The Goshen Farmers Market was one of the most organized and professional we have seen on our trip.  About 25 vendors circled the edge of a park in the city.  Market manager Louis Reyes greeted us and shared many details about the market.  The market is sponsored and operated by the Goshen Chamber of Commerce.  It is a farmer only market – vendors must grow or make what they sell.  The Chamber verifies new members when they join the market.  Vendors must complete a form and list the produce/products they intend to sell.  Management limits the number of vendors selling each product.  For example, everyone cannot have sweetcorn because it would affect pricing and the customer base.  Customers want to see a variety of products and come back for the variety.

The market has many special events and activities.  A new promotion will be a 10% discount for veterans from Orange County, NY.  They have live music every Friday (we missed this because it was raining).   

S&SO Farms was there with several tables of produce.  In fact, they were one of the original six farms who started the Green Markets in New York City. Amazingly, they grow artichokes on their farm (as an annual plant, of course) to sell at the markets.  One of the farm employees stated they have done this since Colonial times.  They sold their own ‘branded’ reuseable market bags with their logo printed on the side.  They also sold purslane as an herb.  This is their second year selling the herb.  Purslane was recently touted as a ‘super green’ by the New York Times, containing vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/dining/07purslane.html)

Bialas Farms, from New Hampton, NY, was established in 1939.  They had many unusual vegetables and EXCELLENT signage for their customers.  The daughter in the operation is also a chef.  Signage stated what the product was, how to use it in cooking/eating and the price.  This helped sell many of the products at their stand.  Some of their unique produce included golden beets, purple  broccoli, several leafy greens, white peppers, fingerling eggplant and more.

Her mother proceeded to give us a lesson on SE Sweetcorn varieties (what our growers in the Mid-Ohio Valley grow).  She even made us sample the raw corn so we could understand the sugary taste better.  Several customers also listened and bought her sweetcorn. They offered no white sweetcorn because they say the flavor just isn’t there.

We also visited with a locally focused meat vendor, selling 4 – 1/4 pound grass fed beef patties for $6.  She had a wide variety of products and a constant line of customers while we were at the market in the rain.

A nearly three century old farm, Orchards of Concklin from Ponoma, NY, were selling blueberries, apples, fresh pies and some produce.  Many other vendors shared their stories of unique, local products.

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