|(TRENTON) – With Jersey Fresh produce abounding, New Jersey Agriculture
Secretary Charles M. Kuperus today visited community
farmers’ markets in Cumberland County to
tout the health benefits and good taste of locally
grown Jersey Fresh produce.
Secretary Kuperus visited Vineland Farmers Market -- one of six new community
farmers markets in the state this season – and the Millville Farmers Market.
Organizers say the Vineland market was established in an effort to revitalize
Landis Avenue, which has received a Main Street USA
designation. The market has three farmers and several vendors selling fresh cut
flowers, fresh pasta, and baked goods. There also is a food court, live music
and face painting. Volunteers are on hand to help patrons bring items they have
purchased to their cars.
“We support Vineland’s efforts to bring the region’s best produce
to its local residents and help encourage commerce in the downtown area,” said
Secretary Kuperus. “Farmers are always looking for new market opportunities
and, at this time of year, we know people are looking for healthy and delicious
Jersey tomatoes, peaches, sweet corn and other agricultural products.”
The Millville Farmers Market is in its second year and boasts three farmers and
several vendors, selling baked goods, breakfast sandwiches,
birdhouses and beaded jewelry. According to market organizers, the market was
started last year to bring fresh produce to the nearby senior citizen residents,
promote the downtown and support area farmers.
“The Millville market’s scenic location near the river makes visiting
there a great summer activity,” said Secretary Kuperus. “The city
benefits from the market by bringing people to the downtown area on a weekend,
the residents benefit by having access to locally grown produce, and the market
helps New Jersey agriculture thrive by giving farmers new venues to sell their
There are 76 community farmers markets operating in New Jersey. Besides Vineland,
new markets opened this year in Middlesex Borough, Fort Lee, Sergeantsville,
Lawrenceville and Hamilton Park. In all, 24 new markets opened in the last three
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.
In 2004, there were more than 65,000 WIC participants and almost 40,000 eligible
senior participants. There are currently 185 certified farmer vendors, who will
benefit from over $2 million available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.