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Plans to develop a Saturday farmers' market in the Union Street area of downtown Olean moved ahead this week with at least 20 persons indicating that they want to sell their homegrown, home-baked or homemade items there.

"We had projected that five growers would be interested," said Daniel Salzler, the East Otto herb grower and spokesman for the Rural Enterprise Association of Proprietors, which is developing the project.

"We are ecstatic that 20 have shown an interest," he added.

The association is planning the market in cooperation with business personnel of the Jamestown Community College Cattaraugus County campus in Olean, the Olean Business Improvement Association and the Cattaraugus County Cooperative Extension Service.

Salzler said that two Union Street sites are being studied for the market that would be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

"We envision 20 stalls under some kind of cover with additional sales areas nearby," he said.

Salzler emphasized that only items made or grown by the vendors would be sold. Although chairs made by Amish carpenters may be offered, Salzler said, the market will not be a crafts sale.

Details of the market's membership costs and weekly fees remain to be settled along with the selection of a manager.

"We're thinking of someone with Green Thumb experience as a manager," he said.

The market would open in April with the sale of bedding plants and continue on through December when home-grown Christmas trees would be offered, Salzler said.

Among the other type products that vendors say that they would sell are cheese, eggs, firewood, fruits, fresh or frozen meats, herbs, potatoes, pumpkins and vegetables.

"So far, only people from Allegany and Cattaraugus counties have shown interest in selling, but the market will be open to anyone," Salzler said.

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