Shoppers browse the Capital District Farmers’ Market in Menands on Broadway. The market opened May 5 and features both retail and wholesale markets. The retail market runs Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the wholesale market is Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
CAPITAL DISTRICT As warmer weather settles in, farmers markets are starting to set up shop around the region. Each offers something a little different but they all have one thing in common: fresh, local food.
Opening day for the CDPHP Farmers’ Market was sunny and warm as vendors welcomed the public on Thursday, May 24, at 500 Patroon Creek Boulevard in Albany. This is the market’s fifth year and with seven new vendors added to the lineup, it’s also its largest yet.
“It’s one of the most sought after markets in the Capital Region according to the Department of Agriculture and Markets,” said Ali Skinner, spokesperson for CDPHP.
Skinner said one of the reasons for the market’s popularity is that there’s “something for everybody,” from fresh produce to baked goods to handmade bath products and jewelry.
“We try to mix it up,” said Skinner. “As a community-based health plan, we serve a very diverse crowd, so we try to do the same thing at our farmers’ market.”
New this year is Allan Ditton Pottery (handmade pottery), Bakeforu (cookies, scones and cupcakes), Dutch Desserts (European-style fruit tarts), Honeybee Farm (cheeses, eggs, garlic, honey and hummus), Ali Hermann Artwork & Jewelry (handmade pieces) and Scarecrow Farm (wool, yarn, honey, eggs and assorted vegetables).
Various returning vendors will have jams, herbs, nuts and plenty of fruits and veggies to choose from. Skinner said there will be gluten-free products available, too.
Farmer Chris Webb said he’s looking forward to returning to “one of the friendliest markets” he attends. But less than a year ago, his priorities were far from selecting crops to take to market.
“When you have a bad year, you have a bad year. You’re going to get behind on a lot of stuff,” said Webb, owner of Gold Krest in East Greenbush.
Webb had a really bad year. Tropical Storm Irene destroyed $360,000 worth of crops and farm equipment when it blew through and buried his farm under 10 feet of water. Webb said he still hasn’t fully rebuilt.