Thousands of music lovers will flock to SPAC this weekend for Farm Aid's first ever visit to the Capital Region. As YNN's Matt Hunter reports, while music will certainly take center stage, the products of local farms and businesses will also be part of the show.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – "It's not a small town anymore, but it's still a great community,” business owner Will Pouch said Thursday. “Therefore it shouldn't be a surprise that they chose Saratoga for Farm Aid."
For 18 years, Pouch has been selling his famous "Dough Boys" at Esperanto on Caroline Street. At this Saturday's Farm Aid concert at SPAC, he's teaming up with local farmer Justine Denison to offer new homegrown products featuring her fresh produce.
"The Harvest Stew, yes it's harvest time, but it's a double entendre because it's a direct Neil Young reference," said Pouch, who says he’s seen Young, one of the acts at the Saturday concert, perform roughly 20 times.
"He's [Pouch] going to use scallions and onions, this is red leaf lettuce and kale, garlic, carrots," said Denison, who owns Denison Farm in Schaghticoke along with her husband, Brian.
Pouch and Denison are two of the nearly dozen merchants featured at Farm Aid's Homegrown Concessions area, which introduces local farm and business owners to the concert's fans.
"Farm Aid is all about celebrating family farmers,” Farm Aid Communications Director Jennifer Fahy said. “So we can't just do that by not including them and having a concert, it has to be integrated."
Most of the businesses are local, however, Roger Allison traveled all the way from Missouri to promote his naturally raised pork products.
"This is a celebration for us to come together with Farm Aid and put together good, healthy food so consumers can taste the difference," said Allen, director of Patchwork Family Farms, a consortium of pork producers near Columbia.
Now in its 28th year, this is Farm Aid's second visit to New York State. With thousands of fans expected, it's giving local businesses a chance market their products far and wide.
"The publicity will be phenomenal for us," Denison said.
"Farm Aid belongs in Saratoga because there's a lot of good connections between folks that live here and that's what it's about," Pouch said.
Along with Young, Saturday's concert features Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.