2020 Season Extended!

We are glad to announce that our 2020 market season has been EXTENDED by 3 weeks, now running through Saturday Nov. 21.  This will allow you to continue to get your ultra-fresh, local produce and other goods right up until Thanksgiving.

With the possibility of some food shortages as we saw in March-April of this year, it may make sense to stock up on such staples of frozen meats, charcuterie, storage vegetables, hard cheeses, honey, flour (many types available), maple syrup, pasta sauces, pesto, salt, and baked goods that can stay for months in your freezer.

Regardless of possible shortages, it is still a wonderful feeling to have all of your favorite items at your fingertips during the off-season, right? In the meantime, enjoy many more weeks of our market — we all look forward to seeing you (behind your masks) and appreciate your support!

Shop with confidence at our market! (but no dogs, please)

If you get our weekly newsletter, you’ve seen our reminders about all the precautions we’re taking re: COVID — social distancing, masks, pre-packaged food, small groups of shoppers, handwashing / sanitizing, no lingering at market, etc.  One of our precautions has raised a few questions, and that is our request not to bring your dog to the market this season.

Best Small Dog winner — 9 week old Lily the English Shepard

You know that we LOVE our canine friends, even going so far as to hold “Doggie Days” over the years. But this year is far from the norm (yeah, understatement). In a nutshell, having the dogs tends to add to the social aspect of the market, making it tempting to linger and chat with other dog owners. Since we are trying to help customers “get in, get out”, the dogs can be an impediment and create unwanted traffic.

Now, we are not suggesting that you leave Fido or Fifi in your hot car. If your plans go awry, you are shopping alone, and you have no choice but to bring your dog in, we won’t stop you. But please do try to work with us in avoiding this situation. What has happened in the past few weeks is that customers see the few dogs that must be allowed in, and think that it means we’ve lifted the policy. We haven’t — we foresee this continuing through the end of this season,  although we have high hopes of returning to normal in EVERY way next season!

Thank you all for your understanding.

Local Farmers Markets Cope with COVID-19

by Martha Jackson Suquet – Berkshire Grown,  co-owner of Graylight Farm

In Pittsfield, community members get their fresh local produce via their local farmers market, but this year the market experience is a bit different. Instead of wandering among market booths, customers place their orders online and market volunteers deliver the locally-grown products to the buyer’s doorstep. Roots Rising, which operates the Pittsfield Farmers Market, has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by switching to an entirely virtual farmers market. more “Local Farmers Markets Cope with COVID-19”

Our Market Manager interviewed!

Via the Roeliff Jansen Community Library:

Local Oral History Project: A Series of Personal Stories While We Are All Self-Isolating

In this series we interview members of the Roe Jan community. In this segment, Peter Cipcowski, former president of the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society, interviews Nicole Friedrich, the market manager for Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market.

Great job, Nicole!

Announcing… WHATSGOOD for pre-ordering

WhatsGood is an online market that you can use to pre-order from market vendors, then pick up your goods easily and conveniently at the market on Saturdays. At this time, 7 terrific vendors have goods available – Graylight Farm, Hawk Dance Farm, Yellow Bell Farm, Cooper’s Daughter Spirits at Olde York Farm, Corona D’oro, Lime Kiln Farm, and Simmons Sugarworks – and we expect more to be added.
You can use WhatsGood 2 ways:

There is a brief registration process, then you are free to begin shopping. The weekly deadline for placing your order is 11PM on Thursdays.
We are exploring options for getting your order delivered to you, either using Doorstep Deliverers for homebound customers or a paid service. If you need information on delivery options, please email us or speak with our Market Manager at the market on Saturday.

Market Layout – Opening Day May 23rd!

Everyone has been anxious to see the new layout that we have planned, to accommodate all of the important health and safety measures needed. Here you go!

For the vendor list, please visit HERE.


New 4-tiered sponsorship program!

The Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market is a not-for-profit run by a small steering committee composed of dedicated volunteers. They give many hours of their time to make sure that our market is the best it can be. The market relies on vendor fees, business sponsors, and donations. We ask you to consider partnering with us as a sponsor or volunteer.

100% of the money received through sponsorships and donations goes to the operation of the market, a matching program for SNAP that extends the buying power of our lower income customers, and our Bates-Stewart scholarship which is awarded to a local student entering an agricultural field. more “New 4-tiered sponsorship program!”

Our 2020 Season – How we are doing it safely

Our market is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday May 23rd, with the usual hours of 9AM-1PM, running through October 31st.

There are 29 vendors scheduled to participate at this time at the weekly market.

Of course, under the current situation with COVID-19, we wanted to take the time to fully explain to you what precautions we are taking, and what safety guidelines will be in place to protect customers and vendors alike.

more “Our 2020 Season – How we are doing it safely”

GUEST POST: Less mowing, more BEES!

Matt Jonas is a small nursery owner in Sonora, California, and a home & garden
writer, mainly writing about a range of topics including agriculture,
organic gardening, and landscaping. Matt has been an organic gardener and a florist for 20 years. He also specializes in commercial agricultural equipment and robotics. You can reach him at @matthewcjonas with any inquiries about this post.

Lawn mowing is considered one of the essential garden care and landscaping activities. It gives your lawn a more organized look and grass clippings on the ground help the soil retain more moisture, acting as a biodegradable mulch material.

The bad news is, you could be hurting bees and other pollinators and drive their colonies away. 

According to research done by Susannah B. Lerman from the US Department of Agriculture, the frequency in which you mow your lawn affects bee abundance and diversity in suburban areas in a significant way.


The scientists wanted to know how different lawn mowing intervals affect pollinators in rural areas. Research Ecologist Susannah B. Lerman and her team studied 16 lawns in western Massachusetts which were mowed either weekly, bi-weekly or tri-weekly. Then they counted the species and number of wild bees that visited these test areas. They ensured that none of the gardens were sprayed with pesticides to kill weeds.

As expected, the grass that was cut every week was the least habitable of places while the lawns that were mown every three weeks hosted the most diverse communities of flowers and pollinator species.

Less mowing, more bees 

Many species of wild bees, like other insects, have been declining in numbers in recent years. In addition to intensified agriculture and light pollution, disappearing food sources in gardens are considered a potential cause. Gardeners should, therefore, perhaps think twice before using high noise pollution gas lawn mowers with blades very close to the ground. Instead, use mowers that are powered electrically or by batteries to avoid driving insect colonies away. It’s also important not to cut the grass too short and remove grass clippings immediately. This gives ostensibly “weedy” flower species such as dandelions and clover to grow a bit longer and attract more bees. This guide has a nice filter feature for comparing mowers by their noise levels and blade heights.

The wild bee expert Paul Westrich goes one step further: he recommends mowing the lawn only two to four times a year. The best way to get through the high grass is with a beam mower, he recommends.

The best time to mow is at the end of May/beginning of June and September. Only then can a specific diversity of species develop and stick around: in addition to daisies, dandelions, and clover, there is also chamois speedwell, the little brown plum, ribwort plantain, buttercup, and the ground ivy. All these wildflowers are valuable to many bee species.