(TRENTON) - The longest-running community farmers
market in New Jersey was the backdrop today for state
Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus as he marked
Farmers Market Week in the state.
Secretary Kuperus presented the Trenton Farmers Market on Spruce Street
with a proclamation from Governor James E. McGreevey declaring August
1-7 as Farmers Market week. The celebration coincides with National Farmers
“Farmers Market Week showcases the great service these markets provide
by bringing delicious and nutritious locally grown Jersey Fresh produce to residents
who might not otherwise have access to the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
grown in our state,” said McGreevey. “The vitality of small and medium-sized
farms and farm markets across New Jersey is good for local economies, good for
consumers, and good for New Jersey residents.”
There are 69 community farmers markets operating in New Jersey. The number
of markets in the state has been on the rise over the past few years.
Eighteen new markets opened in the state in the past two years, with
eight opening this summer alone.
“With all the scientific research touting the health benefits of eating
fresh produce, consumers are more interested than ever in having access to the
freshest produce possible,” said Kuperus. “This commemoration helps
to stress the importance of increasing marketing opportunities for farmers, who
keep New Jersey green and growing,”
In addition to celebrating Farmers Market Week, the Trenton Farmers Market
celebrated Seniors Day, in conjunction with its participation in the
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) & Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition
Program, which makes available locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables,
and herbs to nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breast-feeding, or post-partum
women; children two to five years old; and eligible seniors age 60 and
older. Eligible participants receive four $5 vouchers valid through Nov.
30 to purchase locally grown produce from certified farmer vendors.
In 2003, 1,500 Mercer County senior citizens participated in the Farmers
Market Nutrition program and redeemed $23,470 worth of vouchers. There
are 180 certified farmer vendors operating in community farmers markets
throughout the state, who will benefit from more than $2 million available
through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Trenton Farmers Market is a year-round market operating since 1948
that offers a variety of fresh produce and other agricultural products
and has been successful in bringing high quality produce to a mainly