Little Farmers With Big Dreams: The Littlest Farmers' Market Returns | Market | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

"I’d rather see kids being outside and having fun than sitting in front of an iPad inside.” This is the sentiment that initially inspired Ed Hackett, owner of Hackett Farm Supply in Clinton Corners, to support the Littlest Farmers' Market, a Dutchess County farmers’ market run by children aged 12 or under. It’s a way of thinking that is especially timely as summer arrives in the Hudson Valley and communities continue to figure out how to come together again after years of pandemic-imposed isolation. One year after the market began, it is a local phenomenon. As the town gears up for the second annual Littlest Farmer’s Market kickoff, taking place on June 4 from 10am to 1pm, the young vendors are picking vegetables, baking fresh treats, and getting their stands ready.

A few years ago, when father and Clinton Corners resident Scott Davis saw how empowering running a lemonade stand was to his daughter, he wondered if other kids might also enjoy becoming small business owners. To test the idea, he collaborated with Hackett, who opened up his store’s parking lot to the young proprietors, while other local businesses chipped in as well, donating supplies such as tables. The market is described as a “real Clinton Corners community effort” by its organizers.

click to enlarge Little Farmers With Big Dreams: The Littlest Farmers' Market Returns
Courtesy of Littlest Farmers' Market

The children peddle wares that are sure to surprise and delight even market-goers who are familiar with the eccentric Hudson Valley food scene. Pickled carrots, herb-infused popsicles, banana pudding, duck eggs, goat’s milk soap, chai and cardamom cupcakes, fresh guacamole prepared before the customers’ eyes, and a bracelet-making station are just a few of the market’s diverse offerings.

The market’s Instagram shows smiling children sitting under blue tents, colorful chalk signs bearing creative booth names like Wild Child (fresh vegetables), Hanson’s Hens (local eggs), or Zelda’s Sweet Treat Stall (cupcakes). The market has inspired the children to be creative with their products and marketing, and even think about the community around them—one baked goods vendor, for example, donates her earnings to the nonprofit organization The Bee Conservancy. Founder Scott Davis says the market’s mission is to “create a safe, free, welcoming environment for children to run their own small business. No matter what items they dream up, Littlest Farmers Market is there to empower them.”

click to enlarge Little Farmers With Big Dreams: The Littlest Farmers' Market Returns
Courtesy of Littlest Farmers' Market

Their opening weekend last year included 24 kids, and the organizers hope to open with 25 this year. Expect to see last year’s sellers returning, including Davis’ daughter’s popsicle stand, the mushroom booth, and the pickle booth. But always be on the lookout for something new, from maple syrup to cookies to wildflowers.

The market will run at Hackett Farm Supply on June 4 and 25, July 16 and 30, August 20, and September 10 from 10am to 1pm. The store can be found at 2297 Salt Point Road in Clinton Corners. They also plan to announce additional dates where the market will set up shop at different businesses throughout the Hudson Valley and feature activities in addition to booths. Keep your eyes on their website and Facebook for updates. For people who love food, their community, and supporting entrepreneuring young people, put on your overalls and tie your hair up in a bandana because the Littlest Farmer’s Market is a must-visit.

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