A sure sign of summer in this suburb is the Montclair Farmers’ Market, created in 1993 and kicking off its twenty-third season on Saturday, June 6, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Walnut Train Station parking lot. The market runs all summer and through the fall until Thanksgiving All five of our familiar farmers — Tree-Licious Orchards, Sunden Farms, Vacchiano’s, Matarazzo’s, and Farmer John (the organic grower) – return this season with their fresh produce, often picked within 24 hours.
The market also boasts 15 delicious food artisans, including a local baker, a cheese maker, a seafood fishmonger, a beekeeper with honey (and wax candles), a specialty condiments purveyor, a pesto maker, a Garden State wine vintner, and a pickler.
This will be the second season for the weekday Farmers’ Market on South Park Street between Bloomfield Avenue and Church Street, opening on Tuesday, June 9 and then every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. We plan to have two farmers, plus several other specialty food vendors.
Both markets have been popular and sustainable assets for our town. Montclair was one of the very first towns in the Garden State to host a farmers’ market, and since then the health, economic, and environmental benefits of farmers’ markets have enticed towns and cities to follow our lead, and access to locally-grown foods has spread around the state and across the country.
Two Hearts Beating As One
This year, the Board of Trustees of the Montclair Farmers’ Market are excited to announce some very good news which will be a wonderful health and wellness benefit to those members of our community who need it the most.
First, starting this season in June, both of our Farmers’ Markets will now accept SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), and Senior FMNP (Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program) vouchers.
Even better, we can now give all SNAP, WIC, and Senior FMNP participants “double value” for their vouchers — this means that for $10 of voucher or SNAP money, they can purchase $20 worth of fresh, locally-grown produce and other healthful foods at the Montclair farmers’ markets. This will bring a new level of affordability and access to residents who are on tight food budgets. The “double value” program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Partners for Health Foundation and City Green, a local nonprofit working to improve access to fresh foods in underserved communities.
“Good food should be available to all,” said Jennifer Papa, founder and Executive Director of City Green. “People want to buy fresh healthy food; it’s a question of access.”
“We’re all very excited about the new program”, said Eileen Sweeny, a Trustee of the Montclair Farmers’ Markets. “Bringing this Double Value Coupon Program (we call it “Double Bucks”) to our markets will make it easier for all of our neighbors to buy healthy fresh fruits and veggies for their families.”
Montclair will now become one of the very first towns in this state to offer this Garden State Good Food Program. The Board of Trustees are grateful to Partners for Health and City Green, and honored to be able to ensure that all members of our community can reap the harvest from our regional farmers, and to enjoy the delicious delights of our specialty food artisans.
Close To You
Montclair’s Farmers’ Markets are popular meeting places for hundreds of residents, visitors, families and friends who enjoy not only the healthy, tasty food, but also a tangible sense of community due to the presence of the growers, chef-prepared food tastings, non-profit info/display tables, and musical entertainment.
Being able to speak directly to the person who actually cultivated the fields, planted the seeds, and harvested the crops in order to grow and sell you the food you will prepare for your own table is a lost commodity in America…but it lives on at both of Montclair’s Farmers’ Markets.
Food for Thought
The many health benefits of eating more plant-based foods, especially fresh locally-grown produce, are prescribed everywhere.
Shopping at farmers’ markets also supports family farmers, preserves farmland in the Garden State, and keeps food dollars in our regional economy.
And, it is more environmentally sustainable, because foods which travel shorter distances from field to table usually need less pesticides to grow, less preservatives for supermarket shelf-life, and require much less energy for transportation and refrigeration.
Growing your own food at home is always the best option for all who can do so. The next best thing is buying fresh, delicious produce grown locally by family farmers.
For further information, please contact Montclair Farmers’ Market Steering Committee Chair Steve Schuckman at 973- 228-2466, or, the Township’s Sustainability Officer Gray Russell at 973-509-5721.