Twenty years ago, most of the people in the United States were adjusting to buying their fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and even milk products from producers farther and farther from their homes. This oftentimes meant that the food people were eating had been picked far before it was ripe and transported in containers from distant areas of the world to our tables.
We are lucky here in the Warwick Valley. We still had farms with beef, some dairy, orchards, chickens, goats and sheep. We were and are blessed by also having some 6,000 contiguous acres of fertile Black Dirt, which has allowed Pine Island, Warwick, Goshen and parts of Chester to become the onion capital of the U.S. And, between the rolling uplands and the vast Black Dirt fields, Warwick produces some of the finest and most sought-after fruit, vegetables, root crops and greens anywhere in the country.
In 1994, a group of our local elected officials, business people, farmers, restaurateurs and folks who just enjoy good, fresh food got together around the idea that we, the local community, should have access to the local bounty—fresh from the farm and farm kitchen to our own tables.
These folks worked with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Warwick Chamber of Commerce to establish the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market. Thanks to their efforts our Market has its home in the South Street Parking Lot and has become the premier farmers market in the region.
In addition to all of our wonderful vendors, the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market provides interactive entertainment for market-goers. There are local chef demonstrations, music by local artists, and a variety of children’s and family events. We recently initiated another series, Community Partnership that spotlights local businesses and not-for-profit organizations whose services are of interest to the community.
We thank you for your support and continued interest of the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market, which has grown from a handful of vendors its first season to 34 vendors for the 2013 season. As in years past, we will continue to bring you the finest and freshest local fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, honey, maple sugar, fresh flowers, and garden plants, baked goods and prepared foods, wine and ciders, seasoned teas and lemonades, jams and jellies, and homemade herbal soaps. We look forward to seeing you some Sunday this season!