Starting at 9 a.m., a record number of 33 vendors will be lining Wall Street, offering locally produced fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut flowers, cheeses, organic meats, sauces, salsas and more. There’ll also be a limited plant giveaway from Cornell Cooperative Extension whose master gardeners will also be on hand to quell your black-thumb gardening fears. County Clerk Nina Postupack, County Comptroller Elliot Auerbach, county Director of Tourism Rick Remsnyder for Ulster County and others will cut a ceremonial vine as an official opening gesture. Additionally, there will be 13 crafters set up on John Street offering glass art, jewelry, soaps, and even pens made from local Hudson Valley trees. “Crafts on John Street” will be held the first and third Saturdays of the month thereafter, until the market shuts down just before
According to Joe Fitzgerald, the farmers market board president, the storytelling series was such a success last year that visitors can expect to entertained again on the third Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m. by various Hudson Valley folklorists. Another perennial winner is the Healthy Eating Series, an educational series on the benefits of healthful foods found in season at the market and easy and tasteful ways to prepare them. The series will run for 12 weeks on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Noel Conklin is a certified holistic health counselor trained through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered nurse and certified health coach Lysa Ingalsbe will be anchoring the program.
One question mark dangles over every Kingstonian’s head when faced with congregating in the now-harried cross-section of Wall Street — “What about the canopy construction?” Fitzgerald firmly believes that the ongoing work of rebuilding the Pike Plan canopy will not be an issue. “From observation, so far the crew that is doing the work seems to leave the street in order when they leave,” Fitzgerald said. “They seem very professional. We are told that they will not be doing construction on the weekend [and] the street will be clear of debris. The dumpsters will be removed for the weekend.”
New offerings, old favorites
Product diversity is a point of pride for the market, says market publicist Jillian Fisher. This includes tamales from Block Factory Tamales; “living foods” cheeses with health-promoting probiotics made by Amazing Real Live Food Company; paella and tapas prepared in the street by chef Efrain “Chef Ef” Martinez; and venison, buffalo and elk meat products sold by Highland Farms. What else? How about handmade mozzarella, gourmet quiches, gluten-free baked treats, wines, exotic berries and even shaved ice cream.
“The process of becoming a vendor is incredibly involved as the Market Board of Directors verifies that everything listed, including ingredients if one is bringing something prepared, is local,” said Fisher. “If one wants to bring a crop, it is verified that the vendor will have enough to last the entire Market season which is six months. It is also important to the Kingston Farmers’ Market that there not be too many vendors offering similar fare. The process of becoming a vendor is rigorous, but the 1,500 to 2,000 visitors each weekend is a nice payoff.”
Fisher and Fitzgerald concur that the town-square market atmosphere is one of the greatest perks of the market for the community. “People meet weekly to catch up with friends, talk to local farmers and just be seen,” said Fisher.
The ability to connect face-to-face with the bakers and growers is also valuable to shoppers. “There’s something wonderful about being able to talk to the person that is growing the food we eat,” said Fisher. “From growing practices to recipes, it’s instant feedback on what one ingests. Many times the vendors offer fruits and vegetables not commonly heard of or found at a grocery store. Buying fresh and local from the Kingston Farmers’ Market is a tasty learning experience.” Fisher suggests friending the market on Facebook: “Friends of the Kingston Farmers’ Market on Facebook are given advanced notice and updated weekly with specials many of the vendors are bringing. Because there are not always large quantities of the specials, this gives [Facebook] friends a market advantage,” she explained.
The market is open rain or shine running from May 28 through Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Special events will be posted on the website, including kids days and harvest festivals. A full list of vendors and schedule appears on