Home > News > Press Releases > 2008 > AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MARKS FARMERS MARKET WEEK WITH CHALLENGE TO CHOOSE JERSEY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MARKS FARMERS MARKET WEEK WITH CHALLENGE TO CHOOSE JERSEY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Opportunities To Buy Jersey Fresh Abound at Height of Growing Season in NJFor Immediate Release: August 7, 2008
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus officially marked Farmers Market Week in New Jersey today by challenging the public to seek out Jersey Fresh produce and other agricultural products to incorporate them into daily meals.
“At this time of year it is easy to find fresh and nutritious foods grown or produced close to home and I urge everyone to look for these products at their local supermarkets, community farmers markets and roadside stands,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Buying Jersey Fresh benefits New Jersey’s hard-working, committed farmers who provide us with a wide variety of safe, fresh and great tasting food.”
Kuperus, along with Senator Jim Whelan and Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo visited one of the state’s 17 new community farmers markets this season to deliver the Eat Local message.
“The Margate Farmers Market represents a terrific partnership between our local farmers and Jersey Shore visitors,” said Senator Jim Whelan. ”Our farmers get to showcase their Jersey Fresh produce in new locations, while our visitors and residents get easy access to fresh, healthy foods.”
Polistina and Amodeo said that farmers markets continue to enhance the New Jersey’s successful and nationally and internationally recognized Jersey Fresh brand.
”Fruits and vegetables are at their tastiest and most nutritious when they come straight from the field,” said Assemblyman Vince Polistina. ”The Margate Famers Market provides a great opportunity for people to enjoy the best local farmers have to offer.”
“Having a farmers market in a resort area is very important as a showcase. Certainly, local residents already value locally grown produce. But our local farmers benefit when visitors to the shore stock up on area produce for the car ride home,” said Assemblyman John Amodeo, a member of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
Margate Farmers Market was begun on June 26th by local restaurateur Cookie Till, with the help of market manager June Martin.
“We wanted a central place for area chefs to purchase the freshest New Jersey produce and a spot where the community would have the opportunity to meet the people who grow their food and give them access to what is freshest, local and seasonal,” said Till.
The Margate market operates on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the corner of Amherst and Monroe Avenues. It consists of nine traditional farmers, a nursery stock grower and a variety of vendors who sell baked goods, seafood, honey, sausage and mozzarella, cut flowers, jellies and lemonade. Public services also are offered on a weekly basis, such as health screenings, gardening and nutritional information and children’s activities. The market will continue to operate through August 28.
Community farmers markets provide area residents with access to nutritious locally grown fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products, as well as support state farmers and help strengthen the agricultural industry in New Jersey.
There are currently 110 farmers markets in the Garden State. These markets participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program makes available locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to nutritionally at-risk eligible WIC participants, including children 2-5 years old and eligible seniors age 60 and older. WIC participants and eligible seniors receive up to six $5 checks, valid through November 30, to purchase locally grown produce from certified farmer vendors. .
In 2007, there were 150,000 WIC checks and 129,000 senior checks redeemed through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program in New Jersey. The federal Farm Bill authorized an additional $500,000 for the senior program, which could benefit an additional 20,000 people. For more information on the Farmers Market Nutrition Program, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/md/prog/wic.html.
To find Jersey Fresh produce and agricultural products at community farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, roadside stands and supermarkets, visit the Jersey Fresh website at www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.
To find Jersey Fresh recipes, visit www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/recipes/recipefile.htm.
Governor Jon S. Corzine has proclaimed August 3 through 9, 2008 as Farmers Market Week in New Jersey. United States Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, likewise, has proclaimed the week National Farmers Market Week.