American Farmland Trust’s 12th Annual Farmers Market Celebration for 2020 starts on Monday, June 22 and will run through September 20, 2020. Supporters and customers of farmers market can start voting for the most essential market in their community helping them win national recognition. In addition this year, American Farmland Trust (AFT) will be offering new cash prizes to the top three markets that receive the most votes in its 2020 Celebration.
In addition to recognizing the top markets in each region of America, the Celebration will crown an overall People’s Choice winner as the top endorsed market in the country. The top prize for the People’s Choice will be $1,000. Cash prizes for 2nd Place is $500 and for 3rd Place $250.
AFT suggests various ways, a vote-winning farmers market could put this money to use including (i) purchasing essential personal protective equipment and safety supplies; (ii) new signage and marketing materials; (iii) repair or replace broken tables, chairs and tents, or (iv) improve their websites and enhance social media presence.
AFT encourages farmers markets to make sure their listing on markets.farmland.org is current with updated COVID-19 guidelines, days and hours of operation, and links to their websites. It’s easy to FIND MY MARKET on AFT’s website.
Since 1981, this non-profit organization has worked to protect and conserve farmland and has promoted environmentally sound farming practices. With a staff of farmers, policy experts, researchers and scientists, AFT has worked to keep farmers on farmland and ranchland.
Last year for AFT’s 11th Annual Farmers Market Celebration, voters crowned the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market in Troy (Rensselaer County) in upstate New York as the winner of the 2019 People’s Choice Award. This destination farmers market in the Capital Region of upstate New York will likely garner much support again this year.
Back in April, we reported that the year-round Troy Waterfront Farmers Market in response to the corona virus pandemic was developing an online platform to handle orders from its vendors to be packed into a single box for pickup in downtown Troy.
We are happy now to report that the Troy market has begun operating with more than 40 farmers and businesses at Riverfront Park in the downtown of this small upstate New York riverside city, in accordance with phases and guidelines set by the state of New York for this region of upstate New York. The construction of a redesigned Riverfront Park (by Brooklyn-based W. Architecture & Landscape Architecture) was recently completed.
The Troy market operates on Saturdays from 8:30AM to 2:00PM with the first hour of the market reserved for people 60 or older, first responders and essential workers. During the first hour only 150 customers are allowed in the market. From 9:30AM until closing at 2:00PM, up to 250 customers are permitted into the market. Shoppers may also reserve a shopping time slot. Although reservations are for 20-minute slots, shoppers may take as long as they want once they are admitted into the market.
The Troy Market has also decided to turn its virtual market, which had been established during the pandemic, into a sustainable part of its operation. Pick up on Sundays at nearby Carioto Produce in Green Island (Albany County), NY will be available, with a $5 flat fee per each on-line market order.
(Frank W. Barrie, 6/18/20)