Frequently Asked Questions
What volunteer opportunities are available at PFM?
There are so many! Would you believe that the Pleasantville Farmers Market is almost entirely run by volunteers? We need help on Saturdays in the Market – everything ranging from helping with the music, sitting at the Manager’s Table to help customers, walking the aisles of the Market to answer questions, and, for those early birds, setting up the Market before everything gets started. In addition, we have many special events that need volunteer support – kids events, culinary events, special community events. No matter your interest, we have a volunteer opportunity for you. Please email us at email@example.com to learn more!
Why should I volunteer for the Pleasantville Farmers Market?
There are lots of reasons to volunteer: Giving back to the community. Being part of the Farmers Market community. Helping farmers and food artisans/small businesses thrive. Plus, it’s fun!
How come the Pleasantville Farmers Market does not allow dogs?
We certainly wish that we could welcome dogs and other pets to the Market, but even the best-trained pets sometimes forget their manners. In addition, leading farmers markets experts like the Cornell Cooperative Extension recommend against allowing dogs in markets like ours (on blacktop, lots of foot traffic, no running water).
To ensure a safe and healthy Market for all customers, only ADA-approved service animals are allowed in the Market.
Why is the Pleasantville Farmers Market held outside in the winter? Will you be returning to the Middle School anytime soon?
We moved the Market outside during the winter of 2020 to ensure the safety of our customers, volunteers, and vendors in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The winter Outdoor Market has proven to be popular with our community, our farmers, and our volunteers. At this point, we have no plans to return to the Middle School.
Isn’t it too cold to have the Market outside during Winter?
It definitely gets cold in Pleasantville in the winter! There will be some days when the weather does not permit the Market to open. But with shorter hours and efficient service, we’ve made it possible to minimize the amount of time that our customers, volunteers, and farmers spend in the cold.
How do you choose your vendors?
We invite interested producers to submit a Prospective Vendor Proposal (PVP) with information about sourcing, location, evidence of demand, distinctiveness, and experience, along with photos. The PVP is designed to ensure an applicant does not have to go through the entire application process if the required elements are not in place.
Foodchester’s volunteer Vendor Committee then meets to discuss and decide whether to accept or decline the PVP. If it’s accepted and we want to move forward, we ask for a formal application with more detailed info (pricing, staff, etc) and arrange a tasting.
After the application is in, the Vendor Committee discusses again and usually has lots of follow-up questions.
Throughout the process, Market Manager Steven Bates talks with the applicants to get a feel for them, and he also confers with other market managers and vendors we know and trust, checks references, and may pay a visit to the applicant’s operation to get a firsthand look.
We always keep in mind that we are a market for cooks that focuses on regionally grown products, and we’d like the farmer to be present at the Market in person. We are careful not to draw business away from Pleasantville brick-and-mortar stores/restaurants (therefore, no pizza in the market, for example).
What process do you take to ensure that your farmers are truly organic?
For farmers to display or use the word “organic,” they must be approved as Certified Organic by the USDA, which is a very rigorous process. We are careful to include farmers who employ a variety of growing methods, including conventional, biodynamic, Certified Naturally Grown, and others. Ask our market manager for a list of organic vendors.
What process do you take to ensure that the vendors are safe?
We take safety very seriously at the Pleasantville Farmers Market, and we are proud that we regularly inspect all vendors’ operations. We also perform spot checks as well, if the need arises.
Why do vendors leave the Market?
It is always disappointing to say goodbye to a vendor. The most common reason a vendor departs is due to change in their business goals or lifestyle (e.g., retirement). Pleasantville Farmers Market also seeks to provide shoppers with the best market possible, which involves inspecting every farm and kitchen involved, and additional rules meant to ensure professionalism. If a vendor violates a rule, the Market sets a timeframe to help the vendor resolve the issue. However, if it isn’t resolved, then sometimes we need to make the decision to part ways.
What are you doing to ensure more diversity in the Market?
Diversity is a consideration whenever we have an opportunity to add vendors or Board members. Most of our focus is on inclusion, making the market a welcoming place for all. Like many organizations, we are on a journey to continue to improve the diversity of our board, our volunteers, our farmers and food artisans, and our offerings.
Does the Market honor SNAP benefits?
Yes, the Market does honor SNAP benefits. SNAP benefits are doubled (up to $40), meaning that a user redeeming $10 gets $20 to spend, thanks to the generous support of Northern Westchester Hospital | Northwell Health and Phelps Hospital | Northwell Health.
What are you doing about local food insecurity?
First, we partner with the Pleasantville Community Garden to gather and donate food from the market to local pantries. Over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce have been donated through 2021. That’s over 50 tons of food. Additionally, the Market doubles SNAP benefits (up to $40), thanks to the generous support of Northern Westchester Hospital | Northwell Health and Phelps Hospital | Northwell Health.
What are Market Bucks, when can I buy them, and how do I use them?
Market Bucks are proprietary PFM coins that can be used just like cash. Because some vendors do not accept cards, and many shoppers come to the market without cash, Market Bucks mean that shoppers don’t need to leave the Market and find an ATM. Market Bucks come in $5 and $10 denominations. They are accepted by all PFM vendors. If applicable, you will receive cash as change. Market Bucks are sold (for a small fee) at the Manager’s Tent from April to November. Market Bucks are not sold from December through March.