The vendors at the Farmers Market at Lincoln Park

I just spent the afternoon volunteering at the Farmers Market at Lincoln Park and it was really fun. Just a couple of pics from today and also last week, along with some info:

Every Sunday from 10-3, in Lincoln Park and next to St. Al’s Church, at least two farm vendors set up (there is also, every week, free yoga at noon). The first is Circle Brook Farm, which specializes in organic produce and herbs, including a lot of things you can’t get in the neighborhood easily:

Their prices are really reasonable – bunches of fresh herbs were only a $1.50 each, and other things were comparably priced – and everything looks great. They also offer organic eggs for $4/dozen (they sell out quick, so get there early if you want some).

The other farmer is RH Farms. Right now, it’s early in the season so most of their produce is still in the ground or not quite ready for picking, but they’ve been bringing a lot of beautiful plants for the garden. This week they also had a few fruits and veggies, including blueberries, leafy greens, and radishes:

Ok. So those two are out every week. Here’s where it gets a little more confusing, but it means that there’s cool stuff changing week to week and you’ll just have to swing by to check it all out.

Every other week, Squeez’d and Uncle Bud will be there. Squeez’d sells awesome freshly squeezed juices:

IMG_7749(So sorry that pic isn’t better!! Next time, you guys – I’ll get something better next time.)

Uncle Bud is… Uncle Bud, aka Tony. He’s a charmer and a local celebrity of sorts. He makes awesome hot sauces and brings a grill and makes ribs, collards, mac & cheese:

Once a month, GourMuttz comes to the market. She makes homemade dog treats and will put a bunch of free samples out on a platter and let your dog pick his very favorite for you. Here she is, with a very happy customer:

Then, in the mix, there will be a variety of other vendors adding on to our market as we go.

I know that’s a little confusing to have some vendors some weeks and others on other weeks. But right now there are SO many farmers markets in the area (think of all the markets in JC already, then consider all the surrounding towns and cities that also have markets) that vendors are spread really thin, especially on the weekends. These are all really small businesses – most have one or two employees, tops. I’ve vended at these markets before, and I know how hard it is – you have to make your product (which takes a lot of time) and then go out and sell your product (which takes away from time you could be making more of your product). This is a tough business to be in, and it’s really a labor of love.

And all of our vendors are really, really local, and really really really homemade. If you go to a farmers market in the area this week and you see tomatoes, there’s one of two options: either they came from a hothouse, or that tomato didn’t really come from NJ. It’s not tomato season in our zone until later in the summer. So that means no tomatoes at our market… but the produce that is there is super fresh, ripe, and really came out of the ground in NJ, and was harvested by a local small business, not a big company. And Uncle Bud really did make that hot sauce himself, Squeez’d really did just juice those fruits and veggies just for you, and GourMuttz made those dog treats with her own hands.

Anyway. The Farmers Market is a lot of fun, and I hope you’ll stop by soon if you haven’t already. It’s a lovely way to hang out in the park on a Sunday and come meet your neighbors and buy some really great stuff.