KINDERHOOK – A new farmers’ market is growing in the village of Kinderhook this season, and while its roots have been embedded for decades it will now nearly triple the size.
Organized in 1985 and operated for the past two decades by Jean Brower until her retirement last year, The Kinderhook Farmers’ Market emerges this season May 4–more than a month earlier than has been customary–with a new management team and a host of new collaborators, vendors and local products.
“It was a big job for one person,” said Kim Voltz, a member of the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association as well as the farmers’ market manager. “The committee is all new, and all the decisions, from finding new vendors, determining rules and regulations and policy, are a collective effort. There has been a big sharing of ideas and a great collaborative. It has been so much fun,” she said.
But more than fun, organizers see the revamped market as an economic engine for the community, and one it hopes will grow into an all-seasons market.
In addition to a new advertising campaign and an earlier start date, the market will feature 25 regular vendors as well as a variety of specialty vendors and entertainers that will change each week.
Special events on opening day include the Preserve America unveiling at the bandstand, with Kinderhook Mayor Carol Weaver and U.S. Representative Chris Gibson (R-19th). Preserve America is a federal program that recognizes communities that protect, celebrate and share their heritage. The village received the honor two years ago.
Organizers have also planned weekly and monthly themes, which include Spring Gardening Day in collaboration with The Garden Club of Kinderhook’s annual Plant and Bake Sale, May 11, and Kids’ Month at the Market in July.
Renee Shur, chair of the Kinderhook Economic Development Committee and a member of the Kinderhook Farmers’ Market Committee, said that in addition to the Kinderhook community, “We’re also hoping to attract others to come and get to know our center. We want them to reenergize, stay longer and visit our other local merchants.”
“What I think is remarkable about this market is how many organizations are working together, from The Garden Club of Kinderhook to the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association and the Economic Development Committee, the Kinderhook Memorial Library, Sylvia Center and Katchkie Farms, the Columbia County Historical Society, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia County, Camphill Village and local musicians, crafters and artisans,” said Ms. Shur.
Warren Collins, market committee member and owner of Wildwood Farm in Ghent has been instrumental in getting new vendors as well as incorporating ways to increase the market’s product diversity.
Ms. Collins said that with larger markets taking hold around the region vendors don’t have the time and personnel to be a presence at all of them.
“That’s why we thought we’d do a community table. Essentially it’s a booth where products we want to offer can be bought and resold. We really want to be a full-service market and the table helps us do that.”
Organizers say wares for the community table will include locally grown shiitake and oyster mushrooms by Zehr and Sons Mushrooms, wooden products from Camphill Village and Strongtree Coffee fair trade coffee beans with a special name, “Kinderhook Farmers’ Market Saturday Morning Blend.”
The new, extended season will also mean some crossover between the markets and other quintessential Kinderhook events. The Old Kinderhook Craft Fair featuring a Fife & Drum Parade will take place June 1 and the OK5K road race will coincide on June 8.
“It just means more planning,” said Ms. Voltz, laughing.
Hudson Farmers’ Market opens 16th season May 4
HUDSON – Saturday, May 4 the Hudson Farmers Market begins its 16th season in the parking lot on 6th and Columbia Street.
The market includes 30 vendors, a music and activity tent and, for the second year, beginning in June, a Book Tent featuring authors of cookbooks and books on food and agriculture. Authors will be in the tent autographing and talking to shoppers.
The vendors provide a wide variety of offerings that are grown, produced or prepared in Columbia County. This year there will be more than 100 dozen eggs from a wide variety of chickens each Saturday. The vegetable growers are already stocked with cresses, ramps, scallions, baby greens, spinach and kales. Kale pesto, nuts and nut butters, fair trade coffees, honey, farmstead cheeses, maple syrup, cider, prepared foods of all kinds, breads and baked goods are also offered. Chicken, beef, and lamb cuts are offered by several vendors as well as sausages, bacon and ground beef. Fresh flowers and bedding plants are available to. A milk vendor will also be joining the market this year.
This Saturday at 9:30, The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce will provide the ribbon and the big scissors for Hudson Mayor Bill Hallenbeck to cut, kicking off the 16th year.
The Hudson Farmers Market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through November 23.