Home > News > Press Releases > 2007 > SECRETARY STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF BUYING LOCAL PRODUCE DURING FARMERS MARKET WEEK VISIT TO OCEAN CITY
SECRETARY STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF BUYING LOCAL PRODUCE DURING FARMERS MARKET WEEK VISIT TO OCEAN CITY
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(OCEAN CITY, NJ) –On Wednesdays in Ocean City they come by foot and by bicycle to get their share of New Jersey’s bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. And, today New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus was among those customers at the weekly Farmers and Crafters Market in the popular seashore resort town.
Secretary Kuperus visited the market as part of an annual celebration of farmers markets in both the state and the nation, presenting the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce with a proclamation signed by Governor Jon S. Corzine declaring the week of August 5 through 11, 2007 as Community Farmers Market Week in New Jersey.
“In its eighth year, the Ocean City farmers market is providing Jersey Fresh produce directly from the farm to local residents and visitors,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Those who shop at the market also are helping to sustain New Jersey’s agriculture industry by supporting our farmers.”
The market has nine farmers: six who offer traditional produce, one who sells organic produce, one who has flowering plants and another who sells a variety of plants. There also are about 40 craft vendors. The market is located on Tabernacle grounds between 5th and 6th Streets. It operates on Wednesdays in July and August from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The market was started by the Chamber of Commerce with just three to four farmers and has grown every year.
“There is no other place to get farm fresh fruits and vegetables in Ocean City,” said Shawnda Conser, Marketing Director for the chamber. “The market is a way to provide produce and help farmers at the same time.”
The number of community farmers markets in the state has been on the rise over the past few years. About 40 new markets have opened in the past five years, with eight opening for this season in Camden, Haddonfield, New Providence, Newark, Raritan, Ringwood, Seaside Park and Woodbridge. In total, there are more than 95 community farmers markets attended by approximately 265 farmers operating in nearly 83 municipalities in New Jersey.
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. For more information on the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html.
In 2006, there were more than 64,000 WIC vouchers and over 31,000 senior vouchers redeemed through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program. Nearly $2 million is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the program.
For complete information on locations, days and hours of community farmers markets throughout New Jersey, visit www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/urban.htm.