It seems as though nearly every hamlet in southern Ulster now boasts of a farmers’ market. The Gardiner Farmers’ Market is held every Friday through October 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the lower parking lot of the Gardiner library. “This is our fourth year,” said Annie O’Neill. “Every vendor we have is from within four to five miles of here, and all of their products and produce are naturally grown: no pesticides, insecticides, hormones.”
There’s a little taste of everything. Dave and Anne Rogers of Dancing Meadow Farm are regulars at the market. Why do they participate? “I like meeting people, seeing friends and helping to provide a community space,” Anne Rogers said. “You see markets like this all over Europe, and they’re a great place to get fresh produce and bread and cheeses. But they’re also a way of creating community.”
Honey Brook Farms, a family-run honey farm since 1968 has 100 producing hives, said proprietor Todd Widmark, who explained why Honey Brook’s wildflower honey was delicious and great for people with allergies. ”It has so many different flowers and pollens in it,” he said.
The Highland Farmers’ Market is held every Wednesday until mid-October, 3 to 7 p.m., at the village field behind the Methodist Church in the hamlet. “One of our anchor vendors is Wilklow’s Farm,” said Kate Jonietz, who is on the town’s events committee as well as being confidential secretary to the town supervisor. “Throughout the season, they provide the most amazing fresh fruits, like blueberries, cherries, apricots and of course apples.” Wilklow’s also provides homemade jams, seasonal vegetables, apple cider, fresh-cut flowers and more.
Luigi’s Infused Oils is another popular vendor, providing a variety of flavored olive oils for those olive-oil-loving chefs and consumers. “We also have Bella’s Biscotti and Glory Farms, and a number of local vendors that provide fresh cheeses, goat cheese and other dairy products, honey farmers, organic beef, prepared foods. Everything,” said Jonietz.
Jonietz said the local market was a great way to bring people into the hamlet, and a great way to meet new people and catch up with friends and neighbors. “But it’s also a very convenient way to stop by the market after work – either here or in all of our neighboring towns – and pick up local fresh produce and cheeses and meats,” she said, “and know that what you’re eating is fresh and healthy and is supporting our local growers.”
The New Paltz Farmers’ Market is in the Rock & Snow parking lot, just across from the Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street in downtown New Paltz. Spreading the love of locally grown produce and products, New Paltz’s market runs every Sunday through November 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are dozens of local vendors at this farm market, including among others Acorn Hill Farms, Four Winds Farm, Bread Alone Bakery, Lazy Crazy Acres Creamery, Libertyville Farm and Whitecliff Vineyard.
There are always activities for the kids, so bring the whole family. Meet old friends, make new ones and return home with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked goods, top-quality meats and cheeses and so much more, say the organizers.
Because it’s so centrally located, the New Paltz Farmers’ Market is easy to walk, bike or run to. Patrons can buy a bundle of fresh produce, a cup of homemade ice cream, mozzarella, tea leaves and spices.
The Heart of the Hudson Valley Farmers’ Market at the Cluett-Shantz Memorial Park in Milton is a well-traveled gathering place for farmers, farm-lovers and healthy, locally conscious food shoppers, as well as a community space where there are constant events, including magicians, yard sales, heirloom tomato-tasting, arts and crafts, live music, chef demos and healthy living expos. Milton’s market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until mid-October. There will also be a special Thanksgiving farmers’ market on November 17. Their vendors are varied and include, among others, Hepworth Farms, Locust Grove Fruit Farm, Quimby Farms, Pampered Chef cooking demos and utensils, Hummingbird Honey Ranch, Juliet’s Kitchen, Tupperware and My Brother Bobby’s Salsa.