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For Immediate Release: September 1, 2004


Lynne Richmond




(TRENTON) – New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus today toured the Paterson, Journal Square and Main Street South Orange Farmers Markets.

First opened in 1932 as a wholesale market with 200 vendors, the Paterson market now hosts 18 farmers and 9 permanent stores year-round.

“The longevity of the Paterson Farmers Market shows that city residents value the fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products brought to directly to them by Garden State farmers,” said Secretary Kuperus. “This market not only benefits the city by helping to bring shoppers to the downtown area, but helps the farmers who keep our state green and growing.”

Renovations to the Paterson Farmers Market are set to begin in October. The $2.14 million project will include a new exterior façade, awnings, canopies, signage, and sidewalks.

Now in its 10th season, the Journal Square Farmers Market in Jersey City has three farmers who sell various produce items, and a baker, who offers baked goods.

“The bustling Journal Square market provides both residents and commuters with an opportunity to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products brought to directly to them by Garden State farmers,” said Secretary Kuperus.

The Journal Square Farmers Markets is one of the longest operating community farmers markets in the state, opening at 11 a.m. and running until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays through the end of November.

The Main Street South Orange Farmers market has played a pivotal role in revitalizing the Village of South Orange.

“The South Orange market is a terrific example of how community farmers’ markets can help revive downtowns,” said Secretary Kuperus. “It’s a win-win-win situation: residents have access to healthy, fresh produce brought directly to them by Garden State farmers; the market draws visitors to the Village’s downtown area; and the market gives farmers a new venue."

The Main Street South Orange Farmers Market has been operating for seven years. It features five farmers and three vendors who sell pickles, cheeses and baked goods.

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 past two years, with eight opening this summer alone.

These markets participate 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 November 30 to purchase locally grown produce from certified farmer vendors.

This year, there were more than 65,000 WIC participants and almost 40,000 eligible senior participants. There are more than 200 certified farmer vendors, who will benefit from over $2 million available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“The vitality of farms across New Jersey is good for local economies, good for consumers and good for our State’s citizens,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Community farmers markets bring together residents and the farmers who grow the food.”