Mind your peas and carrots
Bayonne Farmers’ Market returns for third year
by Joseph Passantino
Reporter staff writer
May 07, 2014 | 1248 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PLENTY OF VENDORS – Nearly 18 vendors fill the parking lot for the Bayonne Farmers’ Market each week.
PLENTY OF VENDORS – Nearly 18 vendors fill the parking lot for the Bayonne Farmers’ Market each week.
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Bringing fresh, locally grown produce to residents and visitors of Bayonne is the city’s goal with the annual Bayonne Farmers’ Market, which is into its third year.

The market’s five-and-half-month stint started on May 6. It will run on Tuesdays from 2 to 7 p.m. each week through Oct. 28, rain or shine, in the parking lot at West 23rd Street and Del Monte Drive, next to the mini-golf course.

“It’s been really successful and so well received,” said market coordinator Lauren Halecky Dellabella. “People come up to me at the market almost every day it’s open to thank me for having it there; the produce, the variety of foods there. I see it as very important to the community.”

The market is open rain or shine.

“People come out, even in the bad weather, for their favorite items; their pickles and their nuts,” Dellabella said. “They come out in their rain slickers.”

Participants this year will include new and returning businesses.

The opening day lineup was scheduled to include: RH Farms, Dr. Pickle, Paolo’s Kitchen, Baker’s Bounty, Gourmet Dried Fruits and Nuts, Green Acres Organic Baking Mixes, Excaliber Knife Sharpening, Outer Limits Hot Sauce, The Empanada Lady, Aurora Naturals, and Corny Cookers.

Next week, Ort Farms and Hoboken Farms will join. On May 20, Lizzmonade, Happy Faces Face Painting, and SPArties Mobile Spa will come aboard.

“We look for new and interesting things, so we try to bring in new vendors to keep it fresh,” Dellabella said. “This year we have the Empanada Lady again. We had her the first year, but not last year. I know people missed her, so we're happy to bring her back.”

Lizzmonade, one of the five original vendors, continues to bring its fresh fruit drinks to the city.

“People absolutely love them,” Dellabella said.

Vendors like Paolo’s Kitchen and Hoboken Farms sell dinners to go.

Even non-food businesses do well at the market.

“We also have the knife-sharpening Excalibur,” Dellabella said. “And he’s starting to get a following. You bring your knife, you shop, and then when you’re done, you pick up your knives.”

Since new vendors are still being recruited, check the market’s Facebook page for new additions at https://www.facebook.com/BayonneFarmersMarket.

Musical guests and chefs’ demonstrations are among this year’s scheduled activities.

CSA program

Dellabella said the market is excited about bringing back a program launched last year as a pilot.

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with Ort Farms has returned.  

“CSA allows city residents to have direct access to high-quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers,” Dellabella said. “When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a share of vegetables.”

Each week, from May until October, the farmer delivers that share of produce to the market for pickup, Dellabella explained. CSA members pay for an entire season of produce upfront. Flexible payment plans are also available.

“This early bulk payment enables your farmer to plan for the season, purchase new seed, and make equipment repairs,” she said. “Our CSA was very successful last year.”

Bayonne’s CSA program differs from others in that it is customizable, so that each week participants receive only the produce they want, according to Dellabella.

Registration is ongoing; the first date for CSA pickup is May 27.

The CSA program offers three options: full, half, and personal shares. It’s a 21-week program (May 27-Oct. 14), and that allows each customer to have one week off due to vacation. Eggs or cheese can be added to a customer’s share.

CSA applications and more information can be found on the Bayonne Farmers’ Market Facebook page or at www.ortfarms.com.

The farmers’ market, Dellabella said, “fosters a sense of community. It brings farmers and local businesses together, right in our neighborhood. It offers fresh, wholesome, locally grown food to our community.”

 

Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.

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