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For lovers of greens, spring can't come soon enough

For lovers of greens, spring can't come soon enough

If you need some now, Lovin’ Mama Farm in Amsterdam can fix you up in a small way
For lovers of greens, spring can't come soon enough
Corinne Leon and her daughter Rosemary, 5, in the green house at Lovin' Mama's Farm in Amsterdam with rows of microgreens.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

Farmers markets in the Capital Region are up and running all year -- summer and winter, whether there’s anything growing outside or not.

“Once it starts getting warm enough, people start to think about green stuff,” said Dale Cornell, of Cornell Farms in Hoosick Falls, who is a vendor at both the Schenectady and Troy farmers markets.

We’re on the cusp of spring, and the weather has started getting warm enough. The problem is, there isn’t much green available, yet.

Cornell has root vegetables all winter into spring: potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, onions, shallots and garlic, available “until they sell out,” he said.

And what’s available after that is all “depending on the weather.”

There will be greens coming out of their greenhouse in April, and maybe scallions and green onions.

If you need some greens now, Lovin’ Mama Farm in Amsterdam can fix you up, in a very small way. Corinne Hansch sells tidy packs of micro greens, “living trays,” for $4. At just 5 inches by 7 inches, they aren’t a major commitment to farming, they’re just enough to cheer you up and provide some color and nutrients to liven up your meals now.

“We have broccoli sprouts, daikon radish, and cabbage,” for example, she said. One kind per tray, since they all grow at different rates.

Loving’ Mama Farm is at the Schenectady and Troy markets.

Hansch pointed out that now is a good time to support farmers by purchasing a CSA share. They vary widely but for a flat rate (and some require a commitment to farm work), you get a steady supply of seasonal fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs, even bread, depending on the farm. Shares are available in the spring until they sell out.

Find a farmers market close to you by using the New York State Agriculture and Markets website (www.agriculture.ny.gov). It’s easy to use, just click on your county.

Seth Jacobs, of Slack Hollow Farm in Argyle, says this time of year was once called the “six week want,” by old New England farmers. It describes the period of time when the cellar stores were used up and there was no food coming in. He’s got plenty of greens coming in now, thanks to his greenhouse and will be selling salad greens like spinach, salad mixes and arugula. Look for him at the Troy Market.

The markets in Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga are all inside until May. Find information below.

“For me, it all begins in late April,” said Julia Howard, the market administrator for the Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association. “When vendors bring in the first daffodils.”

Then it’s off to the races, so to speak. Asparagus, fiddleheads and ramps, in quick succession. “They’re fleeting,” she added.

When the strawberries come in, it’s officially summer.

Farms with high tunnels, unheated, plastic covered structures that take advantage of the greenhouse effect, are growing spinach, herbs and perhaps even tomatoes now, she said.

So there’s a lot to see when you head to your local farmers market in early spring. Better clear your calendar.

If you need a green fix, you can buy potted herbs, “things to put in the window,” from Cornell soon enough. For some of us, it can’t come soon enough.

Saratoga Farmers’ Market


November 4, 2017 – April 28, 2018
Saturdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm
Lincoln Baths Building
Saratoga Spa State Park
65 South Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Outdoor Market
Wednesdays 3:00pm – 6:00pm and Saturdays
9:00am – 1:00pm
High Rock Park Pavilions
105 High Rock Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Schenectady Greenmarket


November 4, 2017 – April 28, 2018
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
432 State Street (inside Proctors)
Schenectady, NY 12305

Outdoor Market
Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Outside City Hall
105 Jay Street
Schenectady, NY 12305

Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market


November 4, 2017- April 28, 2018
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m
The Troy Atrium
49 4th Street
Troy, NY 12180

Outdoor Market
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
One Monument Square
Troy, NY 12180

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