Fresh produce on the West Side
WSCA sponsors farmers market in Lincoln Park
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Aug 03, 2014 | 1188 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WEST SIDE
PILES AND PILES – Fresh food is what you will find in Lincoln Park on Sundays, along with a lot of other stuff.
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The threat of rain on a Sunday in early July did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds as they came to get their pick of farm products. Going into its third week, the Farmer’s Market in Lincoln Park is already a hit.

The first and largest park in Jersey City, it is ironic that it is among the last to establish a farmer’s market, but as the old saying goes, “Last, but not least.”

The market kicked off on June 22 and will run through Nov. 2 every Sunday, from 10 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Stretched out along the pathway just south of the historic fountain, the farmer’s market usually hosts about a dozen vendors from the city and other parts of the state. It offers the community locally grown Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic produce, pickles, brick-oven bread, baked goods and flowers.
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“This also about people meeting people.” – Charlene Burke said.
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The idea is to provide residents – especially those on the west side – with a wider selection of fresh produce and other local products. The market is sponsored by the West Side Community Alliance (WSCA), which, according to Charlene Burke and Mira Prinz-Arey, is trying to rebuild pride in the West Side of Jersey City.

The farmer’s market is only the latest in a number of WSCA initiatives hoping to promote that section of town. The group was instrumental in lobbying for security cameras for the park, and to bring arts to the area. They have worked with local retailers to support local businesses, as well as corporations like Honeywell, to plant trees and flowers. They have helped introduce local students to urban farming.

Some vendors include Country Stand Farm of Oxford (Washington, N.J.) and RH Farms of Hackettstown.

Jaker’s Pickles of Woodridge offers a variety of samples, a throwback in some ways to the more urban foods many found in markets along the waterfront when Hudson County was a hub of port activity.

Aaron Daniels of Newark is the founder of Jersey Buzz. He started out by keeping bees in his house, and offers a stunning variety of honey products. He said he has done business in Hoboken at various events as well as other parts of Jersey City.

Honey Bakery, located on Bergen Avenue in Jersey City, only had to bring its products uptown.

Watch it grow

The market is a member of the New Jersey Council of Farmers and Communities. Even though the market opened early in the season, the vendors offered a number of items and according to Burke will only get better as the season progresses.

“But this also about people meeting people,” Burke said. “People come here to find healthy food to eat, but they also bring their children and they meet other people in the community. They get to stop and talk to their neighbors that they only pass on the street.”

This isn’t only about food either. The yoga program had more than a dozen people stretching out on the lawn.

“This is win-win for the residents of the West Side,” said Prinz-Arey.

People show up early to get first pick but don’t wander off. Some hang around, talking to each other for hours.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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