Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sustainable Saturday - The Farmers Market Manager

I've had the pleasure, the last two weeks, of being able to chat with Abigail Stevens, the manager of the Otsiningo Park farmers market on the outskirts of Binghamton, New York, an upstate New York city of about 47,000 residents.  She's set up a booth at the Otsiningo Park farmers market to talk to the public - something that she calls "her passion". 

She is knowledgeable, energetic and an excellent spokesperson for local farmers' markets.

We are soon to get a year round indoor farmers market (greatly needed in this land of winters that sometimes give us over 100 inches of snow in a year) and construction will begin next month.

Ms. Stevens assured me (contrary to rumors) that the market will not endanger the nearby community gardens we've participated in for many years (at least for the next three years) although our parking area will change.  If the market must be moved, she assured me that it would be relocated to a different part of Otsiningo Park, a county park.

The best part of our talk, though, was finding out that Ms. Stevens is also managing the Binghamton downtown farmers market this year.  As I've blogged about before, this downtown market is dwindling and action is needed.  I discussed some of my concerns, as expressed in the blog. 

Unlike the requirement Otsiningo Park's market has of everything coming from a 50 mile radius of the market, the Binghamton downtown market does not have a similar requirement.  Ms. Stevens did speak to that (this is something that won't change in the immediate future for reasons she shared with me) but assured me that, as part of her job as manager, she visits the farm of every vendor in both markets.

Most of all, Ms. Stevens noted the downtown Binghamton market, while she works to improve it, needs the support of everyone who works, lives or shops in downtown Binghamton.

So, what else is going on at the Otsiningo market?
Today - shitake mushrooms and blueberries....(I hope we can pick blueberries tomorrow)

Last week, potatoes...
...and local cheese.

Between last week and this, we bought local garlic, lemon thyme MooVache, lettuce, eggs. Other produce, right now, we are getting from our community garden.  I am grateful that I have the financial resources to shop at farmers markets.

Were you able to support your local farmer this week?


  1. I love farmer's markets. I live in New York and have access to several. My favorites are the markets near Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and the Union Square Market in Manhattan. I hope the market in Binghamton flourishes. Great photographs :)

  2. We live in Southern California where we have fruit and vegetable stands everywhere you go. We also go to the Farmer's Market once in awhile but they are the same people with the fruit and veggie stands. So yes, we support them!

  3. Well, my local Whole Foods Market sells some locally grown produce that I buy when I can. I am seriously contemplating doing a little container gardening, myself. Thanks for this inspirational post!

  4. Just lost my message when I tried to remember my identity. Here goes again. My closest farmers' market is a 15 minute drive away at the old Roman town of St. Albans, England. I haven't attended for many years. Must make the effort. Your produce looks wonderful.


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