Back for its 20th year, the weekly Highland Park Farmers Market, sponsored by Saint Peters Healthcare System, returns for the 2016 season on Friday June 3, once again providing residents throughout the region with the Garden State’s fresh, healthful bounty for the next six months.
The Highland Park Farmers Market is a project of Main Street Highland Park, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and revitalization of Highland Park’s downtown business district.
“Highland Park’s Farmers Market is a local institution, and we’re delighted to be celebrating its 2|th year in our downtown,” said Rebecca Hersh, executive director of Main Street Highland Park, the local nonprofit that manages the market. “Our market plays an important role in our community – it not only brings fruits and vegetables to town, but also adds vitality and fun with entertainment and promotions to downtown Highland Park every Friday, and allows us to showcase all the shops, restaurants, and other businesses in Highland Park’s downtown.”
Community partner Saint Peter’s Healthcare System sponsors the 2016 market season. “As a small nonprofit, we would be unable to do the work we do without the generous support of sponsors like Saint Peter’s University Hospital,” said Ms. Hersh. “Their support of this year’s market goes a long way to helping promote good health and a healthy community.”
“Saint Peter’s University Hospital is pleased to partner with Highland Park in health and wellness initiatives,” added Tabiri M. Chukunta, MDiv, DMin, DRCC, executive director, Community Outreach and Diversity at Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. “Providing services to the community is at the core of our mission.”
“I couldn’t be more delighted to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of our wonderful farmers’ market,” said Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. “I am one of the many residents of Highland Park who anxiously await the opening of our Farmer’s Market each June. The fresh and organic produce and other products are craved by so many of our health-conscious residents. It’s also great to see so many of our residents walking or biking throughout town with bags full of produce from the market every Friday!”
“Every year we have more and more vendors,” said Kim Vanarthos, Main Street Highland Park’s Farmers Market manager, “We are so excited that our 20th anniversary market is going to be our biggest and best one yet.”
To celebrate the market’s anniversary, Main Street Highland Park is teaming up with Highland Park flower shop Robert’s Florals to offer free potted marigolds to the first 200 shoppers. “We’d like to thank Robert’s Florals for being such a great community partner,” said Ms. Vanarthos. “We’re so grateful to have them as our Opening Day Market Sponsor.”
One of the largest markets in the state, the HP Farmers Market offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flowers, cheeses, pickles, meats, and more. The market is a certified Jersey Fresh farmers market, meaning that all market vendors are New Jersey-based farms and businesses.
“Many people don’t know that New Jersey grows more than 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs, and also ranks as a top 10 as producer of such items as blueberries, peaches, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes and cranberries,” said Ms Hersh. “We want the Highland Park market to embody the ‘Garden State’ theme, bringing all of the fruits of New Jersey’s labors to downtown Highland Park every week.
This year’s vendors include:
- Jeff’s Organic Produce (Monroe): Certified organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- Joseph Skeba Farms LLC (Hightstown): Jersey fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- Melick’s Town Farm (Oldwick): Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, including peaches, apples, cherries, plums, corn, tomatoes, and apple cider
- R&K Farm (Monroe Township): Produce, specializing in eggplants, peppers, basil and cut flowers
- VonThun’s Farm (Monmouth Junction): Fresh produce including blueberries peaches, apples, nectarines, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, fresh cut flowers Specialty Vendors
- Baker’s Bounty (Linden): Brick-oven Italian bread, fresh seasonal cakes, pies and desserts
- Bang Cookies: Small-batch cookies made with organic & local flour, organic & local eggs, grass fed butter, and organic cane sugar
- Capsaicin Chiles (Highland Park): Smoky, fruity, sweet, and salty small batch condiments
- Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville): farmstead cheeses, whey-fed pork, grass-fed lamb, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens and eggs
- Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms (Pennsauken): Cremini, portabella, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms
- Doc Pickle (Wayne): New York Style pickles out of the barrel, sauerkraut, marinated mushrooms, olives, peppers
- El Sol Mexican Restaurant (Highland Park): Local Mexican restaurant
- Fantastic Thai: A traveling outdoor restaurant, featuring Thai cuisine
- Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruits (East Hanover): A wide variety of nuts and dried fruits
- Hoboken Farms (Hoboken): Fresh mozzarella, Italian bread, Omaha steaks, famous crab cakes, stuffed salmon and sole, and prepared chicken
- Nice & Sharp knife sharpener (Plainsboro): Sharpening service for knives, shears, blender blades, clipper blades, scissors, tools, and more
- Through the Moongate (Highland Park): Gift gallery featuring work by local and domestic artists and hand-crafted, fairly traded work by artisans from around the world .
- ..and more!
The Highland Park Farmers Market operates every Friday through December 16 (except for Friday November 25, the Friday after Thanksgiving) from 11 am – 5:30 pm, and is located in the heart of downtown Highland Park, on Raritan Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. WIC and Senior FMNP vouchers are accepted by some farmers. All Highland Park residents eligible to participate in the Highland Park food pantry receive vouchers that can be used as cash to purchase fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market. Many market days feature local musicians. Additionally, there will be a Tomato Festival at the market on Friday July 29, featuring cooking demonstrations and other tomato-themed activities. Main Street Highland Park is a designated Main Street program of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. For additional information, please call (732) 828-8444 or visit www.mainstreethp.org or www.facebook.com/MainStreetHP.