HLT Farmers’ Market Celebrates 10th Anniversary on June 12
RARITAN TOWNSHIP — The Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a host of events including talks, a tour and cake on Sunday, June 12. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine St. in Raritan Township with the festivities kicking off at 10 a.m.
The producers’-only Farmers’ Market hosts about 18 farmers and vendors who offer an assortment of local products including organic fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, yak, bacon, eggs, milk, cheese, artisan bread, locally roasted coffee, fermented foods, native plant seeds and honey. The market also has a food truck that makes flat-bread pizzas using ingredients provided by the farmers.
The June 12 celebration includes:
10 – 11 a.m. – A composting demonstration at the new rustic classroom with Mark Keating, organic farming specialist at Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey. Keating will demonstrate the basic rules to turning leaves, yard trimmings and food scraps into a rich addition to your soil. “Making your own compost is a great way to boost soil fertility in the garden while keeping organic matter out of the waste stream,” Keating said.
10 a.m. – noon – Late Night Kennel Club will play a non-purebred mix of new and vintage music.
11 a.m. – Anniversary celebration and cake cutting at the Hunterdon Land Trust booth. In addition, there will be a free drawing to win a basket of market goodies. Market visitors can submit one entry at the HLT booth.
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Tour of the historic wagon house/classroom on the Dvoor Farm. Architect Chris Pickell and Adam Wengryn, owner of Restoration Technologies of New Jersey, will lead a tour and discuss the history of the building — portions of which once served as an ice house and residence – and the work done to restore the wagon house for use as a rustic classroom while preserving its aesthetic as a farm outbuilding.
The Farmers’ Market began with a dozen vendors and has grown through the years. Mark Canright of Comeback Farm was one of those original vendors, selling organic fruits and vegetables since it first opened. Canright said his farm was just getting started around the same time as HLT’s Farmers’ Market and it just felt like a good fit.
“I felt this was going to be a happening thing,” Canright said. “Something in our gut was telling us that this farmers’ market in Flemington was a ripe opportunity. Then we found out it was going to be here: on a complex of barns on a bona fide farm. I just think there’s something magical about having a farmers’ market on a farm that’s in the town of Flemington.”
Phillips Farms stand with its rows of fresh picked fruits and vegetables has also been a familiar site to market visitors since the beginning.
“We do a Farmers’ Market in New York City, and we thought this market would be good for us because it’s local,” said Marc Phillips. “Being here is a good way to serve our local community better.”
Other vendors who have been with the market since its inception are Sweet Valley Farm, Sowsian Farm and Blue Mist Hollow Farm.
Supporting local farmers and offering them a venue to meet their customers has been at the core of HLT’s mission since its Farmers’ Market first opened.
“Our Farmers’ Market has been a tremendous success story because we have adhered to the mission we established a decade ago: to preserve and support our local farmers by providing them with an opportunity to market to consumers,” said Patricia Ruby, executive director of the Hunterdon Land Trust. “By providing that place for connection, we feel our market helps build the bonds of community and protects our county’s agricultural legacy for future generations.”
And the success of the market has boosted the local economy too. According to recent surveys by SEED, HLT’s Farmers’ Market has had a combined economic impact of more than $2.7 million per year for the past two years on its vendors, host neighborhood and surrounding region.
“Our market draws people from areas outside the county and from as far away as Morristown and Toms River,” said Catherine Suttle, HLT’s director of cultural resources. “The shoppers drawn to our market also frequent nearby retailers and spend additional cash that benefits the local economy.”