Residents of New Paltz have been enjoying the open air farmers market located on Church Street every Sunday since it began this year on June 18. However, students who did not remain in New Paltz over the summer had the opportunity to experience it for the first time on Sept. 3.
Unfortunately, the market did not see the large crowd that it anticipated due to the weather. A combination of persistent rain and the coldest day since the market began kept potential goers at bay.
“Usually we have music and a lot of people coming in,” Jennifer Duarte of Damn Good Honey Farm said. “There’s a lot of vendors missing.”
Among the few that did show up were Resisterhood: New Paltz, Grok Bites, Three Sisters Biodynamic Farm, Wrights Farm and Damn Good Honey Farm.
Resisterhood: New Paltz stood out among the crowd of farms by offering a different kind of service.
A feminist activist group, Resisterhood collected 212 maxi pads and 146 tampons at this week’s market in attempts to reduce a dearth of hygiene products available in homeless shelters. It also raised $32 to buy additional hygiene products for donation.
Grok Bites offered their original, organic alternative to unhealthy snacking which are vegan bars comprised of fruits and nuts. Vendor Billie Golan spoke about how attending markets has affected business.
“There’s definitely returning customers,” she said. “You’ll have customers that’ll be like ‘I need to re-up!’”
Duarte echoed this statement, claiming that many customers at the market will find her store in Kerhonkson.
For businesses on Church Street, the market has regularly brought in customers every Sunday. For Lagusta’s Luscious Commissary in particular, this has translated into adding additional shifts on Sundays to try and keep up with the extra foot traffic.
“It’s been really great,” co-owner Lagusta Yearwood said. “We have been slowly ramping up our labor in case it gets really busy.”
However, not every effect the market is having on Church Street businesses is a good one. While Krause’s Chocolates employee Christina Krause agreed that the market has generally brought in additional customers, she also said that it can obscure the store, deterring customers from coming in.
“Usually if they set up right in front of the store, I feel like sometimes people don’t see the store,” she said. “It just depends where they set up the booths I think.”
Yearwood said she got the initial idea for the market out by emailing farmers and community members, from which current operator Ariana Basco took point and made the idea a reality.
The market runs every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will continue until Nov. 19.