Thursday, December 2, 2021

Argyle’s Arnolds: GF Farmers Market ousts us after 34 years

Argyle’s Arnold family, which operates Pleasant Valley Farm, shared on its e-mail newsletter on Saturday:

The Glens Falls Farmers’ Market Board denied our summer application for 2021 and the last few months have been difficult figuring out how to deal with that unexpected letter and what to say to our long time customers.

“We have been there 34 years, were instrumental in the market’s development, headed up the building being built, Paul helped run the Board for 18 years, Sandy helped run special events/advertising for 19 years, and much more.

“Our family is very saddened it is ending this way. Many loyal members/friends were shocked and tried to help fight the decision, but we are going to just continue our online store for now and hope most of our dedicated customers continue to support us.”

Paul Arnold at the Glens Falls Farmers Market, 2011. Cathy DeDe photo

The Arnolds’ newsletter said, “One of the Board members, as you likely saw, Grazin’ Acres, took our spot. We hope people don’t get confused, but ‘it is what it is!’ That phrase was the motto of our captain, crew and passengers during our attempted world cruise last winter that got cut short by Covid! It certainly has been a time of many changes since Covid hit the world!”

The letter said, “There’s obviously more to the story but we haven’t fully decided if we will take any action as we do feel (know) we have been unjustly treated.

“We have been honest, dedicated farmers who did all we could to supply our customers for 34 years with our own organically grown, healthy produce from our market tables and the market has been a passionate part of our lives as well. We will miss all the folks we won’t see.

“There are many wonderful farmers/friends there, including Alleged Farm, Fresh Take Farm, Shushan Hydroponics, Butternut Ridge, Argyle Cheese, Saratoga Apple, Dickinson’s, Moby Rick’s, Gifford Farm, who we recommend folks support.

“At this point, we are going to continue to sell all our produce (and the products from the many other amazing local farmers/vendors we partner with) only through our online store, which our children (mostly with Robert’s great tech abilities) started March of 2020 when Covid struck!

“We have many options for pickup points and some delivery loops, which you can see on our store website. We also are supplying to Honest Weight and Comfort Kitchen.

“We have chosen to not attend the Saratoga Farmers’ Market at the Wilton Mall (we would prefer that it had gone back to the pavilion but understand with Covid why the Mall was voted for). However, we have paid for a spot and have the option to go at any time all summer.

“Also, we will not be supplying produce through the SFMA online store after today as the Board would like it to be for just vendors attending 50% of the markets in person….As we age, we are finding we want to work fewer hours (less than 100 per week like last year!), and the setting up of tents, tables, etc. is wearing on our aging farmers’ bodies!

“Kim and Peyton were operating our stand in Glens Falls for the past five years, 52 weeks a year without fail, and loved seeing all the customers each week. Kim continues to run the pickup point in Glens Falls every Saturday from 9:30 to 12 noon (soon to be 9 AM) at Dickinson’s Delight’s new store, and would love to see folks there who are not already coming….

“If you are local and need anything from us, we are an easy step away through our website and easy pre-order system. We will be finding options for other days of pickup in GF as well this summer, and Saratoga has many delivery/pickup point options.”

The post was signed in the family’s names: Paul, Sandy, Robert, Kim, Peyton, Chase and Anne.

GF Market says: Pleasant Valley grew beyond rules

The Glens Falls Farmers Market Association commented on Facebook:

“We have heard your comments wondering about Pleasant Valley Farm. The Glens Falls Farmers’ Market is a producer-only/grower-only market according to our bylaws. You can shop online with Pleasant Valley Farm here: www.localline.ca/pleasantvalleyfarm — their business has grown and they now offer a number of good products distributed from local suppliers.”

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