September 20th  1003 during the Yonkers Riverfest, The historic 1930’s Pennsylvania Railroad Barge floated from Kingston New York to the City of Yonkers Recreational Pier. While the barge itself was a representation of how transportation methods could increase distribution of food, it was the farmers themselves that made the most impact. The farmers were featured in a small “tent village” immediately in front of the Yonkers Recreation Pier.  Mercer’s ice cream, Lowville Dairy Producers, Lewis County Maple Producers, Schaller’s meats, Davenport Farms, Brotherhood Winery, Solomon’s Rose, Simple Solution, Garden Thyme Herb Shop, Pure Mist Soaps, Adirondack Lumber Company furniture and wooden toys, Bobolink Dairy, Ronnybrook Farm Dairy were among the participants. The purpose of the Riverfest market was to introduce the producers to the general population of Yonkers and its environs. The general consensus of those who sampled or purchased the products was that the quality of everything was exceptionally high and most indicated they would purchase these products again if they were available. Since this time a permanent farmers’ market takes place every Saturday in the City of Yonkers during the summer season.

Fresh off the Barge “a floating farmers’ market” has become an icon, a figure in the Hudson River Valley, to open discussion of how we can do a better job of transporting fresh produce and reduce our reliance on vehicular transportation, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and providing an additional component for food security issues (getting large quantity of food to NYC and other densely populated areas during a crisis situation). Along with the Barge is an educational exhibit that consist of ten, four foot by eight foot panels that describe the importance of preserving farms. This exhibit has been used at farmers markets, school functions and set up at regional food conferences.

Although the Barge itself has not proven to be economically feasible at this point, Fresh off the Barge “A floating Farmers’ Market” has become a buzz word around the region representing fresh local produce.  A feasibility study for how water borne transportation of fresh produce can become a more feasible measure is currently being investigated.