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Jersey Fresh Farmers' Market of Lacey Township
Celebrates Farmers' Market Week
For Immediate Release: August 10, 2001 Contact:

Hope Gruzlovic


New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Art Brown visited the Jersey Fresh Farmers' Market of Lacey Township this afternoon to take a firsthand look at one of the most popular spots in the state, the urban farmers' market. The visit highlights Farmers' Market Week in the Garden State. Brown was joined by Lacey Township Mayor Rod Sterling; Councilmen John Parker and Robert Bishoff; market founders Barbara Schuetz and Kathy Gartner; and market committee members Chickie Wirkman and Aileen Hedrick. The two-year-old Jersey Fresh Farmers' Market was founded by Schuetz and Gartner, who decided that there should be a local source for just-picked Jersey produce in the Lacey Township area. Located at Lacey Road & Route 9, the market's location has proven to be the perfect spot for neighbors, area residents and commuters to meet, shop and visit. The market, which operates from 2 to 6 pm on Fridays from July through October, has become an important part of the community. "Farmers' markets offer consumers a varied selection of delicious, nutritious fruits and vegetables locally grown and freshly picked," said Brown. "There is nothing that can compare to the taste of Garden State fruits and vegetables picked just hours before you bite into them." This year the Lacey Township market is served by five farmers: Denis & Janice Krowicki of Krowicki's Farm Market & Greenhouse in New Egypt; Patricia & Larry Jacobsen of Farmer Al's Market & Greenhouses of Monroe Township; Susan & Dan Roohr of Cranberry Hall Farm of Cookstown; Patricia Lewis of Ariel Herb Farm of Toms River; and Lester & Patricia Eckert of Eckert's Farm of Tabernacle. Customers at the market find a wide range of Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, plants and flowers, and baked goods. New Jersey's farmers' markets date back to the 1600s. Currently, there are 35 urban farmers' markets attended by more than 150 farmers in over 30 municipalities throughout the state. Urban markets usually cater to several different consumer groups, including the residents of the surrounding area, those who work in the area and those who travel through the area on their way to work or other destinations. No matter what brings shoppers to the farmers' market, they are likely to become loyal patrons. "Urban farmers' markets have enjoyed a tremendous resurgence of popularity in the past several years," Brown noted. "They bring a new sense of community to the host cities and offer a colorful, enjoyable place where consumers can buy the freshest locally-grown produce available." Brown said customers also value the chance to talk directly to the farmers who grow the produce they buy. "One of the most important results of a farmers' market is the person-to-person bond that's created between the farmers and their customers," he noted. "The farmers get to know what kinds of produce their customers like and customers experiment with fruits and vegetables they may not have enjoyed before." The urban farmers' markets operate on various days and times during the week. For a listing of the farmers' markets and their operating hours, contact the New Jersey Council of Farmers and Communities (NJCFC) at (973) 236-1875 or visit their web site at www.njcfc.org. The Garden State also boasts nearly 400 markets right on the farm. Some are open year round, some seasonally and many offer a wide variety of family-oriented events throughout the year. For a complete listing of farm markets in their area, consumers can contact NJDA's Division of Markets at (609) 292-8853 or visit the department's web site at www.state.nj.us/agriculture.