Bolton Landing Farmers' Market
on beautiful Lake George
Farm Fresh Produce (and much, much more!)
The Bolton Landing Farmers’ Market began when Bill Campbell took a training in Transition – a global initiative that uses community-based concepts to strengthen local resources. Bill held a town meeting to share the ideas, and put out a question, “What can you do to help our community that you are absolutely passionate about doing?” Good question.
Eva Bird said she was passionate about having a farmers' market in Bolton Landing. Eva had moved to Bolton Landing from Alaska, and the farmers' market there was a social event. When she thought about it, almost every place she had ever lived had a farmers' market, and the larger ones were really fun, a place to meet friends and have coffee, besides a place to buy fresh grown produce, home made baked goods and great food. So, Eva and her partner Cobber Pratt decided to create a market right here in Bolton Landing.
They wanted something special – a place where people could talk with the farmers who grew the produce and raised the chickens and collected the eggs, the cheese, maple syrup, the bakers who made the bread, goodies, and granola; the soap makers, and the crafts people who made their own items by hand. They wanted to support local vendors and farmers who practice sustainable agriculture. They wanted a place where farmers and crafts people could display at reasonable prices, and have direct access to the communities they served. And where people could “Buy locally – it matters.”
The first step was to find vendors. Cobber and Eva took the rest of that year to visit every Farmers’ Market in several counties, talked with hundreds of vendors, and hand-picked the ones they wanted. Discussions with the Town of Bolton and the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church landed them a useable space in the center of town to create the market.
On Mother’s Day 2011, Eva and Cobber wrote personal invitations to the vendors, and called the farmers who did not have emails or web sites. The goal was to open July 1.
When people started calling back to say they would help with this new start, please send information, Eva realized they didn’t have any “market information” to send out, since there wasn’t a market as yet, and no one had thought about the paperwork!
Eva and Cobber called local Market Managers to ask about how things were done, asked potential vendors what they thought was important in a Farmers’ Market from their point of view, and got in touch with Teresa Whalen who had started the Warrensburg Farmers’ Market. Teresa sent over samples of market guidelines, applications, insurance and licensing requirements, general rules and regulations. Now there was paperwork!
Eva used her own credit card to order rack cards, posters and signage, which she and Cobber delivered; called the local papers to get coverage and articles to support the opening, and talked to every person in town to spread the word. And on July 1, the market opened. Eva said it was like a barn-raising – the entire community and all the vendors came together to help the market get started!
When Eva moved back to the West Coast, she called her friend Penelope Jewell who had created the Bolton Landing Farmers’ Market web site, and asked if Penelope would take over the market – Eva didn’t want to see it disappear. Penelope said, “Sure!” and called several of her friends who loved the market to form a committee to keep the Market going and growing.
Cobber Pratt, (co-founder), Bill Campbell (Transition Bolton Landing), Dick Burk (SCORE), Diane Burk (Running Ridge Studios), Carole Newell (Bolton Free Library Board of Directors), and Penelope Jewell (Adirondack Press, Inc.) came together and decided how to go forward with the Market. Starting from scratch financially, Dick and Diane offered their credit card (which had some room on it) to purchase the rack cards and advertising to get started. Many friends helped on a volunteer basis, especially during the market season. And in 2014, we gratefully welcomed the Town of Bolton, the Lake George Mirror and the Greater Glens Falls Transit as sponsors!
The Bolton Landing Farmers’ Market committee kept the original “feeling” of the Market – a place for friends to meet and visit; a place for farmers and crafts people to directly interact with visitors; a fun place to come to (live music and specialty days), a great place for kids (Up Yonda Farm and the Lake George Association have interactive booths, as well as balloons, ice cream and face painting); picnic tables, hot coffee, fresh baked goods and ready-to-eat food for breakfast and lunch. We have continued the tradition of listening to our Vendors, visitors and residents about suggestions for the market, and we continue to have a wonderful reputation as a welcoming, family-oriented, stroller, wheelchair accessible and pet (on a leash) friendly Market.
Check out our Strawberry, Blueberry and Apple Festivals, our Free Ice Cream for Children of All Ages day, and many other special events!
The Bolton Landing Farmers’ Market runs from 9 to 2, every Friday in the summer season – June 23 to September 1 this year (2017). We have between 35-40 vendors on any given market day. We meet at 5 Cross Street, behind the Town Hall parking lot in Bolton Landing. There are 3 parking lots surrounding the Market for easy access. Come join us!