New Jersey is known as the Garden State for a reason. Home to over 9,000 farms, NJ is a prime location for the production of bell peppers, peaches, tomatoes, and corn, to name a few. Visiting weekly farmer’s markets is a fantastic way to celebrate and support local farms and artisans, as well as a ton of other unique vendors, businesses, eateries, and wineries.
North to South, East to West, shore to mountains, it’s not hard to find a weekly farmer’s market no matter where you happen to be in this beautiful state! Here are a few that continue to come with high praises and recommendations.
Summit Summer Farmers Market: Sundays, 8am to 1pm, 22 DeForest Avenue (on the corner of DeForest and Maple)
Summit boasts an impressive list of farms and vendors that set up shop on Sundays throughout the spring, summer, and even into the late-fall. Pick up a variety of tasty Kimchi at Kimchi Culture (@kimchiculture2017). Follow that by quenching your palate with Lizzmonade’s (@lizzmonade) signature fruit-infused lizzmonade, coffees, and teas. Don’t forget a healthy treat for your favorite furry friend from Mandarin’s Cookies (@mandarinscookies)! In addition to a variety of bakeries, food stalls, and drink specialties, be sure to pick up produce from the likes of farms such as Cherry Grove Organic Farm (@cherrygroveorganic), Vacchiano Farm, and fresh cheeses from Valley Shepherd Creamery. Do yourself a favor and grab a few jars of the most delicious sauces from Hoboken Farms (@hobokenfarms), too! So good!
The Summit Farmer’s Market participates in the G.I.F.T. (Give It Fresh Today) program: “Every week hundreds of pounds of fresh produce and prepared foods are distributed through our partners: G.R.A.C.E. (Giving & Receiving Assistance for our Community’s Essentials), S.H.I.P. (Summit Helping Its People), St. Teresa’s Loaves and Fishes (all based in Summit) and St. Ann’s Soup Kitchen.” G.I.F.T. is always looking for volunteers!
They have also recently banned plastic bags at their farmers market, encouraging shoppers to go a little greener and use their own. What a great idea!
Sparta Farmers Market: Saturdays, 9am-1pm, 89 Sparta Ave
Sparta’s market hosts an impressive number of farms and vendors. Focusing on the importance of local farmers’ hard and honest work, Sparta Farmer’s Market prides itself on being a place for vendors and farmers to come together. With favorites like Live, Love, Granola, The Everlasting Garden, The Greek Kitchen, and Ventimiglia Vineyards there, supporting locally sourced business is a breeze. Visit Maria’s Biscotti for handmade gourmet biscottis and pastas, or Well-Sweep Herb Farm to get an idea of what they have to offer: “one of the largest collections of herbs and perennials in the country.”
Duke Farms (Hillsborough): Sundays, 10am to 3pm
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Duke Farms have a Farm to Table Market every Sunday at the Farm Barn orientation center, where vendors are focused on environmental stewardship. Locktown Farm specializes fermented drinks like kimchi, kombucha, ginger beer, and root beer, while building soil fertility on their farm. Woods Edge Wool Farm, a sustainable fiber farm, brings “slow fiber” home decor, honey, and yak meat to the farmers market. The Oldwick Soup Company makes stops at Duke Farms over the course of the season allowing us to taste their yummiest soups, but also reminding us the importance of giving back as they donate a portion of each of their batches of soup to local food banks. If you’re looking to learn more about making small changes in an effort towards sustainability, pay a visit to sustainable haus.
Haddonfield Farmers Market: Saturdays, 8:30am to 1pm, Kings Court
It’s all about fresh and local at the Haddonfield Farmers Market! Starting May 18 and going through until Haddonfield Fall Festival, take home everything you need for the week — vegan guacamole from Anita’s Guacamole, your next bag of coffee from Jersey Devil Java, ribs from Smoke BBQ — and finish it off with a sweet treat from the Custard Cart! Support a local teenager and her mom by ordering a Seashore Smoothie, and try a tasty delight from Respond, Inc’s Culinary Arts graduates at Respond Bakery’s tent!
Morristown Farmers Market: Sundays starting June 16, 8:30am to 2pm, corner of Morris and Spring Streets, off Dumont Place
Celebrating their 28th season, the farmers market in Morristown features Be Well Yoga classes, fresh seafood from Shore Catch, and maple syrups, crumbles, and interestingly enough, dog treats from Our Woods Maple Syrup(@ourwoodsmaple) — and LOADS of local farms’ delectable fresh fruits and vegetables.
