boxes sporting mouthwatering labels like “Vanilla Ricotta Tea Biscuits” and “Pineapple Almond Teacake.” 

Place, owner of The Chocolate Spoon and long-time vendor of the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, brings her array of fresh baked goods every week to the Wednesday and Saturday markets. The secret to her success in baking? Using fresh, local ingredients from her fellow vendors at the farmers’ market. 

“I use eggs from Elihu Farm, jam from Kokinda Farm, herbs from Burger’s Market Garden, vegetables from Owl Wood Farm and Gomez Veggie Ville, berries from Scotch Ridge Berry Farm, apples from Saratoga Apple… Even the backyard herbs of Mister Edge, our knife sharpener, I use in my cocktail cookies!” 

Place says she finds the quality of local products superior and elevates the taste of her baked goods. She’s even put it to the test in front of a live audience. “I did a demonstration at an elementary school where I baked two sets of butter cookies: one using store-bought eggs versus one using eggs from Elihu Farm,” says Place. She explained that the cookies came out a beautiful golden color when using the fresh eggs from Mary and Bob Pratt of Elihu Farm. “Truly a difference you can both see and taste, and the kids agreed!” Place notes. 

When she first started selling at the farmers’ market, Place admits her baked goods were pretty traditional. However, the seasonal products at the market inspired her to start experimenting more with her recipes and incorporate fresh ingredients for unique flavor combinations. She says farmers’ market customers are very helpful in recommending new recipes, and she is always open to suggestions. For example, she recently stumbled upon pineapple sage at the market and decided to pair it with coconut for a new shortbread cookie.

When asked what customers will have to look forward to this month, Place reveals: “Rhubarb and berries are coming back in season right now, so expect lots of strawberry rhubarb pies and blueberry and strawberry muffins!”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

FM KentuckyKissCocktail

Published in Food
Thursday, 03 June 2021 14:14

Leaning into Farming

It’s about an hour before sunset. A truckload of deep brown compost has just arrived at Leaning Birch Farm. It sits in a heap near the garden beds and high tunnels that Dan and Rose Fera began putting in their backyard five years ago. 

Nic, their son, greets me as I pull up, but his focus is on the compost. A former coffeeshop worker and musician, he pays close attention to the aesthetics – the color, the texture, the smell. He thrusts his arms deep into the heap and pulls out a handful. He forms a ball and lets its crumble through his palms back into the pile. He then buries his nose into a handful, savoring its smell.

Leaning Birch Farm is among several new produce vendors at this year’s Saratoga Farmers’ Market. The Feras grow dozens of varieties of vegetables in approximately 1.5 acres of space. They use intensive, high-yield planting techniques to maximize their space, which as Nic notes, teaches that “you don’t need a lot of land to make a decent living.”

Nic grew up in Saratoga Springs, where his parents were renters. Dan restored violins and Rose worked as a clinical director for a special education school. All three had a flair for art and a fondness for fresh food. Nic began playing music at coffeeshops, and ultimately worked in the business himself.

Dan and Rose had a garden and relatively low rent. Still, they yearned to build equity by doing something they loved. That desire led them to purchase a house in Broadalbin. The house came with a yard filled with good soil and abutted a pond. It also came with a mortgage that was nearly twice the monthly amount they had been paying in rent. 

Dan had a plan: Pay the mortgage with garlic.

“I had heard somewhere that you could make $40,000 a year on an acre of garlic,” he said with a laugh.

Garlic as a sole moneymaker never materialized, but the idea helped the Feras see the hunger for fresh local foods. They began selling to restaurants, via a farm stand, and through a CSA. About three years ago, they joined their first farmers’ market, and now sell at markets in Schenectady, Glens Falls, and Saratoga.

“It’s a cool feeling to realize how many other people also are sitting down to dinner, eating our vegetables,” adds Rose. “We’re not just taking care of ourselves but our community, too.” 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

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Published in Food

This weekend, we honor the people who are no longer with us who have fought to keep our country free and safe. Food will be the centerpiece as we safely come together for family gatherings and parades or to visit cemeteries or memorials. Memorial Day envokes eating outdoors, grilling, and traditional summer recipes with a farmers’ market spin.

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Published in Food
Thursday, 20 May 2021 16:37

Smart Gardening With Starter Plants

With spring’s last projected frost date safely behind us, gardening enthusiasts take out their trowels and prepare garden plots for planting. But if you’re new to gardening, the process may seem overwhelming. We spoke with Susan Beebe, Assistant Director/Agriculture Issue Leader of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, to understand the basics of gardening with starter plants.

To begin, determine where you would like to plant. Perhaps you have space for a garden or raised beds in your yard, or maybe planting in containers seems more feasible.

