SARATOGA SPRINGS — Holiday shoppers have one more chance before Christmas to get locally made goods and gifts at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, now in its indoor season at Division Street Elementary School.
The school transformed into a holiday-themed market this past Saturday, brimming with shoppers who spent time catching up with friends while browsing local gifts and groceries. For those looking for last-minute gift ideas, the farmers’ market will be open again from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, which is Christmas Eve.
“We’ll be here for the holidays. Believe it or not, gardens in New York state still produce at this time of year,” market coordinator Suzanne Carreker-Voigt said.
“You can get gifts — I just bought organic lotions for my daughter — and I’m having a holiday party so I’ve got the goat cheeses, vegan dips and you can even order your turkey or chicken,” Carreker-Voigt said. “I probably won’t even have to go to the supermarket.”
Like Carreker-Voigt, most of this weekend’s market shoppers were buying a mix of gift items, like handmade jewelry or homemade jams and fresh food items, including locally grown greens, meats and seasonal vegetables.
“I just got four pairs of earrings for my mother,” said Charistienne Budge, a frequent market shopper who was doing her Christmas shopping there for the first time this year.
“It’s really nice, and I have to say, it’s a lot more pleasant than going to the mall,” she said.
Along with jewelry made by local designer Frenchy Loeb, Budge picked up some Saratoga Suds soaps as gifts and knocked another item off her list with ground mutton and a family recipe from Elihu Farms, which she planned to make for an upcoming holiday party.
Linda’s Country Kitchen is offering Santa Claus cookies, a popular item amongst shoppers and vendor Linda Kerber’s eight grandkids.
“I hand-paint Santa’s face with chocolate,” Kerber said. “We also have dreidel and menorah cookies for the Jewish community.”
For Christmas Eve shoppers, Linda’s homemade pies offer a fresh (pies are baked the day before the market) and tasty dessert option for a holiday party.
“I kind of specialize in baking for the holidays. I’ve been baking since I was 10 years old. We have pies, cheesecakes, cookies and probably more at Christmas,” Kerber said.
Amy Bonser Feldman’s twin daughters, Miakoda and Kestrel, were occupied by smoothies and honeycomb while their mother shopped.
“We bought Granny some jam, and we’re looking at some jewelry and beeswax candles,” Feldman said during a brief shopping snack break. “We absolutely want to support the local businesses. It’s why we came to buy gifts. This is a wonderful place. You can get something to eat, shop and it’s a really lovely group of people. The vendors are wonderful.”
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market and most of its more than 30 vendors will return Saturday for last-minute gifts and other local goods.
“We’ll be here, so if you’re really up the creek and can’t think of what to get, there’s nothing better than a basket of local goodies,” Carreker-Voigt said.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will also be open during regular hours New Year’s Eve day, which is Dec. 31. For information, go to www.saratogafarmersmarket.org.