Tri-Town Packing in the St. Lawrence County hamlet of Brasher Falls is 27 miles one way from Malone, she said.
But by combining their efforts instead of acting as individual farms, the co-op is able to book more processing days and have plenty of lamb for their customers.
Downing said the co-op will be part of more farmers markets this year and hopes to catch on with more restaurants.
Besides her farm at Downing Acres in Burke, the lamb cooperative includes Kirbside Gardens of Chateaugay, Shady Hill Farm in Dickinson Center, White Stone Farm in Chateaugay and Double H Sheep Company in Canton.
John Eick of ThunderCrest Farms plants acres of beans, peas, green peppers, tomatoes and squash and more on two parcels — one in Burke and the other in Saranac — each with distinctive weather patterns to aid his growing season and needed supply.
Many of the fruits and vegetables are sold at the ThunderCrest roadside stand and greenhouse on Route 11, but Eick and owner, Janet Burl, have enough space to grow for any amount for interested restaurants.
He said events like Tuesday’s get-together are helpful to his business.
“This is direct marketing, bringing the producer together with the end recipient,” Eick said, adding that it is also an opportunity for growers and farmers to get to know each other.
“We all know each other, so it’s more like family and neighbors,” he said. “If I don’t have what someone wants, I can refer them to others and, hopefully, they do the same for me.”
Email Denise A. Raymo: email@example.com