Princeton Farmers Market: Thursdays, 10am to 3pm, courtyard by the Witherspoon Grill
Visit the farmers market in downtown Princeton (@princetonfarmersmarket) to catch food, yoga, live music, and the most beautiful bouquets you’ve ever seen from the many farm stands at the market! There are so many unique finds at this farmers market, including Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms, Demi Olive Oil, LoRe artisan Pasta, Curries and Chutneys, and Bon Nut Butters and Sweets. You can even get lunch take-out from local favorites Terra Momo or Jammin’ Crepes along the way. When you’re done walking around, grab a quick massage from The Touch that Heals — you deserve it!
Downtown Toms River Farmers Market: Wednesdays, 11am to 5pm, 28-46 Hadley Avenue (free parking at the Ocean County Parking Garage)
Don’t miss picking up some new spices from Wicked Good Spice Mixes, such as ‘Clucking Good Chicken’, ‘MMM…Meatloaf’, and ‘A Fish Seasoning Called Wanda’. Fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables from Krowicki’s Farm are a local favorite. Also stop by the High Mountain Foods tent to check out their selection of fish, meats, and cheeses. Bonus: visit the first Wednesday of the month when you can enter the free raffle and win a basket of Jersey Fresh produce of the month!
Collingswood Farmers Market: Saturdays 8am to 12pm, between Haddon Ave and the PATCO Speedline
Every week, this jam-packed farmers market posts a guide online that includes what’s in season and any special vendors that are coming up! This farmers market is big on Jersey Fresh produce, and boasts some notable local meat vendors including Buck Wild Bison specialising in humanely raised, grass-fed bison. And get yourself a fresh cup of joe from Cup of Bliss Coffee Company.
Asbury Fresh: Sundays 10am to 3pm, through June 2, Kennedy Park
Asbury Fresh began with a vision to bring nothing but the freshest produce and foods to downtown Asbury Park, and has now spread to host other Fresh Markets around the area (check out Bell Works Fresh in Holmdel and Pier Village Fresh in Long Branch).
Other noteworthy vendors that make their appearances at a number of NJ farmer’s markets are:
- Windy Brow Farms (@windybrowfarms) which offer produce, flowers, and delicious homemade ice cream)
- Wichdogs Street Food (@wichdogs_streetfoodandcatering) who make hot dogs, gourmet sausages, sandwiches and other street food
- Secret Garden Soap of Madison make their own goat’s milk soaps and lotions
- For those who are looking for yummy vegan, gluten-free, organic treats Ester’s Treats (@esterstreats) are an excellent go-to
- Spoon Me Soups (@spoonmesoups) offer a variety of all natural soups aimed to be both exotic and healthy
- The beloved Empanada Lady (@cyndiemanadalady), who has a food truck and is a farmer’s market favorite, serves sandwiches like the El Cubano, as well as other meat, veggie, and even sweet empanadas
There are a number of local farms that are also frequent staples of the farmer’s market scene:
- Alstede Farms (@alstedefarms)
- Griggstown Farm (@griggstownfarm484)
- Union Hill Farms (@unionhillfarms)
- The Farmer & the Chickpea
- Melick’s Town Farm (@melickstownfarm)
- Sweet Carol’s
- Race Farm
- Squirrel and the Bee (@squirrelandthebee)
- Ideal Farms
- Tassot Apiaries
- Fresh Pickins (@freshpickinsnj)
- Hope Cress Farms
- Give a follow to @bagelsbyjarrett to be notified of their next secret pop-up!
And there are more farmers markets in NJ than we could even list! But here’s a start.
- Madison: Thursdays, 2-7pm, opens May 23, Central Ave between Main St. and Cook Ave
- Denville (@denvillemarket): Sundays, 10am-1pm, opens May 5, Bloomfield Ave in Downtown Denville
- Hopatcong: Sundays, 9am-2pm, opens June 16, 111 River Styx Rd
- Maplewood: Mondays, 2-7pm, Springfield Ave between Yale & Oberlin Streets
- Nutley: Sundays 6/16-10/27, 9am-2pm, 537 Franklin Ave
- Westfield: Saturdays, 8am-1:30pm, opens beginning of June, North Ave Train Station
- Sussex County: Saturdays, 9am-2pm, opens beginning of June, 37 Plains Road in Augusta
There are so many more creative and unique and tasty vendors out there! Remember, most markets run not only in summer time, but also through the fall as well. If we missed any, let us know!
Featured photo by Eric on Flickr