AmericanFarm.com

Blairstown Farmers’ Market opens this season on the run

By JANE PRIMERANO
AFP Correspondent

BLAIRSTOWN (June 15, 2015) — The Foodshed Alliance started the Blairstown Farmers’ Market with events geared toward the children at Blairstown Elementary School.
The school is across the street from the market and opening day, Saturday, May 30, corresponded with a day of foot races at the school, market manager Donna Lee Cannistraci said.
Because of the proximity of the kids participating in the “Paws to the Pavement” races, a 5-kilometer run, a fun run and a pre-school run, the market made sure to have plenty to keep the children occupied, Cannistraci said.
She said race coordinators Jess Griffen and Renee Carbonaro encouraged the kids to go over to the  market after completing the races.
Krystal Kise painted the faces of the children with bright butterflies and other spring themes. “I just do this because I enjoy the kids,” the Blairstown native said.
Downwind from the stalls EaZy Bubbles was an opportunity for the kids to make giant bubbles with no chance of soapy water floating into the produce.
Next to the face painter, Sandy Roberts set up her tent of science experiments for kids.
A former bio-chemist, then a school teacher, Roberts is on her third career.
She takes her traveling science show into schools for afterschool programs, home-schooler programs, clubs and summer camps.
She has a regular program for free at the Belvidere Pool.
Her tent at the farmers’ market was very popular, with kids making rocket launchers out of two-litre soda bottles and plastic tubing.
Shoppers occasionally had to dodge the rockets since navigation wasn’t the strong suit of most of the children, but nobody seemed to mind.
The Blairstown market always has music and welcomes well-behaved dogs, so it becomes a meeting place for many Blairstown-area residents.
A new vendor sells homemade dogs biscuits using locally sourced ingredients, Cannistraci said.
The first Saturday was a resounding success, according to farmer Bob Best of Independence Township.
He said people were lined up to buy his produce and the pickle vendor next to his tent.
“The pizza guy sold out,” Cannistraci said.
The other farmers, Race’s, Godlewski’s and Kimball’s, were also busy.