PORT JERVIS, N.Y.—Three farmers showed up for the first-of-the-season farmers market in Port Jervis on July 18th, one less than expected, according to the city’s press release.
Perez Market Farm, Peace and Carrot Farm, and Once Upon a Farm were all there till the end despite a low turnout. The Port Jervis Farmers’ Market has always been struggling, says the Azeneth Perez, who has stayed with it over the years despite the slow traffic.
“We do it because they have nobody else,” she said.
Perez, whose farm is in Goshen, says the market is “in the middle” compared to other markets she and her family do in Brooklyn, Long Island, Mount Vernon and Haverstraw. The pros are that there is no vendor fee and there is little competition, but she says she can’t charge as much as in other markets and there aren’t that many customers.
It was Lara Van Inwegen of Once Upon a Farm’s first time at the market and she said it was “good … but a little slow.” Laura Nywenig, owner of Peace and Carrots Farm, agreed it was slow but gave it the benefit of the doubt because it was the first week of the season. She said she would give it a few more weeks and then decide whether it was worth coming back.
The market coincided with the annual Port Jervis arts walk and summer street fair, which was adjacent to the market on Front Street.
Perez said the traffic from that brought some new customers to her stall. It remains to be seen whether the exposure from the fair will bring in long-term customers and revive the struggling market.
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