Source: North Jersey.com
Before it even opened, the Glen Rock Farmer’s Market was listed as one of the North Jersey markets to check out this year, in part due to its requirement that sellers use sustainable farming methods and grow crops without the use of chemical pesticides.
Now it’s in full swing, with local vendors, volunteers and community organizations giving the market a decidedly hometown feel.
The market, which began on June 4 and is open Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., transforms the lawn and parking lot at Glen Rock’s municipal complex into a celebration of food, art and music.
Last year, three pilot markets held to gauge interest were a success, paving the way for the full-scale ‘ market.
Environmentally friendly initiatives include the banning of single-use plastic bags, said Alison Bloomfield, the farmers’ market director.
With a focus on sustainable practices and the use of natural, healthful ingredients, the concept lends itself well to other enterprises.
Each Sunday, fitness professionals teach a morning yoga class while vendors set up. Glen Rock resident Alyssa D’Amico, who serves as the market manager, but is also a registered dietician, is on hand each week to give out healthy seasonal recipes. Education is an important component, said Bloomfield.
While the market is not restricted to Glen Rock vendors, plenty of locals have been making a big splash with their products.
Bloomfield said the hottest item at the market thus far has been the empanadas made and sold by Glen Rock residents Meiganne and Luis Serrano.
A message posted on the Serrano Empanadas Facebook page corroborates their popularity: “We sold out around 12 p.m. but [we] will make many more empanadas for next Sunday,” read the note posted on June 11. “Thank you for your patience as we work hard to increase our production each week.”
There are a number of other community tie-ins that make the Glen Rock market stand out from its peers. Interactive art projects have become an early staple. Zoe Shea, a Glen Rock High School sophomore, will create two giant wings out of feathers colored and decorated by market attendees. When the wings are complete, they will be on display for anyone to come and take a selfie.
Market organizers, who regularly make use of social media, have also added an online summer cook-off challenge to create the most visually appealing dishes using specific ingredients bought at the market. Entries are posted to Facebook with the hashtag #GRFMcookoff and prizes are given out to the top three dishes.
For information on the vendors, weekly specials and latest news, visit grFarmersMarket.com.