Milt Meisner and Doc Posner brainstormed the Hudson Farmers’ Market in the winter and early spring of 1997. Milt visited the Saratoga Farmers’ Market with his daughter and had the idea to bring a farmers’ market to Hudson which had just seen it’s only grocery store close their doors. Milt and Doc wanted to support small farmers and start-ups who had no other outlets to sell their produce. As hard as it is to imagine, at the time the direct line from farm-to-customer was something of a rarity.
Virginia Ambrose (of Scarecrow Farm) shared: “Milt went door to door, barn to barn, and farm to farm asking for farmers to come together to form the market.” Many said no, but he was able to find a few who were interested in founding the HFM and take a chance on a community that needed assistance with access to fresh local foods. So, with sponsorship from the Mayor’s Office, the Hudson Farmers’ Market started it’s first season in the municipal lot at 6th and Columbia St with 5 vendors.
There were vegetables, eggs, honey, soaps, herbal oils, tree fruit, cactus, plants, and yarn. It was slower in the early years, but vendors hung on and customers eventually came with regularity. Gradually, the items and offerings started to increase— but always within a very specific framework that was established in the early days.
The vendors of the Hudson Farmers’ Market nurtures our individual projects, push each other to innovate season after season, and keep the vision alive that was established 25 years ago by our founders. It may look different than what Milt and Doc originally intended, but the core ethics still remain the same— producers willing to take a risk, customers willing to show up, and the magic that happens when we collaborate.
With this said, we are happy to announce that our 25th season begins on April 23rd and runs through November 19th.
Our farmers' market strives to provide Hudson/Columbia County residents and visitors with convenient access to high quality, locally grown, and locally produced items from growers and artisans from the surrounding area. This provides farmers and producers with a direct outlet for their products and customers a base for buying local.
If you are new to the Hudson Valley make sure to check out the bounty at the county's largest farmers market. We can't wait to meet you!
photo credits: Amy Brown, logo design: Victoria Pohlmann