If planting in the ground, Susan Beebe explains that the first and most crucial step is to determine the pH of your soil. “Soil pH is important because it will help you prepare to plant your garden,” explains Beebe. To collect a soil sample, walk through the area that you would like to plant and collect soil samples from various places. Dig 3” to 8” deep and scoop about ½ cup of soil into a clean container. Soil samples may be brought to Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener table at the farmers’ market on the third Wednesday of every month or directly to their office.

If planting in raised beds, Beebe recommends combining potting soil and compost to hold water and prevent moisture from draining out. “Soil is alive and full of microorganisms that plants need to survive,” says Beebe. “Adding green manure, compost, or even a cover crop can keep soil healthy while planting in raised beds.”

If planting in containers, Beebe advises using soilless mixes rather than potting soil. “A benefit to the soilless mixes is that they are much lighter than potting soil and allow you to move your containers around. The counterpart is that these mixes have a tendency to dry out, so depending on the location, you may have to water your containers more,” explains Beebe.

Once your soil is ready, it’s time to buy plants. Several vendors offer various herbs, fruit, and vegetable starter plants at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. These plants are typically several weeks old and have been nurtured through the most delicate early stages of growth by professional growers in a greenhouse. If you have questions about what to plant, ask the growers: Balet Flowers & Design, Burger’s MarketGarden, Gomez Veggie Ville, Green Jeans Market Farm, Leaning Birch, and Old Tavern Farm.

Now it’s time to plant. Once you’ve popped the first plant out of the container, pull the roots apart with your hands gently; you can look to see how tightly wound the roots are. “You need to pull the roots apart with your hands gently,” Susan Beebe instructs. “You may even use a little knife to break the roots because the goal is to stop their circling motion so that they can spread into the ground,” she adds. When planting, maintain the level it was grown at rather than planting deeper. “The only exception is leggy tomato plants that you can bury deeper,” says Beebe.

Once your starters are planted, water generously and ensure 6+ hours of sunlight a day. Some leafy crops like spinach can thrive with less sun; however, vegetables like carrots, beets, and peppers need 6+ hours a day.

Fruit and vegetables thrive and produce more with light fertilizing at planting. The appropriate fertilizer depends on how you’re growing and what your growing. Beebe recommends side-dressing again with fertilizer 2-3 weeks after planting to ensure healthy, productive plants.

With your new garden well underway, Beebe has some takeaway points. “You need trial and error, so don’t be scared by anything. And each year try something you haven’t tried before. It’s not always going to work, but you will continue to learn.”

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

Published in Food
Thursday, 13 May 2021 14:55

Get to Know Greens at the Farmers’ Market

Spring is finally bringing warmer weather and with it an abundance of much-anticipated seasonal produce to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Greens, in many forms, including perennials, hearty cold-weather crops, and greenhouse-grown, have been catching our eye, and we invite you to try some fresh new flavors of the season.

Several farms at the Wednesday and Saturday farmers’ markets offer varieties of greens. This includes red romaine, baby spinach, radicchio, green romaine, red leaf, arugula, mustard greens, red chard, and tatsoi. These greens offer distinct fresh flavors and textures, and they are high in nutritional value, too. Depending on the green, some may be cooked, wilted, or enjoyed fresh as a salad. 

Vibrant sunflower and sweet pea shoots are available at Leaning Birch Farm on Saturdays. Pea shoots have the sweet, grassy flavor of snap peas with a refreshing crunch, and sunflower shoots have a nutty taste with a similar crisp bite. According to Nic Fera of Leaning Birch Farm, both are a year-round crop for their farm. “They are great to add a little fresh accent to dishes,” says Fera. 

Capital Greens NY brings varieties of microgreens to the Saturday farmers’ market, including the mixes like their Signature Gourmet, Thai Basil, and Gourmet Fiesta. Microgreens are young vegetable greens packed with nutrients and are easy to incorporate into many dishes or used as a garnish. Try them on sandwiches, in salads, on pizza, or blend them into a smoothie. 

If you’re a fan of fiddleheads, stop by Ramble Creek Farm this month while they’re in season. Fiddleheads are young shoots that grow from the ostrich fern, and with a very narrow harvest season, you can only enjoy these shoots in the early spring from around late April to early June. With a nutty and sweet flavor reminiscent of asparagus, fiddleheads may be steamed, braised, or sauteed, as they contain a trace amount of a toxin and cannot be consumed raw. 

