Saturday, August 25, 2012


I love the farmers' markets and over the years have become a huge fan.  There is nothing better than supporting the local farmers and obtaining the best quality of home-grown products available.  The spring-time offers beautiful asparagus, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, and scapes, to name a few.  And the summer visits are always entrenched with red and white peaches, fresh Jersey corn, beautifully grown Jersey tomatoes, gorgeous heirlooms and bushes of fresh basil.  The fall brings us apples, pumpkins, squash and broccoli.

The farmers' markets are definitely a place to enjoy purchasing products that stand out and are not available at the local produce market.  For example, I've never seen a 1.5 pound eggplant that was two-foot long at the produce (or super) market. 

And, the first time I encountered purple green beans was at my own local farmers' market. 

Finally, let's not forget the beautiful leeks that I purchased this past spring.

 Although I've been to the Union Square Market in the City many times, having my own market(s) virtually outside my doorstep is definitely a perk.  The only thing that would be better is if I grew my own products, but I don't have a garden and my thumb isn't green.

Jersey City
One of my favorite markets on a Saturday morning is located at Van Vorst Park in Jersey City.  If you're early enough, there is parking on the streets surrounding the park.  Alternatively, the market is located about three blocks from the Grove Street Path Station at Jersey Avenue and Montgomery Street.

In addition to produce, the market also sells baked goods, prepared foods, dried fruits and nuts, skin care products and knife and scissor sharpening. Also, I love the dog park which is located next to it.  It is always a pleasure to watch the doggies run and play. 



The neighboring town of Hoboken also has its own farmers' market on Saturday mornings. The Hoboken market is toddler friendly where many couples are enjoying the morning with their children in strollers or just sitting on benches, drinking coffee and people-watching. 

The market is located on a pedestrian street about one block in length in the uptown section of Hoboken. It offers locally grown and organic produce, eggs, breads, pickles, and prepared foods, to name a few.  Also, there is always music, activities and games for kids.  The Hoboken market has two parking lots next to it, and the cost is $7.00 to park.  No street parking here. 



Finally, to my surprise, my hometown of Bayonne opened a farmers' market this year and it has been quite successful.  Initially, it started with five vendors on opening day and has grown to more than a dozen as the weeks progressed.  As offered in the other markets, Bayonne also has fresh breads, cheese, baked goods, dried fruits, and Dr. Pickle. 

The market is within walking distance (for me) at a municipal lot on 23rd Street and DelMonte Drive. Alternatively, local buses stop on the corner, or street parking and lots are available for $0.25 per half-hour. It operates Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., so anything that was "missed" or consumed after a Saturday morning visit at the other markets could be purchased to finish up the week until Saturday morning rolls around again.

I only wish that all of the markets were open year-round instead of  being limited to the spring, summer, and fall.  I guess that's a minor disadvantage of living in the northeast.  Very minor.

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