Back for its 19th year, the weekly Highland Park Farmers Market returns for the season on Friday June 5, once again providing locals with the Garden State’s 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.
“The Farmers Market brings not only fruits and vegetables, but also vitality and fun to downtown Highland Park every Friday,” said Rebecca Hersh, Executive Director of Main Street Highland Park. “The market brings people from all over the region to our downtown, allowing us to showcase not just the market itself, but also all that Highland Park’s downtown has to offer.
The 2015 market season is sponsored by community partner St. Peter’s Healthcare System. “As a small nonprofit, we could not do the work we do without the generous support of sponsors like St. Peter’s Healthcare System,” 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 count myself amongst the many residents of Highland Park who anxiously await the opening of our Farmer’s Market each spring,” said Highland Park Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler. “The fresh and organic produce and other food 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!”
One of the largest markets in the state, shoppers enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, baked goods, flowers, cheeses, pickles, meats, and more. This year’s vendors include:
- Baker’s Bounty (Linden): Brick-oven Italian bread, fresh seasonal cakes, pies and desserts
- Better World Cafe (Highland Park): A community cafe serving local and seasonal food
- Bruce Julian: All natural Bloody Mary mixes
- Capsaicin Chiles (Highland Park): Smoky, fruity, sweet, and salty small batch condiments
- Carabella Imports (Hoboken): imported Italian olive oils
- Cherry Grove Farm (Lawrenceville): farmstead cheeses, whey-fed pork, grass-fed lamb, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chickens and eggs
- Davidson Exotic Mushrooms (Pennsauken): Cremini, portabello, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms
- Doc Pickle (Wayne): New York Style pickles out of the barrel, sauerkraut, marinated mushrooms
- Gourmet Nuts & Dried Fruit (East Hanover): A wide variety of nuts and dried fruits
- Hoboken Farmstand (Hoboken): Fresh mozzarella, Italian bread, Omaha steaks, famous crab cakes, stuffed salmon and sole, and prepared chicken
- Jeff’s Organic Produce (Monroe): Certified organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- Melick’s Town Farm(Oldwick): Fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, including peaches, apples, cherries, plums, corn, tomatoes, and apple cider
- Nice & Sharp (Plainsboro): Sharpening service for knives, shears, blender blades, clipper blades, scissors, tools, and more
- Over the Moon Toys (Highland Park): Toys and games for ages 0 to googleplex with a focus on green, fair trade, and brainy products
- Puppy Pies: Homemade gourmet dog treats
- R&K Farm (Monroe Township): Produce,specializing in eggplants, peppers, basil and cut flowers
- Skeba Farms (Hightstown): Jersey fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- 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
- Von Thun’s Farm (Monmouth Junction): Fresh produce including blueberries peaches, apples, nectarines, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, fresh cut flowers
The market is a certified Jersey Fresh farmers market, meaning that most of the vendors at the market 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.”
The Highland Park Farmers Market operates every Friday through December 18 (except for Friday November 27, the Friday after Thanksgiving) from 11:00 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. On the market’s opening day on June 5, a Highland Park local band, Magnolia Street String Band, will entertain market shoppers with live music from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. Additionally, there will be a small Tomato Festival at the market on Friday July 31, featuring cooking demonstrations and other tomato-themed activities.
Main Street Highland Park follows a successful four-point program established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Center, and is an officially designated Main Street program of the state Department of Community Affairs. For additional information, please call (732) 828-8444 or visit www.mainstreethp.org or www.facebook.com/MainStreetHP.