Community-based farmer’s markets can introduce shoppers to an array of foods they may otherwise never experience. Farmer’s markets are great places to find fresh, locally grown foods, and many market customers are happy to know they’re benefitting both the environment and local businesses with every dime they spend.
Farmer’s markets can range from the very large to the relatively small, and first-time visitors may not know where to begin. The following are a handful of ways to maximize your visit to farmer’s markets of all sizes.
Take time to explore. Farmer’s markets tend to have many of the same fruits and vegetables you can find at the local chain grocery store, but farmer’s markets also are known for offering more than what you may find in the produce aisle. Take time to explore the market and you may just find foods you typically only find at your favorite restaurant. Exploring also may introduce you to new foods you may otherwise never have tried.
Consider the timing of your visit. The popularity of farmer’s markets has increased dramatically as more and more people embrace the concept of buying locally grown foods. While that’s great news for the planet and local farmers, shoppers should keep that in mind when planning their visits. If you love trying new foods, arrive early to the farmer’s market before the more unique offerings have been snapped up. Foods that have small yet devoted followings may not be available in abundance, and you may end up leaving empty-handed if you arrive late. If it’s a bargain you want, then visit later in the day when farmers with substantial remaining inventory may be more inclined to lower their prices.
Know your seasons. Some fruits and vegetables are better at certain times of the year than others. Freshness draws many people to farmer’s markets, and foods that are in-season are more likely to have that unforgettable freshness than those that are out of season or nearing the end of their season. Knowing the seasons is important for budget-conscious shoppers as well. If you’re shopping on a budget, purchasing foods while they’re in-season may save you some money, and you can always stock up on your other favorites later on when it’s their turn to be in-season.
Speak with the sellers. First time farmer’s market shoppers may feel like they’re lost in the woods while everyone else seems to know exactly what they want and where to get it. If you find the farmer’s market somewhat intimidating, speak with the sellers. Shopping at the local farmer’s market tends to be more intimate than shopping at the chain grocery store, and many sellers would be happy to offer you some tips and make some suggestions based on the meals you like.
Farmer’s markets are great places to support local businesses and find fresh foods.
Below is a partial list of local Jersey Fresh Farmer’s Markets. For the complete list visit Jersey Fresh online.
Capital City Farm 301 N. Clinton Avenue between Southard St and Olden Ave., Trenton Phone: (609) 250-2573 Website: www.capitalcityfarm.org Open: May 13th – Mid-Oct, 2017, Saturdays, 10:00am-2:00pm and Tues, Wed, Thurs
What You’ll Find: Variety Vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Also Available: Farm tours. Children are welcome!
Roots to River Farm Market at Gravity Hill
67 Pleasant Valley Rd., Titusville, NJ 08560
Phone: (609) 737-2834
Open: May 27th-November, 2017, Sat. & Sun., 10am-3pm
What You’ll Find: Variety of organic fresh fruits and vegetables including, strawberries, mushrooms, micro-greens, etc.
Also Available: Local grass fed meats, chicken, eggs, cheese, yogurt, milk; soup salads, smoothies (prepared foods)
Pennington Farmers Market 101 Rt. 31 North, at Rosedale Mills, Pennington, NJ 08534 Phone: (609) 737-0867
Open: May 27th-Nov. 18th, 2017, Saturdays, 9am-1pm
What You’ll Find: Variety of fresh vegetables(organic & conventional) and fresh fruits
Also Available: Locally raised meats (both grass-fed and conventional), eggs, wine, sunflowers, bread, pastries, ice cream, snacks, coffee, handcrafted soaps and lotions
Princeton Farmers Market
55 Witherspoon Street (Hinds Plaza), Princeton, NJ 08542
Phone: (609) 915-5705
Website: www.princetonfarmersmarket.com Open: May 25th – November, 2017, Thursdays, 10am-3pm
What You’ll Find: Variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce
Also Available: Free-range beef, poultry, pork, eggs (all sustainably raised), local cheeses, baked goods, (gluten-free options), honey, flowers, grains, pickles, juices, etc.
WIC & Senior vouchers accepted by some farmers.
Robbinsville Farmers Market
Behind the Municipal building on Route 33, with access from Union Street, Robbinsville
Phone: (609) 918-0002 Ext. 120
Open: July 11th – September, 2017, Tuesdays, 3:00pm – 7:00pm
What You’ll Find: Variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Also Available: Honey, baked goods, ice cream, plants, flowers, soaps, herbs, pickles, cheese, eggs, beef, live music, food trucks
West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market
2 Vaughn Drive, West Windsor, NJ 08550
Phone: (609) 933-4452
Web site: www.westwindsorfarmersmarket.org
Open: May 27th – November, 2017, Saturdays, 9am – 1pm, Rain or Shine
What You’ll Find: Conventional and organically grown fruit and vegetables from within 50 miles
Also Available: Mushrooms, herbs, eggs, grass-fed/pastured beef, pork, lamb, yak, poultry, cheese, yogurt, milk, wine, honey, fiber products, soap, sauces, jams, pickled vegetables, breads, and baked goods, grain/ gluten free baked goods, fresh pasta, orchids, flowers, knife sharpening on site, prepared breakfast and lunch foods including fresh pressed juice, local egg sandwiches, crepes, and coffee. Live music, community groups, cooking demonstrations, free parking
WIC & Senior FMNP vouchers accepted by some farmers. SNAP EBT authorized farmers market.