Farming has never been easy, but with supply chain issues, inflation and now extreme temperatures, New Jersey farmers face some of the toughest conditions they have ever faced this summer.
Many New Jerseyans looking to lend a hand and enjoy the best fresh local produce available head to a nearby farmers market.
According to Chris Cirkus, market manager for the West Windsor Community Farmers Market, there are nearly 150 farmers’ markets in the Garden State.
She said that if a farm is represented in one of these markets “there is a staff member who is actually in the fields, they have a jackpot (of knowledge) on how to store it, different varieties, why you should choose this over this.”
A lot of pleasure
She said that over the years farmers’ markets have become places where people can buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as different locally produced handicrafts, jewelry and specialty items “but you can also get beer and wine and distilled spirits and meat and tough”. cider, so for some people they just love it for that.
She said people enjoy farmers’ markets for many reasons.
“It’s a place to come and listen to music, we have old people who come, they don’t spend a penny, they just come to be part of a community.”
Cirkus said some farmers’ markets bring together an eclectic mix.
“We have people driving in from Philly and someone driving in from Staten Island every week and someone sent their mom from Atlantic City, it’s crazy how people hear about things but it’s is also so much fun to watch,” she said.
smell the food
She noted that many people are so busy these days that they end up ordering their groceries from one of the many online services, but when that happens, something is missing.
“Seeing, touching, smelling and smelling the food we eat, and knowing when it’s growing in season is a big chunk that we sort of lose,” she said.
Cirkus said the West Windsor Farmer’s Market has representatives from 20 farms, with 18 or 19 people attending every Saturday, and this summer there is also a home baker with a large number of produce for sale and a specialist baker who also attracts long queues.
“Seeing these little incubator businesses grow and then thrive is really that rewarding piece of a farmers market, you don’t get that at a grocery store,” she said.
She said farmers pay a nominal fee to be part of the market.
The West Windsor Community Farmers Market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays in the Princeton Junction station parking lot.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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