Last Tuesday was beautiful, with a blue sky and gentle breeze – a great day to be outside. And one way to enjoy the day and still get some shopping done was to do it outdoors. It was a great day to visit the farmers and vendors set up at Alparon Community Park in Troy.
Over 25 vendors were set up to share their unique goods – from farm produce to hand-made soaps and lotions; from fine wine to hard cider and maple products; and of course popcorn, pumpkins, apples and milk. There were others there too, selling household items, homemade items and even kits to make your own scarecrows.
Bill and Kay Shaw were here from Connecticut and wanted to visit the Heritage Village and Farm Museum because they had heard it had a great deal of history to share. While there, they also went over to see what the vendors had to offer.
“There was a lot of variety,” said Bill Shaw. “We really enjoyed the local farm produce there. We wish there were more.”
The Shaw’s were pleased to find some great looking locally grown tomatoes, cantaloupes and unique maple products. They also enjoyed meeting the vendors and talking with them.
“People were so nice and friendly,” said Kay Shaw.
In its third week, the vendors have been pleased with the set up.
“We’re selling, but mostly for us it’s an educational thing,” said Eileen Warburton of Sunset Ridge Creamery in Sullivan County. “It’s giving us an opportunity to educate people to bring them back to dairy.”
The Warburton’s farm, outside of New Albany, is home to cows that produce natural A2 milk. These cows lack the A1 form of beta casein protein, which is what causes dairy intolerance and digestive issues for some people. According to Warburton, the A2 milk could be the answer for many people’s dairy issues.
Kelly Stedge, from Athens, has something different each week. This past Tuesday she was selling maple infused PBA free plastic dishware, made in the U.S.A. According to Stedge, sales have been good but it really depends on what items she has, since she offers something new each week.
The farmers’ and vendors’ market is open Tuesdays through September from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
When asked if the time scheduled for the vendors to set up is a good one, several vendors responded.
“Maybe we’d do better later in the day,” said Stedge. “But it depends on what’s going on in the community, weather – many things affect this.”
“A good idea might be to put a survey on the Alparon Community Park Facebook page to see what people want,” suggested Heather Edwards, who felt that her homemade goat milk soaps and lotions from Edwards Family Homestead were selling well.
Another vendor thought if the hours could “flip flop” week by week – one week set up early in the day; the next week set up later in the day – it could accommodate those who are home during the day and those who work until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. during the week.
John Seeley, from Mill Street Treats, said, “I think things are going well.” He felt it was getting to be as much a social gathering with people re-connecting as well as shopping.
“The nice open spaces of the Troy Fair cattle barns make an enjoyable walk-thru on a Tuesday morning,” said Seeley. “With appropriate social distancing.”