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Agriculture Secretary Kicks Off Summer Farm Market Tour with Stops in West Windsor and Franklin

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2004


Lynne Richmond




(TRENTON) – Touting the health benefits of eating the freshest fruits, vegetables and other farm products, New Jersey Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus kicked off his summer tour of state community farmers markets by visiting two Central Jersey markets.

Kuperus attended grand opening ceremonies at the West Windsor Community Farmers’ Market at the Princeton Junction Train Station, one of the state’s six new markets to open this year. The Saturdays-only market, started by two local residents -- Mireille Delman and Beth Feehan -- to honor West Windsor’s rich history in farming – features eight farmers selling conventional, organic, and specialty Asian vegetables, bedding plants, fruit, flowers, grass-fed beef and pork, eggs, and poultry.

“The West Windsor market is an excellent representation of the diversity of agriculture in the Garden State,” said Secretary Kuperus. “It’s the type of market that will appeal to a wide variety of residents by offering everything from Chinese cabbage to fresh pot pies made with free range game birds.”

New Jersey has 67 community farmers’ markets located in 59 communities throughout the state, from Cape May to Sussex County. There are six new community markets operating this year: Belmar; Boonton; Cape May Courthouse; Millville; Netcong; and West Windsor.

“Community farmers’ markets serve to promote the consumption of the hundreds of edible products grown by the state’s farmers by bringing these products directly to consumers,” said Secretary Kuperus. “The markets also help to revitalize town centers by attracting consumers, increasing foot traffic and thus, complementing local businesses.”

These markets participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)/Senior/ Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which makes available locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs to nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breast-feeding, or post-partum women; children two to five years old; and eligible seniors age 60 and older. Eligible participants receive four $5 vouchers valid June 30 through November 30 to purchase locally grown produce from certified farmer vendors.

This year, there are more than 65,000 WIC participants and almost 40,000 eligible senior participants. There are 180 certified farmer vendors, who will benefit from over $2 million available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Kuperus also visited the Franklin Township Farmers Market in Somerset County -- now starting it’s third season -- to sample some of the vendors’ fresh produce. Up to eight farmers sell their agricultural products ranging from bedding plants, fresh poultry, cut flowers, and potted plants, to fresh fruits and vegetables on Saturdays through the fall.

“Located right in the heart of Franklin’s Hamilton Street business district, the Franklin market is a terrific example of how community farmers’ markets can help revive downtowns,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Not only the town benefits, but the markets create a venue for our farmers to help keep New Jersey green and growing.”

Kuperus plans to continue his community farmers’ markets tour throughout the summer.

For a complete list of New Jersey's community farmers markets, please go to: http://www.state.nj.us/jerseyfresh/searches/urban.htm