This week, we encourage you to try something new, whether it be a new product or shopping with a new vendor at the Wednesday or Saturday markets.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

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Published in Food

A good breakfast sandwich is a New York staple, and people tend to have strong opinions about their favorites. Does it come on a bagel, English muffin, or a biscuit? Do you top it with bacon, sausage, or no meat at all? Saratoga Farmers’ Market customers can put it to the test: the breakfast sandwich is back.

Returning for their 22nd year, with a one-year hiatus in 2020, M&A Farm’s staff dishes up stacks of breakfast menu items for customers to customize into their favorite sandwich. Served on English muffins, M&A uses local, farm-fresh eggs and meats (sausage and ham - combine them to order a “Manwich”) and provides the option to add a hash brown.

At 85, Arnold Grant continues as the farm owner and the main cook at M&A’s stand, but he has help from a big crew made up of three different generations in the family. The Grant family has owned their farm, located in Durkeetown, NY, between Fort Edward and Argyle, for over 200 years.

 “My first memories are of the farm being operated as a dairy farm by my great uncle, and then by my dad, still as a dairy farm,” says Grant. In 1998, he joined the Saratoga Farmers’ Market initially to sell his meats, but the breakfast sandwiches took off at the same time.

Over the years, M&A Farm has been a crowd favorite, as well as a Saturday farmers’ market breakfast tradition. Many customers were noticeably excited for their return last weekend as the summer market season officially began. 

“It hasn’t seemed right without you,” said a customer named Linda just as we walked up to speak to owner Arnold Grant. At the same time, customers who only recently started shopping at the farmers’ market since last year’s move to the Wilton Mall were pleasantly surprised to see a new ready-to-eat option. “We’re so excited to see egg & cheese sandwiches at the market! Now we know to skip breakfast and come straight here,” noted Bethany, another market-goer.

“We’ve been open for a long time,” says Grant resolutely. “I’m hoping to pass the business on to my granddaughter. At 85, I’m getting ready to retire soon, but I’d like it to stay in the family,” he adds. It sounds like Saratoga Farmers’ Market customers will be able to enjoy the farm-fresh sandwiches for some time to come.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilton Mall and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park.  Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

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Published in Food

Spring is in the air, and we are eager to move outdoors for our summer market season. May 1 marks the beginning of the 43rd outdoor market season for the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, the area’s longest-running, producer-only farmers’ market. The Saturday market will open at the current location, the Wilton Mall Bon-Ton parking lot, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Wednesday market will open at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga Springs from 3 to 6 p.m. every week. 

The location split results from various factors, including COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, customer parking, accessibility, and community feedback. A recent survey with more than 700 responses resulted in an even split in public opinion on holding markets downtown versus the Wilton Mall. 

This year’s weekly Saturday markets will feature more than 70 vendors selling fresh produce, dairy products, eggs, meat, poultry, flowers, prepared foods, and more. The Wednesday markets will feature about 20 vendors with a similar range of products. Both markets will also include music, community guests, and periodic special events like Saturday’s Blueberry Festival in July and Power of Produce (POP) Club for kids on Wednesdays this summer.

We are excited to welcome new and returning vendors into the mix carrying a variety of products. Some to look out for include Capital Greens NY, Charlton Woodworking, Dancing Ewe Farm, Grazin’ Acres Farm, Leaning Birch Farm, Lovin’ Mama Farm, M & A Farm, Mirage Waterless, Native Farm Flowers, Night Work Bread, Old Tavern Farm, TogaNola Snack Company, Vashti’s Kitchen Delights, and Nine Pine Soup and Design. 

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market has remained committed to creating a safe environment for both vendors and customers, including handwashing and sanitizing stations, social distancing, and mask requirements. As we move into the summer season, we will continue to enforce these state-issued regulations for the health and safety of our community. 

The addition of an online ordering and curbside pickup program has provided an alternative for customers to safely and conveniently access local goods without having to shop inside the market. Orders can be placed online each week between Monday at 9 p.m. and Thursday at 9 p.m. for curbside pickup on Saturdays. Visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

“Warming temperatures are a sign that the summer market season is about to begin, and we can’t wait for all it will bring this year: spring flowers, summer produce, live music, and community in the great outdoors,” says Market Administrator Emily Meagher.

