From Idea to Reality: How the Stony Point Farmers’ Market Came to Be

1001813_438251642939190_1025549206_nMoms made it happen! There’s an interesting tale behind the creation of the Stony Point Farmers’ Market.

The Stony Point Farmers’ Market began as a Facebook conversation on the North Rockland Community page in August 2012 when someone posted that they would like to see a farmers’ market started in Stony Point. Michele Corish answered that she would be willing to try if others were willing to help. Well, within a week, Michele met Jennifer Lima and Jeanna Cook for the first time at a local restaurant and planning for a market was underway.

This group of working moms soon learned that they shared a desire not only to provide their community with local organic produce, but wanted the market to serve as a vehicle to provide their community with heather eating and wellness options. Like many others, the women also felt that North Rockland, and Stony Point in particular, lacked a central meeting place for the sharing of information such as community events, promotion of local businesses and general town information.

The women decided to give the market a test run with the sponsorship of the North Rockland Business Alliance (NRBA), so the logistical support from the town held a kick-off event in October 2012. It was a great success; however, the women soon learned that the hardest part of starting a farmers’ market was finding a farmer willing to take a chance on a new venue.

Thankfully, they found Bradley Stoll, of Fresh Meadow Farms, who was willing to give Stony Point’s kick-off event and 2013 weekly Saturday markets a chance. In addition to USDA-certified organic produce, Fresh Meadow Farms sells pies, quiches, pickles, coleslaws and corn salads. Soon, more vendors committed to the market, including Perkins Berry Patch, producer of preserves, spice rubs, zucchini bread and cookies. The pepper jelly sells out almost every week.

Sweet Things and Wild Thyme produces a wide variety of honeys and honey products such as beeswax candles, lip balms and soaps. They also carry maple syrup and fresh herbs most weeks. Locust Grove Fruit Farms has joined the weekly market with fresh fruit and corn. Elle’s Elations sells delicious smelling soaps and lotions and has recently begun making candles. Regular vendors at the weekly market also include Diva Glitz Bracelets, Bliss Co-op, who sells a variety of handcrafted items made by local women, paintings by Gina Odell, Tie Dye Earth, Infinity Gems jewelry and recent additions Pugh’s Poultry Farm and Robibero Winery.

The farmers’ market also welcomes at least one local charity per week including Hi Tor Animal Shelter and Rebuild Hi Tor, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Americorp with their Rockland Recycles initiative and the Stony Point Historical Society. Market organizers want the market to be able to support, help and promote as many local initiatives as possible. Education is also important to organizers, who hope to be able to host demonstrations on healthy cooking, gardening and other wellness topics in weeks to come.

Organizers also want to be able to offer exercise demonstrations, kids’ activities and live music every week. In the past weeks, there has been hosted music by Stefan Jesse, Zumba by Elizabeth M. and yoga by Jody Atkinson from Ayu Yoga.

Future events include music by Alan McGeorge this Saturday, August 17, as well as Jillian Michaels on August 24 and August 31.

The market also plans to hold a kid’s day on Saturday, September 21, with a free kid’s yoga class with Wndy Messano, owner of Little Shanti Yoga, music and story telling by Joe Planck and many other kid friendly activities.

The Stony Point Farmers’ Market has continued to operate the 2013 season with the sponsorship of the NRBA, and has already begun to recruit possible farmers and other vendors for 2014. The market is held every Saturday through October 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stony Point Town Hall, located at 74 East Main Street.