Feature on Fromer Market GardensFeature on Fromer Market Gardens
May 2020 Feature, Fromer Market Gardens
Where did the idea of Fromer Markets begin?
The Mission of the Hunter Foundation has always been focused on the economic development of our Town and the surrounding area. The idea of having a farm operating year round, which serves organic and naturally grown products to our residents and businesses was very appealing to us. We have learned from other communities how positively impactful a business of this type can be on so many levels to a local economy, so we worked very hard over the past few years to bring FMG to reality.
Why was that particular piece of property of interest?
The acquisition of the Fromer property had much to do with the Hunter Foundation’s decision to develop the farm concept. We had acquired this initially in 2013 in order to stabilize and renovate what many consider to be one of the architectural crown jewels of Tannersville. As it is located adjacent to our High School and across the street from the Mountain Top Library, we quickly realized that this would be an amazing addition to the educational assets of our Town.
Historically the property was built and owned by Jacob Fromer, a successful local businessman and farmer in the early 1900s. We have been told that he considered himself a “gentleman farmer” and planted a variety of apple trees, vegetables, and kept some livestock.
As our concept for a local farm developed, we realized that this property was perfectly situated with ample space to grow, build our greenhouse and use the existing barn for a variety of farm related needs.
Who runs the farm and what are their backgrounds?
Alexandra “Alex” Kaindl is the Farm Manager. She is originally from California but has spent many years farming in New York. She brings a focus in soil health and biodiversity, while focusing on a strong and supportive work environment for others to be able to engage in the farm.
Samantha “Sam” Metz is the Assistant Farm Manager. She grew up in Montville, New Jersey and graduated in 2017 from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. She has apprenticed on a 20-acre vegetable farm in South Jersey for two seasons and is excited to take on a different style of farming and cultivate her own agricultural career here in beautiful Tannersville.
Helping Alex and Sam at the Farm are long time farm hands Jake and Cole who bring institutional knowledge of the farm. Carolyn Riggs works with the farmers behind the scenes, making sure the farm has everything they need to grow clean, organic food. Riggs is the Communications Director with the Hunter Foundation and can be found helping the farmers on Friday projects and at the Farm Stand every Saturday morning.
Ed mentioned that you came from California? What brought you to Tannersville NY?
“I have a handful of friends in the agriculture industry in the Hudson region and am very intrigued by the climate, farming community, and overall energy that I’ve had small tastes of in my visits. The opportunity to try my hands at farming in upstate New York was one I could not pass up. Fromer Market Gardens is a truly special addition to Tannersville and the community engagement potential is endless - something that excites me very much.” - Alex Kaindl
Is the farm operating year round? If so, what goes on in the winter months?
Fromer Market Gardens operates a 8500 square foot state of the art cold weather greenhouse that grows produce, primarily mixed greens, hearty leafy greens like spinach and kale, and assorted vegetables like celery and radishes. The Farm Stand is open every Saturday at 9am where produce grown on site is sold, in addition to added value products like bread, eggs, meats, jams and jellies, and other pastries.
What produce do you grow and have to offer?
Fromer Market Gardens grows seasonal produce, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Availability is dependent upon the season but you can always find a fresh salad mix, microgreens, and other leafy greens available. Specialty items could include summer and winter squashes, green beans, peas, turnips, and more. All of these products are offered weekly at our on-site farm stand, and sold to our local restaurants to be incorporated in their menu offerings.
Does the farm offer any educational tools to the community or school?
Fromer Markets Gardens partners with the HTC schools to provide a venue for education and fun. We’ve worked with Life Skills classes, grown starts for plant sale fundraisers, and work with George Bain, the school’s technology teacher on small construction projects giving students an opportunity to practice the skills they learn in the classroom. We are already working on future opportunities for hands-on learning for both students and community members.
Fromer Market Gardens currently contributes to the Food Pantry, the COVID-19 Food for Families Program, and is open every Saturday at 9am. They take check, credit card, apple pay, and SNAP cards.
More info on Fromer Market Gardens can be found on our Community Partners Page https://www.wellnessrxllc.com/community-partners/fromer-market-gardens