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Variety sought at Barker Farmers Market

BARKER – New leadership envisions big things for the Barker Farmers Market as it enters its 11th year, extending the quaint village offering well into harvest season in October.

The Village of Barker has taken the reins from founder and former Mayor JoAnne Greenwald, and village officials are putting a call out for prospective vendors to participate – for free – from the kickoff July 9 to its conclusion Oct. 15.

The market will operate from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday evenings in David Barker Park, at the corner of Quaker Road and Main Street.

“We want to provide a community-oriented farmers market for residents and visitors to purchase local goods and enjoy our quaint village,” said Amanda M. Detschner, the village’s clerk-treasurer, who is overseeing the project with Village Trustee Kimberly Ruffini.

“We would love to have 20 or so vendors and our real goal is to have variety,” Detschner said. “But, we want to focus on local food products.”

Detschner is asking that participants file a registration form and a certificate of insurance at Village Hall by April 29.

“Each vendor will set up, sell their products and clean up their area,” Detschner said, adding that while entertainment is not planned on a weekly basis, special events may be organized throughout the market season.Another change this year will be that the village is requiring that vendors sell solely farm produce, food products or nursery products.

Acceptable items include: vegetables, fruit, grains, cheese, dairy products, eggs, meats, processed foods, jams and jellies, prepared foods, fruit juices, wine and hard cider (in both cases, bottles only – no sampling), sweet cider, baked goods, maple products, honey, plants, flowers, nursery products and herbal products.

Detschner comes from a farming background and spent many summers when she was a teenager helping her aunt sell her goods from her 900-acre Kendall farm at a number of area farmers markets.

“I grew up with farmers markets and I know what they should look like,” she said. “Barker is not a place people typically visit unless they have a reason to come here, like a farmers market. This serves a purpose because local people can get their groceries here and visitors will have a reason to come back. Restaurants will run specials, for example.”

Detschner, the mother of three grade-schoolers, said she has taken her children to the Barker market since they were in strollers “and they always looked forward to it.”

“I know the importance of buying local and I am trying to teach my kids the same thing,” she said.

This year, each vendor will be required to complete a registration form and file a certificate of insurance naming the “Village of Barker” as additional insured, which must be submitted to Village Hall, 8708 Main Street, Box 298, Barker, NY 14012.

Village Hall is open from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call Village Hall at 795-3777.