COMING HOME TO HIGH ROCK


WRITTEN BY HIMANEE GUPTA-CARLSON  |  PHOTOS BY PATTIE GARRETT

    It’s Wednesday 3 p.m. The sun is shining, the heat is sizzling. 

    Something magical is about to happen at High Rock Park.

    A bell rings and the Saratoga Farmers’ Market springs to action. This midweek favorite is back.

    Live music fills the air. Customers line up for vegetables, fruits, bedding plants, prepared foods, and meats. Volunteers with the Cornell Cooperative Extension offer recipes and samples; master gardeners give advice on planting. Kids hand local farmers their Power of Produce coins and get a healthy $2 treat in exchange. 

    It is like old times, almost.

    The market was forced to relocate last year to the Wilton Mall because of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as nearby construction of a new parking garage that made the market pavilions inaccessible. Even now, the much-larger Saturday market remains at the mall while market staff and board members work to bring that market back in a safe manner to its longtime home.

    Meanwhile, the Wednesday market with its 20 vendors, live music, and community is rekindling its relationship with Saratoga.

    “Wednesday afternoons are all about unwinding from the first half of the week and getting motivated to tackle the next few days,” says market manager Emily Meagher. “The Wednesday market has a special place in the community for being a gathering space to do exactly that.” 

    The market also has a larger proportion of agricultural vendors, Meagher added. “This gives shoppers a chance to get what’s fresh off the land for mid-week meals. They don’t have to wait until the weekend to get all of what they need.”

    Market sales are a primary source of income for local farmers. Interacting with market goers and forming relationships with customers helps sustain farmers while providing healthy food to locals as well as visitors. Even as our year of pandemic alters how we interact, the Wednesday market offers a new sense of home. 

    “Customers walk over from their houses or bicycle in from streets like Broadway to spend a little time with our vendors,” Meagher says. “It’s like a return to something we all shared before.”


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