26 June 2011
Local Favorite: Netcong Farmers' Market
I am still mourning my blog over at ScrapFriends. A couple of years worth of stories I only-put-there, always thinking they'd be there for me to go back and grab later..including many kid milestones, like first-word stories, birth stories...sigh! As someone who's lost all digital photo files twice now (once due to no backup, I guess, but the second time due to failed backup...) I guess I've come to accept that such things are more ephemeral than I would hope. So now I'm ready to blog again. My last blog included much of my life, since my followers were friends, but the central theme was, of course, scrapbooking, due to the nature of the site and my relationships there. I don't know that I'm sure how to focus my revived blogspot blog yet. So we're going to go with the theory that it will evolve somewhat organically, and I'm happy to sit back and see where it goes.
One thing I can say is that whenever I'm enjoying a favorite anything - food, local attraction, free-kid-thing - I always want to share. So I know what will be feeding some of my writing here. And in celebration of summer, I'm going to start by sharing my favorite little Farmers' Market, the one held at the train station in Netcong, NJ, known simply as the Netcong Farmers' Market.
This is not what I used to think of when I thought of farmers' markets. I thought of the one in Madison, Wisconsin, where you keep going and going and going around the circle and it's just neverending and mindboggling in its variety and the sheer number of vendors.
I was pretty surprised the first time I visited Netcong, a few years ago, and found only a few local farms set up. But until the Sparta market opened this Spring, it was What We Have, and I love it for being close and fresh and just so much more convenient than the bigger ones further away. They also used to have fantastic weekend giveaways - I once won the 'beach day' themed giveaway, which was a colorful beach umbrella-with-stand, two supersized towels and two beach chairs! - but I was told this year that Netcong 'said no.' Bummer for that!
Here's what to expect at Netcong Farmers' Market: Alstede Farms (whose frequent-shopper card does not work here...only if you buy at the farm in Chester). Hickory Ridge Alpaca Farm, with at least one supersoft alpaca in a pen to accept the attention of small fry. (This week, we had a Mama with her little one - bonus!) Iona Hill Farm. A little admin tent where, if you bring in your ValPak coupon, you can get a free canvas tote (this year's appears to be maroon). The possibility of one or more other local vendors, who may or may not stay the season.
All in the Icing, set up. Though their Farmers' Market fare included less perishable items, their cupcakes are so so SO flavorful and creative and beautiful - so worth a visit! They even go for local and organic/sustainable ingredients 'when possible.' Their alcoholic flavors are truly alcoholic. Come to think of it, I may need to blog about them here one day, too. Don't have any photos, though. Looks like a visit is in order. ;)
The nice thing, of course, about the smaller market is that it's a quick in-and-out if that's what you need. Parking is right by the booths and the fare is somewhat predictable. But I'll take a prediction of sweet, fresh Jersey Corn any day.
The Farmers' Market takes place from 9-2 every Saturday from now through mid-October at the train station at Main St. & Rte. 46 in Netcong. According to a quick search, they can be reached by phone at 973-347-0252, or by email at "b dot ryan2 at att dot net"
Maybe we'll see you there one Saturday :)