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Schoharie Fresh Participates in I Love My Farmers' Market Celebration

Written By Editor on 6/26/14 | 6/26/14

Cobleskill (June 26, 2014) - Schoharie Fresh, the online farmers’ market is again participating in the I Love My Farmers’ Market Celebration through American Farmland Trust. The idea of the celebration is to encourage people to shop at their local farmers’ market by asking them to pledge to spend money at the farmers market through this online portal; you are not actually sending money to American Farmland Trust.

Schoharie Fresh participated in the celebration last year and placed third in New York State in pledges received. Markets who participated last year included The Rochester Public Market, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, The Schenectady Green Market ; Schoharie Fresh customers pledged to spend more than customers at these markets. Schoharie Fresh would like to again place in the top three markets in New York State and maybe move up from the #64 spot nationally. 

Money spent locally at farmers’ markets helps support our local farmers, but also the local economy. According to information from American Farmland Trust, farmers selling at a local farmers market receive $8-9 from a $10 purchase and $7.80 is re-spent in the local economy. In addition, customers are getting the freshest food possible, which means that it tastes better and has more nutrients. 

Schoharie Fresh was started in 2011 under the Creating Healthy Places Grant as an alternative way for producers to sell their products and customers to purchase from a wide variety of local producers. The market has grown, with new producers joining each year; with the growth, most of the original producers are still involved as well. This year we have had the SUNY Cobleskill greenhouses selling hydroponic tomatoes on the site throughout the winter and spring and we have added several beef producers including Reeds Beef and At Ease Acres. Also new this year was Mos Delicious which sold prepared meals to heat and serve using local products in her meals. Everything sold on Schoharie Fresh was grown, raised or produced here in Schoharie County. 

Sales have grown steadily over the years and this year is no different. We have seen an increase in the amount of repeat sales of our customer and also a continuation of new customers purchasing from Schoharie Fresh. Sales information is tracked to be able to see how the market is doing. In 2014, weekly sales have exceeded sales in 2013 in both the total sale as well as the number of orders each week. Sales have increased so much in 2014 that many producers are having a difficult time keeping stock listed. ”Meat producers need to raise their animals to a certain size before they are butchered and this year we have sold a lot of meat to our customers and this took many of producers by surprise,” says Maureen Blanchard, Project Coordinator for Creating Healthy Places. “We are starting to see similar sales with the fresh produce, much of it selling out quickly when it is posted on the site.” 

As we move into the growing season we will add more producers and hopefully continue with strong sales. First time customers need to register using their email address and can then place their first order. If you place your order by Wednesday at 11:59 PM, it will be available for pick up on Friday afternoon at the Red Barn on Route 7 by the fountain on the SUNY Campus. Customers shop in the comfort of their homes and can order from about 30 producers and pick up and pay in one location, making this a time saving option. Ordering is done through www.schohariefresh.com and questions or comments can be emailed to schohariefresh@gmail.com. 

Schoharie Fresh is a joint initiative between Creating Healthy Places and SUNY Cobleskill. Initial funding was provided from the Creating Healthy Places grant and SUNY Cobleskill students are responsible for much of the operation. Creating Healthy Places is a grant from NYS Department of Health to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables and places to be active around Schoharie County. For more information on Creating Healthy Places please contact Maureen Blanchard, Project Coordinator at blanchma@cobleskill.edu or 518 255-5294. 
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