A meeting to discuss a new farmers market in the city of Amsterdam will be held Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Wheeler Hall-United Presbyterian Church.
The meeting is free and open to the public, and will be a way to gauge enthusiasm for a possible market and to also figure out what people would want it to sell.
There is already a small farmers market in Amsterdam held on Tuesdays, but those in support of a new one want it to be as large and as vibrant as the farmers market in Schenectady, with music and more vendors to showcase local food.
Ben Wallach, marketing director of the Niskayuna Co-op, is helping spread the word about the possible farmers market.
Wallach believes in buying local. He says a larger farmers market in Amsterdam would help promote the type of food that’s already being grown in Montgomery County. Right now, most food grown in the county that’s intended for a farmers market is sold in areas such as Schenectady and Troy. A farmers market with a robust selection to choose from would cut down on the travel an Amsterdam resident would have to make to buy their goods elsewhere. A local market would also preserve the local cuisine and support sustainable agriculture, advocates say.
“There are world-class products in Montgomery County that commuters have to go to Albany or Niskayuna to buy,” Wallach said.
Monica Foote, owner of Danascara Cheese in Fonda, will be one of the speakers at the event. Danascara Cheese has a farm with close to 200 sheep milked to produce cheese. Foote is in favor of a farmers market in Amsterdam and, if it comes to fruition, she will be one of its vendors.
She said she too has to go to markets in Troy and Schenectady to sell her products.
“Several people have to travel to sell their wares, so if there is a place closer by to do that, I think it will be a benefit,” Foote said, adding that a market in Amsterdam could also bring people together and let them know what types of food their neighbors are growing and making.
The city of Amsterdam, according to Wallach, has already offered a possible site for the farmers market, which would be held on Saturdays.
“There is interest and there are vendors, so it’s just putting the two together and getting it organized,” Wallach said.