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Sag Harbor farmers market set to open

Sag Harbor Farmers Market in Sag Harbor. (Sept.

Sag Harbor Farmers Market in Sag Harbor. (Sept. 15, 2012) Credit: Ian J. Stark

With snow covering farm fields and chilly winds blowing across the East End, all of the farm stands are closed for the season. All, that is, but one.

Although the weekend storm delayed its grand opening, the Sag Harbor Fair Food Market will open next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then weekly through May 18. That's when the regular Sag Harbor Farmers Market opens on Bay Street.

There is no corn growing in the fields on the East End, and even the cauliflower and other winter crops are gone.

But market manager Ana Nieto said some greenhouses are growing leafy crops, and the market is getting storage foods such as potatoes, Mecox Bay Dairy cheeses from Bridgehampton, local baked goods and preserves and truckloads of food from states where the climate is warmer.

"This is our third year. It's good to continue a farmers market in the off-season," she said.

Along with the Swiss chard, kale, arugula and microgreens, some from farms on the North Fork, the market will offer cooking demonstrations and lectures on nutrition, she added.

Last year, in warmer weather, big crowds gathered under tents at the market, which normally has 10 to 15 vendors, Nieto said. "We have a following of locals. It depends who comes in during the off-season in the winter," she added.

The market does lack one important thing -- a permanent home. It began in Sag Harbor, and moved just out of the village last year, to the parking lot of Bay Burger on Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike. This year, it's back in the village -- in Christ Episcopal Church on East Union Street.

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