BETHLEHEM — The Capital District Farmers Market Association began its Tuesday Market last week at Delmar’s First United Methodist Church with new social distancing measures.
Located on 428 Kenwood Ave. in Delmar, the Tuesday Market takes place from 2:30 to 6 p.m. and will continue until the last Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Frank Stanton, the Capital District Farmers Market Association’s president, said, “We spread the vendors’ tents at least 10 feet from one another and every vendor has sanitizer solution for people to use. We also have a wash station in an alley with paper towels and soap.”
The Tuesday Market is able to operate because the state Department of Agriculture and Markets determined that farmers markets and food-producing farms are considered essential food supply chain industries and are exempt from state-mandated workforce reduction. Vendors are required to wear masks too and wear gloves if handling food.
Stanton said customers can pay with cash and most of the vendors accept credit cards too.
“We stepped up with all the precautions and had a Zoom meeting with the vendors,” Stanton said. “We and the vendors were very happy we can come back this year and all this was made possible by the First United Methodist Church.”
This year, the market has 16 vendors and among the products people can expect include vegetables, maple syrup, honey, bread, cheese and barbecued meat.
According to its website, the vendors include New Leaf Farm from New Lebanon, Bulich Creekside from Leeds, Good Day Honey from Coeymans Hollow, Geurtze BBQ from Glenmont, Worldlings Pleasure from Watervliet, Scotch Ridge Farm from Duanesburg, Food Florist from Ballston Spa, Placid Baker from Troy, Meadow Brook Farm from Voorheesville, Hope Valley Farm from Northville and Little River Farm from Hudson.
Stanton said canceling the Tuesday Market or transitioning it into a virtual market this year were never considered. “If we go online, vegetables and that kind of products are very perishable so if you grow crops but have no customers, you just end up throwing them away,” he said. “There was no discussion on having a drive-thru but we can maybe do pickup in the future if people want.”
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanton — who also mans the Good Day Honey tent which sells natural and unprocessed honey and beeswax — said continuing the Tuesday Market is “very important because people love fresh food and they want to look at the people that produce them. … When people come, they know I produce the honey and I give them an education and describe each type of honey.”
When asked about the public’s reaction and turnout, he said, “People have been very supportive of the market and very happy we opened up. Lots of people have been stuck in the house and have no place to go. They can come to the market as long as they wear masks and maintain social distancing. They enjoy coming to the market to see where the food comes from and talk to the vendors and farmers.”
For more information, visit capitaldistrictfarmersmarketassociation.org.
Photos by Diego Cagara / Spotlight News