The Catskill Harvest Market (2758 State Route 52, Liberty, NY, 845/292-3838, www.catskillharvestmarket.com ) is celebrating its second birthday this spring, and in just two years, it has gained renown and recognition as a top-notch garden center and local foods market.
Says co-founder and manager Daniel Duttinger, “It always seemed a bit odd that this kind of farm market was readily available in surrounding areas, particularly Ulster County—but not here.” So, he and co-founder Will Foster went to the drawing board and began the research, and the market was born.
After winning the Sullivan Showcase “Best New Commercial Structure” award in 2007, the market virtually doubled its floor space and expanded to include four components: Farm Market, Gourmet Grocery, Garden Center and Landscape Construction Services (for landscaping call 845/292-3833). The ultimate goal, says Duttinger, has remained the same: “to develop a year-round business that would create well-paying jobs, support the local community and be affordable and accessible to both year-round and seasonal populations.
“The market,” he says, “is a celebration of all the wonderful food and other products of our region.”
Duttinger is proud of the fact that the market is able to employ 10 full-time workers and an additional 10 summertime workers, “no small accomplishment in the current economic environment.”
For the home gardener, the market carries perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs. For the cook, beginning in spring, the market carries ramps, onions and greens and, as the season progresses, a full range of fruits and veggies from tomatoes and beans to corn and potatoes, pears and apples to pumpkins and squash. It also carries dairy products such as cheese and eggs, including, says Duttinger, “the finest cheese selection for miles.” Most of its suppliers come from within 25 miles of the market.
In addition, the market has a complete kitchen that produces “awesome foods using as many local products as possible.” From the market kitchen you can buy fresh bread and baked goods, pies, homemade soups and chili, sandwiches, dinners and sides to take home.
The kitchen is open year-round, and the market also offers products such as maple syrup, fudge, jams and jellies, locally roasted coffee beans, meat, gourmet specialties such as olives and marinades, and lots of cookbooks and garden items. They even scored some winter lettuce this year from the New Age Health Spa in Grahamsville.
Practice makes perfect. Market co-owner and co-founder Foster has been operating a successful field-grown perennial business in the area for many years. His experience and know-how from the White Sulphur Springs Farm has translated into his second successful venture with the Catskill Harvest Market. Barbara Martinsons, who is the other owner of the market, got to know Foster as one of his initial landscaping clients.
It’s a challenge, says Duttinger, to balance all that goes into making the market successful in a rural area in these hard times. But, by doing so he says, “our goal is to make a place that everyone can enjoy—whether they are stocking up on groceries for the week or just grabbing a cup of coffee to go.”