Schenectady Greenmarket clients skip traffic, grinches
SCHENECTADY With three jars of nut butter in her hands and a smile on her face, Sharon DiLorenzo was finishing up her Christmas shopping at the Schenectady Greenmarket Sunday morning.
“I love the Greenmarket. I love coming here to support all of these businesses,” the Glenville resident said while perusing the offerings at The Peanut Principle booth.
The shopping was going much better for her Sunday than it did Saturday, she said.
“I started to go to Clifton Park yesterday and turned around,” she explained, citing traffic snarls that made her cranky.
The majority of shoppers seemed downright jolly Sunday as they made their way through the bustling farmers market. They came toting reusable bags; a few sported Santa hats. Some stopped to chat with friends, while others lingered for a moment to listen to the live music before returning to their last-minute holiday shopping.
“I wonder if my son would like this,” mused one woman as she inspected a grow-your-own shiitake mushroom kit at the booth of The Mariaville Mushroom Men.
Co-owner Allison Chandler, who runs the business with her husband, Bobby, explained that five to seven pounds of mushrooms will sprout on the log included with the kit.
“It would be an interesting gift,” decided the shopper, who didn’t want to give her name for fear of ruining a holiday surprise. She selected a pre-wrapped kit from the pile and pulled out her wallet.
The booth also had medicinal mushroom teas and fresh oyster, shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms for sale. The mushroom gravy had already sold out.
“This weekend has been quite intense as far as last-minute shoppers,” said Bobby Chandler.
That seemed to be the sentiment throughout the market.
The bags of pancake mix at the Mu Mu Muesli booth were selling like hotcakes. Employee Ken Parsons attributed the brisk sales to shoppers who planned to give the mix as a holiday gift.
The muesli was selling fast, too.
“But everybody buys the cereal anyway,” Parsons said.
Venison jerky was a big seller at the Highland Farm booth on the lower level of the market.
Owner Ingrid Nigh said patrons were purchasing it for stocking stuffers.
Molly Tenace decided to buy some as a special gift — for herself — after sampling some of the booth’s offerings.
She was also at the market to stock up on apples, potatoes and carrots for Christmas dinner.
“It’s friendly, I think,” the Mariaville resident said, of the market, as she surveyed the busy booths on the lower level.
At the Mosaics by Christine booth, three-dimensional mosaic skulls were being purchased by everyone from little old ladies to families, according to artist Christine Shea. The colorful mosaic Lazy Susans were a popular holiday gift purchase, too, she said.
“I also sell Lazy Susan chess sets so you can play by yourself and turn it around and always win,” she noted with a grin.