Sussex and Warren Counties Farmers Markets open for the season

Farmers’ markets in northwest New Jersey are kicking off their seasons with the return of warmer weather.

The Lafayette Farmers Market Shoppes made their 2022 debut last Sunday, a weekend after the Sparta Market debuted in the Sparta Health and Wellness Center parking lot. On June 4, the Blairstown Farmers Market will open for its 15th season next to the fire station on Stillwater Road.

The Lafayette market, now in its fourth year, will run every Sunday through November from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The ever-expanding event will feature at least 27 vendors this week – “and that’s of course growing,” said market manager Ken Olsen.

Olsen pointed to a “unique” aspect of this year’s market: The third Sunday of each month will feature non-food vendors selling candles, books, cosmetics, essential oils and more. Traditional Farmer’s Market products such as eggs, bread, fresh produce, honey and mushrooms will also be available each week. Foods, including pizza and lobster, are expected to arrive later in the year.

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After more than 500 people visited the Lafayette market last weekend, Olsen said he was optimistic for the rest of the season. With COVID restrictions no longer in place, he hopes turnout will increase as more people become aware of them.

The Sparta Farmers Market is in its 12th season and takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until November 19. It will feature 28 local vendors this weekend, offering naturally raised food, jewelry, soap and other personal care products.

Guests check out various vendor stalls at Sparta Farmers Market on Saturday, May 16, 2020.

The Blairstown Market will be held every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from June 4 to October 29. The market emphasizes local vendors and small businesses, as all the food is sourced from within a 25-mile radius of town.

The market is run by the Foodshed Alliance Farmers’ Access Network, which aims to develop a locally grown sustainable food system that promotes direct interaction between farmers and consumers.

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“We want to provide everyone in our area with a one-stop location to get fresh, locally grown and produced food,” said Kendrya Close, executive director of the Foodshed Alliance. “Doing this while meeting your neighbors and helping support your local farming community makes for an ideal family-oriented experience.”

For more information on each market and available vendors, visit www.theshoppesatlafayette.com/farmers-market, www.spartafarmersmarket.org and www.blairstownfarmersmarket.com.

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