The Newburgh Farmer’s Market opened July 13 and will be open every Saturday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. until the last day of the season on October 19. While for the past two years, Common Ground Farms has held the farmer’s market in Downing Park, this year the market is located in the outdoor park of the Safe Harbors Green, 95-107 Broadway in Newburgh.
The Newburgh Farmer’s Market is operated by Common Ground, a non-profit organization specializing in farming and education of food injustice and insecurity; meaning urban areas and people of low-income status don’t get access to healthy organic food.
Running for nearly 19 years, Common Ground originally started as a CSA (Community Supportive Agriculture) Farm, where members paid one price upfront and get shares of produce every week, a practice still used by farmers today.
Nowadays Common Ground model is a U-pick system, a similar system where customers pay one price upfront but still come to the market and pick produce themselves. Common Ground has been working with the Newburgh Farmer’s Market since 2017, and last year their farm stand made $150 a week over the twelve weeks they were open, according to Farm Director Sarah Simon.
Simon also says that the reason one of Common Ground’s branches is education is that many people aren’t as aware of food insecurity and injustice as they should be,
“Since we live in a wealthy country, it’s confusing for some people that some places have no access to organic healthy food, which has contributed to the growing obesity epidemic,” Simon said.
The main reason the market decided to move to Safe Harbors Green was to make it more accessible to more of Newburgh’s population. Common Ground’s Marketing Manager, Jenny Loeb, says that they have seen a lot more traffic in the past few weeks because of this change of location. This is most likely due to Safe Harbors Green being near a bus stop, a parking lot, and in walking distance and near Broadway shopping areas, thus giving residents one convenient location for all their shopping. Common Ground also works in collaboration with Newburgh Urban Farm and Food Initiative to donate unsold produce from the market to food pantries and soup kitchens in the Newburgh area.
In addition to making the market more accessible to the general population, Common Ground also wants to make healthy food as readily available to people who can’t afford it anywhere else. All of the vendors at the market accept SNAP/EBT, FMNP, WIC and Fresh Connect checks for eligible products. Those who receive these can talk to market managers about how to take advantage of them at the market.
Also, the Newburgh Farmer’s market will match the value of food benefits used with Greens4Greens checks that will give them money to spend on fruits and vegetables. These Green4Greens checks are also redeemable at Common Ground’s farmer’s markets in Beacon.
“If someone spent $16 in Food Stamps, they would get $16 more in Greens4Greens checks to spend on fresh vegetables,” Simon said. The Greens4Greens checks can also be redeemed at Common Ground markets in Beacon: the Beacon Farmers’ Market on Sundays and the Common Ground Mobile Market on Wednesdays. If anyone uses these food benefit programs, talk to the managers and vendors on how you can use them at the market and how to get Greens4Greens checks, and even if you don’t use food benefit programs, always ask if vendors take credit cards.
The vendors at the farmer’s market included Grandpa’s Farm from Chester, Pancake Hollow Sugar Works & Hudson Ale from Highland, Farm Tourant from Montgomery, and Second Wind CSA from Gardiner, and a lot of them have connections to Common Ground. Vendors like Todd B Ridolph from Pancake Hollow Sugar Works & Hudson Ale Works in Highland and Sam Devine from Second Winds CSA in Gardiner said that even though they don’t have experience with Common Grounds as an organization, they are good friends with Jenny and Sarah. Zach Pickens from Farm Tourant in Montgomery said that he has been to Common Ground’s Beacon Markets several times and appreciates that Common Ground gives local farmers a large platform,
“We’re really just a big farmer’s community and we have to stick together” And helps give food to the people who need it, “I’m from Newburgh and I love what they’re doing for my community and I love how I can contribute to it,” said Pickens. In addition to helping feed and educate the community, the market also helps educate those who volunteer to work for it. This summer the market will also employ two Newburgh teenagers as market assistants, allowing teens to develop skills in sales, marketing, and customer service.
They’re also hoping to expand to 30 weekly vendors in the next few years to bring a greater diversity of local products to support more local farmers in Orange County.
For more information, call Jenny Loeb, Common Ground Market manager at 845-416-5308 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.