Farmer's Market set for opening day

May 10—PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh Farmers' and Crafters' Market is gearing up for another opening day on Green Street at the City of Plattsburgh's harborside.

Starting tomorrow, for the fourth consecutive season, the market will call this location home every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the weekend of Oct. 12.

During market hours, Green Street will once again transition to a one-way road, and drivers will be directed through signage to drive around the Water Resource Recovery Facility and then exit to Dock Street.


Sue Carusone, who is now in her second year of managing the market, said for opening day, they will have live music, about 25 vendors and food truck, Bunz On The Run, and mobile coffee bar, High Peaks Brew.

Over the course of the season, Carusone said more than 40 different vendors will attend the market.

The vendors and their offered products will range from fruits and vegetables, woodworking, balloons, wine, jewelry, honey, photography to maple syrup and much more.

"We have a lot of vendors that are going to be here like twice a month or once a month," she said.


New additions to the market's lineup this year will also include the Little Free Pantry, which is accepting unexpired and nonperishable canned or boxed foods to give away.

The conditions of the Little Free Pantry mirror the ones for the Little Free Library, which began last year and allowed for people to exchange a book for another or take one for free.

"They can take what they need," Carusone said of the pantry and library.

"If they have something to leave, that's fine; if they don't, that's fine, too."

Additionally, several market favorites are expected back for the 2024 season such as:

Power of Produce, a farmer market-based children's program that seeks to teach children about fruits and vegetables, local food systems and healthy food preparation through fun activities. Those who participate in the market experience can pick up recipes and coloring pages, have conversations with farmers and buy local produce.

Children will receive $2 vouchers to spend on foods of their choice at the market. These vouchers give kids purchasing power to buy from farmers and local vendors at the market

Snack Shack, where the market will be selling coffee, water and soda. There will also be snacks and munchies for sale as well as market bags for $3.


Carusone said she is hoping for better weather this market season. Last year, she said the unusual amount of rain was an unfortunate challenge they had to deal with.

"I think we had a good year (still), despite the weather," she said. "Hopefully this year is a little less rainy."

The abnormal, rainy summer was made worse by the further deterioration of the refurbished former Municipal Lighting Department building several market vendors reside in during the season.

The building desperately needs a new roof and Carusone has been anxiously waiting on the city to fund repairs that would make it more comfortable for customers and vendors to be in, she said.

As it is, Carusone said they have drawn red circles around the building to indicate where the roof leaks the most. This helps vendors know where to and not to put their — often delicate and non-water resistant — products they hope to sell.

Along with mapping out the dry locations of the building, vendors have taken extra precaution by covering their valuables in water-resistant plastic coverings. Carusone said last year, some vendors learned the hard way that this was necessary to do in order to keep their products dry during a particularly wet and rainy day.

"I wish we were not a low priority," Carusone said.

Other issues with the Green Street building include the lack of ventilation, Carusone said. On really hot days in the summer, the building traps heat in there, she said.

To help improve that, they applied for Clinton County's tobacco settlement funding that they dole out annually.

In this year's round of funding, Plattsburgh Farmer's Market asked for $10,750 but got $2,900.

"Anything would be helpful," Carusone said.


An April 4th work session discussion about the future of the farmer's market building between the Common Council and Department of Public Works Superintendent Mike Bessette did not bode well for any future repairs of the building.

Bessette said during that discussion that the "low budget, short-term roof repair" would cost the city between $110,482.70 and $132,579.24. Comparatively, the "high-end, long-term roof replacement" would cost between $250,212.29 and $300,254.75.

"There's really not a cheap option. It's throwing money at a bad project. I hate to say it, I wish I could be nicer about it ..." Bessette said.

He said the city has tried to fix the roof by patching it but that method has proved "troublesome" so far.

"My recommendations have always been to take the building down," he said. "But it's not my place."

Councilor Julie Baughn (D-Ward 1), a former manager of the farmer's market, floated the idea of having just tents for the market. While there are several vendors who use tents outside now, many take advantage of having the enclosed space in the farmer's market building as well.

Baughn said she was in favor of having an enclosed market at one point, noting it is difficult for many older vendors to have to set up a tent every week. However, she said now that she is sitting on the side of the council, she sees it differently from a cost point of view.

Baughn also pointed out Keene's farmer's market and how well they do despite the fact it's all tents in an open field with lots of wind.


Previously, the market was held at the Durkee Street parking lot before the city moved it to the Green Street location in 2021. The move was made to accommodate Prime Plattsburgh LLC's proposed housing development project for the Durkee Street parking lot.

However, no development has been made on that project since as it remains tied up in litigation. Some people have suggested moving the market back to Durkee Street.

Baughn said, in her opinion, that building there was better than the one down by the water where the market is now.

"The leaking wasn't as bad, the air was going through, it was just so much better."

Councilor Jeff Moore (D-Ward 6) said one of the catches with that area is that it was too small.

When asked about the Durkee Street location, Carusone said she isn't in favor of moving the market back there if the option was ever presented to her. She said she likes the location they're at now, she just wants the building fixed.

"I like the fact that there's plenty of parking (here). There's plenty of room. I don't know about Durkee Street. I was there at Durkee Street for, must be a year, and then COVID hit. and it was smaller inside, smaller booths," she said.

"When they had events in there, it was just so crowded, there was no place to park, I think we need a big area like this. You're not going to find it downtown, you're going to be more confined downtown."


Twitter: CarlySNewton