Farmers markets hitting the high season

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CANTON — The carnival atmosphere at the Canton Farmers Market might be because there is so much going on besides selling vegetables, or it might be because there are so many vegetables to sell.

“It’s going really well,” said Farmers Market Manager Jennifer Whittaker on Friday. “Today is probably the busiest day we have had.”

It could have been the nice weather, or the 20 or so people at yoga in the park, or the people waiting for tai chi in the park to start, or the face painting, or the Cooperative Extension food presentation that was luring the crowd into the downtown park on Friday morning.

“I can’t quantify that,” Ms. Whittaker said. “Having a festival-like feel does get people down here.”

But, it’s also, without a doubt, the vegetables.

The produce stands on Friday were brimming with fresh vegetables.

Some tomatoes made an early appearance at the market on Friday, but they were gone well before noon.

Julia Dominique LaRock of Dominique’s Family Farm in Winthrop said their tomatoes were not quite ready this week, but the cabbage and the purple beans she brought sold out early.

She still had plenty of peppers, green beans, zucchinis and carrots.

“We’re going to have a whole lot more,” she said.

The patriarch of the Dominique Family Farm, 79-year-old Paul Dominique, said the early spring rain and cool weather kept him out of the fields early this year.

“We’re probably two weeks late on everything,” he said.

Despite the slow start, daughter Julia said things were picking up.

“Last year was worse, that drought set us way back,” she said.

Last year’s extended dry spell ended the season early for many crop farmers when the lack of water kept squash, gourds and pumpkins from fully ripening.

“We were done by the middle of September,” Mr. Dominique said.

If the weather holds steady, Ms. Dominique said, they will have their goods at the Canton, Massena and Potsdam markets right through the end of October.

The five farmers markets in St. Lawrence County — in Canton, Gouverneur, Potsdam, Massena, and Hammond — all are affiliated with GardenShare’s credit, debit and EBT card system that allows people to use their cards to purchase tokens to use with the individual stand operators. This summer, EBT users get double tokens when they shop at the farmers markets.

If you go

Canton: Tuesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 27 at Canton Village Green.

Gouverneur: Thursday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 27 at the Village Green.

Hammond: Wednesday, 3 to 6 p.m. through Sept. 12 at the Hammond Museum.

Massena: Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 12 at Danforth Place Park.

Potsdam: Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 28 at Ives Park parking lot.

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