The Littlest Farmers Market is a fresh idea—all the vendors at the Clinton Corners destination are children.
Most Hudson Valley residents know the basics of a farmers market. It’s a familiar sight: Vendors selling produce that makes the grocery-store stuff seem like the plastic fruits and veggies that come with a child’s play kitchen. But in Clinton Corners, you’ll find a farmers market that doesn’t fit the traditional mold. Instead, the stands are manned by, well, sprouts—namely kids aged 12 and under. True to children’s attention spans, it runs roughly every three weeks, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. And also fittingly, it’s called The Littlest Farmers Market. 2022 was its debut year.
The market springs from the fertile imagination of town resident Scott Davis, who works in the advertising industry. “I [wanted] to build a lemonade stand for my daughter Siena. But she couldn’t sell lemonade from the house—there’s not enough traffic,” he explains. Local businessman Ed Hackett, owner of Hackett Farm Supply in Clinton Corners, agreed to let Siena peddle in front of his store. The stand was a huge hit: “I saw Siena’s eyes light up,” recalls Davis. “She said, ’Oh my god, dad! I made $10!’” After Siena sold lemonade on a few other days, Davis realized that other kids might also enjoy being merchants. Hackett Farm Supply’s parking lot would serve as the venue.
Local businesses supported the venture as well, donating money for tables and awnings. Of course, there was the matter of recruiting kids. That’s where Siena came in: Then 10 years old, she made presentations at school and urged her friends to consider participating. Davis called other parents he knows: “When you live in a small town, you have so many extended friends,” he shares. Between dad and daughter, word spread; and last May, on the market’s very first day, 22 children came ready to do business.
The wares were—and still are—eclectic. Siena, for her part, enthusiastically sells gourmet treats she makes with her parents’ help: pickled cucumbers and carrots, along with herb-infused popsicles. “I was so excited for this market,” she says, “and everyone was so nice!” Gali, who forages exotic mushrooms with her father, set up shop with her offerings. “Her farm stand was like a scene from Pandora, with all those amazing mushrooms. She and her dad even came with scales to weigh customers’ purchases, and she made $350 in three hours,” says Davis.
The mushroom mogul wasn’t the only kid who was thrilled with her experience. Indy, 11 years old, sells banana pudding that he and his little brother, Oden, make as well as duck eggs from his family’s flock. They also whip up fresh guacamole right in front of customers, smashing the avocados and mixing in the other ingredients while their mother, Ana, supervises. Indy feels he’s made tremendous strides in mastering the art of the deal. “At first, I’d go up to people and put my products in their hands and say, ‘That will be two-fifty.’ But I don’t think I’ll do that again. I was a little bit rude,” he confesses. Instead, he now focuses on selling his products based on their quality. “Our quick pickles sold out in 30 minutes!” he recalls proudly.
Zelda, also 11, remembers when Siena visited her fourth-grade class and recruited for the market. “I love baking. Dad and I bake brownies, cupcakes, and a French dessert with cherries that’s really popular.” Not only did her baked goods go over in a big way, Zelda, who donates her profits to a pollinator-saving charity called The Bee Conservancy, feels she grew as a chef. “In the beginning we stuck to chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, but then we did honey cupcakes with lavender frosting, and key lime ones. We branched out,” she says. With many of last year’s participants planning to return this summer, and word of the market spreading, chances are it, too, will continue to grow. This year it will be even better and more organized, Davis says. “Other people are interested in helping, so we’ll have a team of volunteers.” The market’s kick-off date is Sunday, June 4. For more information, visit littlestfarmersmarket.com or follow the market on Instagram (@littlestfarmersmarket).