Any day now, spring will stop toying with our emotions and will actually hang around for a while. And when that happens, everyone is going to come out of hibernation with a hankering for lemonade, gelato, and home baked organic sweets. Fortunately for local residents, with spring comes Jersey City’s eight farmers’ markets, each with its own unique personality and flavor – literally!
Throughout May, June, and early July, these markets will be returning for the 2013 season with all of the tri-state farms and local vendors that residents have grown to love. In Jersey City, farmers markets can be found in Grove Plaza, Journal Square, Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park, Newport Centre Mall, Riverview-Fisk Park, Paulus Hook, and on Bramhall Avenue.
The Van Vorst Park Farmers Market, which operates each Saturday through November, was the first market to open for the season and made its 2013 debut last weekend. The market is open 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Riverview Farmers Market will open next weekend, on Sunday, May 5, with a special Cinco de Mayo celebration. Activities that day will include arts projects for children at 10:30 a.m., followed by a cooking demonstration by chef Mory Thomas, director of culinary development at The Food Network, at 11:30. The Mariachi band Mariachi Flor de Toloache will perform at 1 p.m.
The market features local vendors offering fresh baked goods, nuts, dried fruit, pickles, olives, bottled hot sauces, handmade veggie burgers, pizza, desserts, and other goodies. In addition, local artisans sell handcrafted soaps, and handmade jewelry. An on-site knife- and scissor-sharpener will also be a regular market vendor. Two New Jersey farmers this year will sell fresh produce and grass-fed meat. Both farmers will offer subscriptions to their own Community Supported Agriculture programs.
They will return with all of the tri-state farms and local vendors residents have grown to love.
The Paulus Hook Farmers Market will also open in May, and will be open each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through December.
Mid-May will see the return of the Grove Plaza Farmers Market, arguably one of the most popular and trafficked markets in the city. This market, which has done much to shape the identity of this neighborhood, will operate Mondays and Thursdays through December. Market hours are from 4 to 8 p.m., according to the city.
Another popular market, the Hamilton Park Farmers Market, will also return in mid-May and offers one of the most unique selections of vendors and items in the city. Through mid-December, the Hamilton Park market will be open each Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m.
Fans of the Journal Square Farmers Market will have to wait until late June for this market to open, although the market’s huge selection of vendors makes the wait worthwhile. This market operates through November and will be open Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The little-known Newport Centre Farmers Market operates on the first floor of Newport Centre Mall. Infrequent visitors to the mall may not know this market even exists. But the option is useful for commuters and people who work in the Newport area. This market will open for the 2013 season in early June and will operate each Tuesday from noon until 7 p.m.
Another overlooked gem is the Bramhall Farmers Market, which is among the last markets to open. Located at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church at 492 Bramhall Ave., this market will open in mid-July and close for the season at the end of October. The market will operate each Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at email@example.com.