One of the benefits of living in Upstate New York is local farms are all around us. And where there are a lot of farms, there are a lot of farmers markets.
Right now, we’re entering the time of year when outdoor farmers markets are opening. Each one of them affords us the chance to directly support our regional businesses and boost our economy by purchasing their goods. It also gives local growers a chance to bring their goods to parts of the area where access to fresh food is limited.
Albany has several farmers markets within its borders where city residents can get fresh produce and meat directly from the source. The Dana Park Farmers Market sets up shop every Thursday from 8 a.m. to dark at one of the busiest intersections in the city: Madison Avenue at Delaware Avenue and Lark Street. Also on Thursdays, downtown Albany has a farmers market in Maiden Lane Park, while the Delaware Area Neighborhood Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. beginning next month.
New York state workers have two farmers markets conveniently located to them — the CDPHP Farmers Market on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the State Office Complex on Patroon Creek Boulevard, and the Empire State Plaza Farmers Market Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Concourse. Each location gives workers a place to get fresh produce and other goods without having to drive to the supermarket on the way home.
Suburbs are well served by farmers markets, too. The Town of Bethlehem features three farmers markets: the Delmar Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Central Middle School (starting in June), the Bethlehem Grange’s Farmers Market Thursdays from noon until 5 p.m. at the Grange Community Center on State Route 396 in Selkirk and one at the First United Methodist Church on Kenwood Avenue, Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. Beginning in mid-July, The Village of Altamont hosts a small market outside the library, and on June 18, the Voorheesville farmers market opens at the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church on Maple Avenue.
Town of Colonie residents have a couple of farmers markets to choose from. The Farmers Market at the Crossings began last weekend and takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until September, while the Capital District Farmers Market sets up shop on Route 32 in Menands Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October.
There are many more farmers markets a little farther afield from the immediate Delmar/Albany/Colonie area. Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga Springs all offer large farmers markets, with an added bonus of live music at the ones in Schenectady and Troy. The Schenectady Greenmarket takes place Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. around City Hall, while the Troy Farmers Market is held Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the intersection of Third Street and Broadway. Saratoga’s farmers market is also on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its pavilions on High Rock Avenue.
In between those major farmers markets are ones located in Cohoes, Clifton Park, Niskayuna, Malta and Ballston Spa. Beyond there, you can find farmers markets from Whitehall to Hudson. If you need a complete list, a good place to start is at www.albany.com under the “Things To Do” tab. You’ll find many of the farmers markets that we listed here on that site, and you can sort by individual town to find the one closest to you.
So, head on out to your local farmers market. After all, there is nothing like shopping for fresh food on a beautiful day, especially when you know you’ll also be supporting the local economy.