PHOTO: New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Secretary Fisher visiting the farmers at the West End Farmers Market in Long Branch.
Community Farmers Markets Throughout State Offer Jersey Fresh Produce
LONG BRANCH, NJ – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher celebrated the beginning of community farmer’s market season in New Jersey on July 2 with a visit to the West End Farmers Market in Long Branch.
Today’s visit from the Secretary brings attention to the over 145 farmers markets operating statewide. Garden State farmers markets offer residents the opportunity to enjoy freshly-picked, Jersey Fresh produce directly from New Jersey farmers, while supporting state agriculture and their local economies at the same time.
“Many of our fruits and vegetables are in season now,” said Secretary Fisher. “This is a great time to get the high quality produce that New Jerseyans love, while also having the opportunity to meet the farmer who grows it. It really does bring a sense of community.”
Owner of Jesse’s Café, Jesse Novak, started the West End Farmers Market seven years ago and has several farmers and vendors who offer a wide range of fresh vegetables, many which she uses in her own restaurant. The market is open from June through November on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 139 Brighton Avenue, Long Branch.
“The market has really connected the farmers with our community,” said Novak, the market manager. “It also has given people access to fresh fruits and vegetables through the Farmers Market Nutrition program.”
Farmers at many markets throughout the state participate in the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), which provides $20 vouchers for the purchase of locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program administered by the State Department of Health and Senior Services gives these vouchers to qualifying individuals, which are valid through November 30.
In addition, some farmers can accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT cards, through use of wireless transponders, through the New Jersey Department of Human Services.
For complete information on locations, days and hours of community farmers markets throughout New Jersey, visithttp://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/community.html" href="http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/community.html">http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/community.html.
For a chart showing what Jersey Fresh produce is in season, visit http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/agriculture/jerseyfresh/find/availability.html" href="http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/agriculture/jerseyfresh/find/availability.html">http://www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/agriculture/jerseyfresh/find/availability.html" style="font-size:12pt;font-family:'Times New Roman','serif'">www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov/agriculture/jerseyfresh/find/availability.html.
For more information on the WIC and Senior FMNP, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html" href="http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html">http://www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html" style="font-size:12pt;font-family:'Times New Roman','serif'">www.state.nj.us/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html.