The Menands Farmers' Market

menands market.jpg

The Capital District Farmers Market in Menands

By Jessica Pasko

Farmers' markets are definitely one of my favorite things about summer and we're pretty lucky here in the Capital Region to have so many to choose from.

And while I'm trying not to discriminate or be a hater, everybody has markets that they're more partial to. High on my list is The Capital District Farmers Market in Menands.

For the past couple of years, this has been my go-to market for when I didn't feel like driving to the Collar City or just didn't want to deal with the crowds at the ever-popular Troy Farmers' Market. Of course, now that I've discovered the new Central Avenue Farmers Market hosts a Capital Q vending truck, well, my loyalties have become divided.

Still, the Menands market remains a fave because there's always a good selection but it's a calm place with kindly laid-back farmers. Along with plenty of farms and items you'd expect at a farmers' market, there's also a few jewelry vendors and a man who sells delicious tomato sauces under the label Grandpa Pete's.

peas menands market.jpgEveryone at this market always seems to down-to-earth and helpful, and it's all covered under a big promenade, which means even a rainy day won't damper getting your weekly produce fix. Even better, it's open Saturdays and Sundays and I've never had trouble parking. During the week, it serves as a wholesale market for restaurants and other purveyors. It's also where the Veggie Mobile stocks up on their wares.

I like buying eggs from the Amish bakery, which offers plenty of baked goods -- including ooey-gooey but oh-so-tasty-looking whoopie pies -- from the Bird Haven Bakery in Fort Plain. Knitters will like buying yarn from the Blackberry Hill Farm. I don't knit, but even I was eying their wool with great admiration.

flowers at menands market.jpgWhat's also very cool about this market is that there's practically an entire nursery worth of plants for sale here, every flower, succulent or herb you could possibly imagine. They're just beautiful to look at.

I've never done a scientific survey, but many of the prices here seem cheaper to me than at some of the other markets -- or at the very least, comparable. This past weekend, snow peas and sugar snap peas were everywhere, along with the last of the season's strawberry crop. Stanton's Feura Farms in Feura Bush -- my favorite place to get corn when I was a kid -- runs a table at this market too and they tell me they're expecting corn the second week of July. I'm practically counting down the days until it's sweet corn season -- really.

One word of warning: If you're coming from Albany, it's easy to think you've gone too far. You have to go all the way out Broadway, past Albany International, through the village of Menands and past the exit onto 787. You'll see a big sign on your right near a traffic light.

Find It

The Capital District Farmers Market
381 Broadway
Menands, NY 12204

Hours: Saturdays, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sundays, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


FINALLY some love for the Menands farmers market. Thank you! I'd just like to add that you can also get bread and rolls from the Heidleberg bakery, locally made beef jerky, sometimes milk from Grumaer dairy, and there's a lady who sells homemade pesto and mozzarella. There's also a stand now that serves breakfast.

@Amy - The mozzerella and pesto woman didn't seem to be there this past weekend. How sad!

Yeah, the amount of flowers/herbs at this place is really mind-blowing. You can buy almost ANY perrenial or annual there.

I don't know if she will be back, but Stock's Tea Company was there last year, and their loose leaf tea is yummy and CHEAP.

I would also think that taking 787 to exit 7W, then getting off at Menands and turning left might get you there faster than taking Broadway the whole way.

Finally, not to draw people away from the farmer's but there is a really small flower center on the road you take to get to the market (prior to True Value). This place is dirt cheap. You can get a flat of any of their veggies, herb and the majority of their flowers for $14. The same flat would cost $30 from the vendors at the market. A big difference for people like me who are addicted to gardening, and can't NOT buy plants everywhere they go!

>>now that I've discovered the new Central Avenue Farmers Market hosts a Capital Q vending truck

what? oh my. oh my sweet jesus.

This is a great market and a hidden gem. There's a much lower level of nonsense crafts, pottery and other yuppie junk than other markets.

I agree with Duff--the Menands market is more of an old-fashion farmers market that I remember going to as a kid. I'm not going to knock the others (I like to look at yuppie junk), but the Menands market is 'old school' and it was great to rediscover it at the end of May when I was looking for seedlings for my vegetable garden. The plant selection--both for vegetables and flowers--was superb, and the prices very reasonable. Next year I'll start there.

@ jess: The mozzarella and pesto woman wasn't there this weekend, either. Oh well.

@Jessica R: the little flower store before the TruValue seems to be no longer. I don't know if it's just for the season (although it seems early) or forever.

An interesting aside: I had forgotten to buy cucumbers at the Menands market so I stopped by the Crossings. The husband of the Amish couple was there selling baked goods while his wife was at Menands. Their raspberry buns were excellent!

Thank you all for the kind remarks about the Farmers Market in Menands. In 2010 there have been some changes made. First of all, the Saturday market is from 9 AM to 1 PM; there are no Sunday hours. Secondly, we've added several new vendors including Dines Farm with their pasture fed beef and other meats and Altamont Winery where you can taste before you buy some really great local wine. There's also Ballards Honey who come all the way from Roxbury, and Mancini's Deli is there for people to enjoy breakfast or lunch. Come give us a try and I'm sure you'll like it! Oh yes - there's also a free hay wagon ride around the market on Saturdays (weather permitting), and pedal tractors for the kids to ride.

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