Mamatoga Review: Saratoga Farmers Market

Saratoga Springs, as we all well know, is full of little gems that we are all lucky to share. The Farmers' Market is no exception, and even though it runs year round, the summer market is one of my favorite summer destinations. The market, located at the pavilions at High Rock Park, celebrated its 30th year in 2008. They have grown from a small group of local farmers in a parking lot to a group of over 50 local vendors set up two days a week in summer under the permanent pavilions on High Rock Ave. The Saratoga Farmers' Market pride themselves in being a local, producer only market. Unlike other markets, everything sold at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market must be produced locally (Schenectady, Reneselaer, Saratoga and Washington Counties). This means their fine products are very fresh and/or unique, and locally supportive of our community, economically, ecologically and socially. They have made one exception to “local”: fresh Long Island caught fish, the line for which is always long, that fish is in high demand! The year-round products include vegetables, fruits, spreads, marinades, honey, baked goods, meat, cheese, fish, jams, yogurt and milk as well as crafters and on site prepared food. Many of the products are Certified Naturally Grown and Organic. All the vendors eat and use their products in their own homes and take great pride in their quality and are happy and eager to answer any questions you might have. Julie and I strolled through the market this morning, and it was a perfect morning to do so. The first table we came across was a WIC table in support of World Breastfeeding Week. I love that the Saratoga Market has informational tables as well as their food and craft vendors. As we walked along we found my favorite "bread guy" at the West Village Market table. I bought a small loaf of the cheese bread which was made fresh early this morning, a perfect little loaf with mozzarella and fresh spinach, which goes amazing with the goat cheese from Sweet Spring Farm. In addition to that bread guy there is also a table with Mrs. London's delicious breads and pastries and a tent with Rock Hill Bakehouse Bread. I'm a bread fan, can you tell? As you walk under the pavilions you come to a nice big, beautiful flower stand set up by Balet Flowers and Design, with great flowers and floral arrangements and great prices. There are tons of fruit and vegetable vendors, and today we saw plenty of corn, fresh picked blueberries and plums, and lots of greens and beans. There is local meat and eggs for sale, and local cheese vendors as well. The milk vendor there is Battenkill Valley Creamery, and they sell their milk, chocolate milk and cream in glass bottles which you can exchange each time you buy milk there. They also have amazing ice cream as well with a bunch of different delicious flavors on offer. We stopped by the Saratoga Peanut Butter Company table and Julie sampled some of their out of this world peanut butters for the first time, they are seriously addictive, especially for a peanut butter addict like myself, and the kids go nuts over them, pun intended. We had to make our trip quick today (so we could get to Big Truck Day!) or else I would have also stopped by Funky Fresh Foods for a smoothie and one of their incredible burritos, always made with a smile! I am a frequent visitor to the market, but today we were there for research purposes since we are going to have a Mamatoga table at the Wednesday market where we will be whipping up healthy and easy (emphasis on EASY) kids snacks while collecting items for our At the Store, Buy One More campaign to benefit Franklin Community Center. We will be collecting school supplies for the local Saratoga Springs school district students who participate in Project Lift at the Franklin Community Center, and what they need the most are 3 ring binders, scientific calculators (used are fine too), highlighters and glue sticks as well as your usual school stuff like pens, pencils and notebooks. Check our the link above for more info on that program. So come by the Wednesday market to drop off your donations, look for our giant hot pink Mamatoga drop box and our two smiling Mamatogian faces and bring the kids by for a healthy snack as well! Market times: Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, Wednesdays from 3-6pm, both days at the pavilions at High Rock Park on High Rock Ave. in Saratoga Springs. Also don't forget to VOTE for the Saratoga Market here, last year they were voted #3 in the country for medium sized markets, and currently they are #1 so let's vote and keep them at #1! How lucky are we to have the #1 Farmers' Market in our own backyard?!