Wednesday Market Vendors:

  • Burger Farm
  • Euro Delicacies
  • Gifford Farms
  • Gómez Veggie Ville
  • Left Field
  • Mister Edge Sharpening
  • Nine Pine Soup and Design
  • Old World Farm
  • Owl Wood Farm
  • Saratoga Apple
  • Saratoga Garlic Company
  • Scotch Ridge Berry Farm
  • Squash Villa Farm
  • The Chocolate Spoon
  • The Food Florist
  • The Mushroom Shop
  • Underwood’s Greenhouse/Shushan Valley Hydro Farm
  • Vashiti’s Kitchen Delights

Saturday Market Vendors:

  • 518 Farms
  • Argyle Cheese Factory
  • Balet Flowers & Design, LLC
  • Ballston Lake Apiaries
  • Big Breath Wellness
  • Bunker Hill Organic LLC
  • Burger Farm
  • Capital Greens NY 
  • Charlton Woodworking
  • Daily Fresh
  • Dancing Ewe Farm
  • Elihu Farm
  • Euro Delicacies
  • Feathered Antler
  • Fossil Stone Farms
  • Freddy’s Rockin’ Hummus
  • Giovanni Fresco
  • Gómez Veggie Ville
  • Grandma Apple’s Cheesecakes, LLC
  • Grazin Acres Farm
  • Green Jeans Market Farm
  • Hebron Valley Veal
  • Junbucha
  • Kokinda Farm
  • Leaning Birch Farm
  • Left Field
  • Longlesson Farm
  • Lovin’ Mama Farm
  • M & A Farm
  • Mariaville Mushroom Men
  • Mirage Waterless LLC
  • Moon Cycle Seed Company
  • Moxie Ridge Farm
  • Mrs Londons
  • Muddy Trail Jerky Co.
  • Mugzy’s Barkery
  • Native Farm Flowers
  • Nettle Meadow
  • Night Work Bread
  • Old Tavern Farm
  • Old World Farm
  • Owl Wood Farm
  • Petra Pocket Pies
  • Pleasant Valley Farms
  • Puckers Gourmet
  • Pura Vida Fisheries, Inc
  • R&G Cheesemakers 
  • Ramble Creek Farm
  • Saratoga Apple
  • Saratoga Chocolate Co. 
  • Saratoga Crackers
  • Saratoga Garlic Company
  • Saratoga Peanut Butter Co.
  • Saratoga Spicery
  • Saratoga Suds ‘n’ Stuff
  • Scotch Ridge Berry Farm
  • Slate Valley Farms
  • Slovonian European Cafe
  • Slyboro Cider House
  • Something’s Brewing
  • Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery
  • Squash Villa Farm
  • Talmadge’s Vegetables
  • The Chocolate Spoon
  • The Food Florist
  • The Smoothie Shoppe INC
  • TogaNola Snack Company, LLC
  • Underwood’s Greenhouse/Shushan Valley Hydro Farm
  • Vashiti’s Kitchen Delights
  • Yankee Distillers LLC
Published in Food

Happy Earth Week! Some places celebrate Earth Day, others make it a weeklong event, and others organize month-long festivities. At the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, we like to think that every day is Earth Day.

Farmers’ market operations are inherently more sustainable than factory and grocery store operations. Most obviously, vendors produce food locally, cutting down on transportation impacts. The Farmers’ Market Coalition cites that, on average, food travels over 1,000 miles from the point of production to the retail store. In contrast, practically all vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market live just a county away from the market.

Many grow and produce their food with extra care for the environment, for instance, by growing organically or choosing sustainable packaging. Think compostable mushroom boxes, egg carton returns, or glass deposits on items like maple syrup, yogurt, or kombucha. “It’s obvious to consider the earth when you’re a farmer; your hands are literally in the dirt. But other food producers are equally responsible for operating sustainably,” said Shane Avery, owner of Junbucha.

That green focus is evident in customers’ minds, too. Customers are prepared to shop with reusable totes and netted produce bags. They religiously return their empty containers. They often choose the more sustainable options even if it costs a little more. Julia, one market customer, stopped by to return her glass maple syrup jar, calling choosing glass over plastic “the intuitive choice.” She chooses jars as they are reusable, returnable, recyclable, and she uses them to store granola at home before returning them.

And then, there are the green choices that extend further than the farmers’ market. The Saratoga Farmers’ Market’s partnership with the Franklin Community Center is a prime example: customers drop off compost at the farmers’ market to be used in the Center’s community garden, while vendors donate unsold food to the food pantry.

All these green efforts point out a quiet strength of farmers’ markets: their belief in the efficacy of traditional ways, where less is more, quality trumps quantity, and there is a deep-rooted connection to the earth.

Join us this Saturday, April 24, for our last winter market before welcoming our new summer vendors. We will be joining The Children’s Museum at Saratoga’s Children’s Road Rally event and offering a scavenger hunt and prizes for kids. Starting May 1, our Saturday markets will take place at the Wilton Mall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while you can find our Wednesday markets at High Rock Park from 3 to 6 p.m. For online pre-ordering and curbside pickup, visit localline.ca/saratoga-farmers-market.

FarmersMarket BaconCheeseQuiche

Published in Food
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