Big, red, juicy Jersey tomatoes top a delicious list of seasonal goodies we love this time of year. “Eat it like an apple – with a sprinkle of salt” might be the kind of advice you’d get from farmers at roadside stands who are happy to talk about their colorful selection of fruits and veggies. But that’s not all.
Farmer’s Markets are community hubs where visitors browse, ask questions and learn about ways to prepare and cook their bounty — you may even pick up some recipes — and sometimes find out about the health benefits. You’ll also discover hard-to-find ethnic delicacies, frozen entrees, baked goods, local honey, flowers and specially made, non-food products such as handcrafted soaps and other personal items.
Here is a breakdown of farmers markets in the monmouth and ocean counties. There’s quite a selection!
- Asbury Fresh at Kennedy Park, Cookman Ave. & Grand Ave., is open through Sept. 6, Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursdays, 5:30-9 p.m. Fresh fruits and vegetables, an assortment of foods, handmade, artisan goods, soaps, honey, and more;
- The Asbury Park Carousel Farmers’ Market at First and Ocean Avenue is open through October on Thursdays, 4-7 p.m. offering fresh veggies, scrumptious baked goods, flowers, eggs, fresh herbs, honey, jams, plants, soap and wines.
- Asbury Park Sunset Farmers Market on Sunset Ave. at Main Street, open through Oct. 31, Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. showcases fruits and vegetables, pickles, hot sauce, jams, plants, flowers, and honey.
- Atlantic Highlands Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market, 111 First Ave., through Oct. 9, Fridays, from Noon – 6 p.m. features a new vegan, gluten free stand, along with bread and bakery products, ethnic foods, soap, candles, nuts, dried fruits, cheese, pasta, fresh flowers, pickles, local honey, teas coffee and more!
- The Downtown Freehold Farmers Market is at the Hall of Records, 1 East Main Street, every Friday, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., through Oct. 23. Find fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, flowers, jams, jellies, breads and more.
- Galleria Red Bank Farmers Market, corner of Bridge Avenue and West Front every Sunday, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. through mid-November, is 30 vendors showing off their fresh produce, unique crafts and wonderful eateries.
- Giamano’s Farmers Market, 301 Main Street (Rt. 71), Bradley Beach, happens every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. through October, with fresh produce, cheeses, oils and flowers.
- Highlands’ 20th Annual Farmer’s Market at Huddy Park, corner of Waterwitch and Bay Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., offers Jersey’s best fruits and veggies, flowers and more. Hauser Hill Farms of Old Bridge, NJ and Fresh Pik Farms of East Windsor, NJ joins them for the 21st year.
- The Point Pleasant Beach Farmer’s Market, 601 Arnold Ave. and Route 35 South (Borden’s Parking Lot), Sundays, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., wows visitors with rows of stands full of ripe produce and baked goods, flowers and gourmet treats. Live music and a group of egg-laying free range chickens roam the grounds! On Thursdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m., that market moves down to Bay Head municipal parking lot on Bridge Avenue.
- Seaside Farmer’s Market, on the Marina Lawn at Central Ave and J St, Seaside Park, welcomes you Mondays and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. now (and Sundays in the fall) through Nov. 20. Vito of High Mountain Foods offers ravioli, pasta and pierogis, frozen poultry, fish and crab cakes. Farmer Al’s Market and Greenhouse, Down to Earth Handmade Products and Edye’s Naturals are also featured vendors.
- Lacey Township Farmers Market, 203 Lacey Road, Forked River, is held adjacent to the Lacey United Methodist Church, Fridays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., now through Sept. 18. Select from fruits and vegetables, ravioli, pasta, frozen fish, frozen meats, Italian bread, desserts, fresh mozzarella, imported cheeses, pickles and olives!
- Finally, the Stafford Township Farmers Market opens every Friday, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 657 East Bay Ave. at the Manahawkin Flea Market, now through September.
So come out and commune with nature and one another while you spend a day in the warm sunshine, browsing and buying the best Mother Earth has to offer! For more information, check out Jersey Fresh online.