CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION KICKS-OFF FARMERS MARKET WEEK
NJ Residents Encouraged to Visit a Market, Buy Jersey Fresh Produce
For Immediate Release: August 2, 2012
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and Patricia Dombroski, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator today called on Garden State residents and visitors to enjoy Jersey Fresh produce from one of the state’s 153 community farmers markets during Farmers Market Week August 5-11 and throughout the state’s growing season.
Fisher and Dombroski visited the Long Valley Green Market to kick off 2012 Farmers Market Week, proclaimed August 5 to 11 in New Jersey by Governor Chris Christie and nationally by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack.
“You can’t get more local than visiting a New Jersey farmers market, where you can find a vast variety of just-picked fruits, vegetables and herbs and many other agricultural products from our state’s farmers,” said Secretary Fisher. “Shoppers could really spend hours at the Long Valley Green Market, where they can pick up Jersey Fresh produce, plants, meat, cheese, wine, bread, and local items.”
The Long Valley Green Market, which runs on Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m. at 20 Schooley’s Mountain Road in downtown Long Valley, was founded by Kate Munning and Leona Harrington and is housed in a building owned by Harrington.
Market organizers Leona Harrington and Kate Munning are presented with the 2012 Farmers Market Week proclamation by Secretary Fisher, along with Pat Dombroski and Washington Township Vice Mayor Tracy Tobin.
“Leona hoped a farmers market would bring some life to the sleepy downtown area,” said Munning. “I have always had a passion for food and have been known to drive to farms in three counties in one day to get my food shopping done, developing friendships with farmers and local artisans in the process.”
The pair started the market with the goal that it would become a habit for many Long Valley residents and a source of reliable income for the vendors. They host special events and entertainment, as well.
The market also provides access to local produce for those in need through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs administered by the State Department of Health and Senior Services allot $20 in checks to qualifying individuals, which are valid through November 30.
“The USDA will provide over $2 million in funding this year for New Jersey- funding that improves the diets of seniors and low-income families by bringing the bounty from New Jersey farms into more kitchens and onto more tables,” said Dombroski. “This is truly a win-win for everyone- shoppers benefit from more locally grown produce in their diets, and farmers benefit from having additional customers close to home.”
Some New Jersey farmers markets also allow those in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to purchase produce at the markets, through their electronic benefit transfer cards.
New this year, the Department of Agriculture teamed with the state Department of Transportation to create a list of public transportation options for visiting New Jersey Farmers Markets. Click here for the list.
Eating Jersey Fresh fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products can go a long way to improving overall health. Eating locally also is a good choice for protecting our environment by reducing the miles a meal travels between farm and fork, lessening fuel consumption. In addition, choosing locally grown products helps keep New Jersey farmers on their land, preserving the Garden State’s quality of life.
Jersey Fresh produce is at the peak of the season with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables available, including sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, peppers, eggplant, squash, basil, melons, beets, cabbage, collards, Swiss chard, arugula, kale, leeks, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, turnips and white potatoes.
To locate a nearby community farmers market, visit www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.
To learn more about farmers market nutrition programs, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/communityfarmers.html#1.