There’s nothing like fresh, plump juicy-red Jersey tomatoes. Or how about a crisp, fresh cucumber that hasn’t been coated with wax? These vegetables can still be found if you know where to look. Atlantic County’s farmers’ markets are full to bursting with just such locally-grown produce. And not only is eating fresh produce a healthier option, it’s a good way to help the community.
After reading Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating and Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, I thought seriously about my diet and decided it’s time to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. I also decided to shop for them locally. The problem for visitors to the area is that you might not know where to find these markets. To help you out, I’ve listed four Atlantic County farmers’ markets below, one right in the heart of Atlantic City.
This seasonal open air market features fresh cut flowers, fresh Jersey produce, organic herbs, local honey, pumpkins, cranberries, and more. In it’s 10th year of operation, the market offers not only produce, but jazz concerts as well (Thursdays). Located in the heart of Atlantic City, it’s easy to reach: Just hop a jitney or take a stroll. It’s open Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM from July 8th to October 2nd. It’s also a fun place to socialize.
Known as the “Blueberry Capital of the World”, Hammonton’s Italian tradition makes for an enticing market offering a variety of produce and items for Italian cooking. Here you’ll find about 15 vendors offering eggplant, peppers, herbs and other produce, as well as delicious homemade pasta and baked goods. Like the Atlantic City Farmers’ Market, it’s a fun place to socialize, and this one offers themed events such as Hot Latin Night and Back to School Night, as well as Harvest Fest (September 24th), which will mark the end of the season with grape stomping, live music and pumpking carving. How fun is that? It’s open June 25th to Sept. 24th, Fridays, 4pm – 8pm.
You can shop for a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables here in a unique historic setting — colonial Smithville Village. Located in the parking lot at the Village Greene, this market takes place on Fridays from 11 AM to 3 PM. It’s open June 25th to September 26th, Fridays, 11 am – 3 pm.
Owned and operated by Cookie Till of Steve & Cookies by the Bay in Margate, this market offers fresh, quality produce for the public as well as for her restaurant. Here you’ll find a variety of fruits and vegetables, seafood, baked goods, coffee, honey, soap, flowers and plants. It’s open June 24th to September 2nd, Thursdays 9am – 12:30pm.
If you love fresh produce, you might also consider visiting the Jersey Shore’s Pick-Your-Own produce farms. It’s a fun family day out.
Images: Top, right: Hrushi3030/Wikimedia Commons; Above: Melody Moser