Summer is the season of barbecues, picnics, block parties, and all-around outdoor revelry. What better way to prepare than with fresh food and wares from New Jersey farmers? Pick up your produce at a local farmers’ market for ripe, natural food that’s often cheaper than the grocery store equivalent. Looking for a new outfit for your next outing or a quilt to lay down for that picnic you have planned?
Try perusing a flea market, where local artisans sell all kinds of treasures. Most towns have farmers’ markets, flea markets, and swap meets scheduled over the summer months or beyond, but if you’re looking for a standout experience with stall after stall bursting with goodies, check out the following places. Be sure to doublecheck that these markets are open for the season.
Montclair Farmers’ Market
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more convenient farmers’ market than the Montclair Farmers’ Market. Located entirely inside the parking lot of Walnut Street Station, this local favorite is easily accessible for even out of town commuters. Some stands that set this market apart are the homemade cheese stand and the pickle stand, where curious shoppers can try an assortment of pickles before purchasing. The Montclair Farmers’ Market is such a popular event that it has even spawned its own Facebook fan page, complete with recipes for making dishes with ingredients purchased exclusively at the market.
(86 Walnut Street, Montclair; Saturdays, 9 am to 2 pm)
Ramsey Farmers' Market
The Ramsey Farmers’ Market developed out of a desire to honor the town’s farming history. It delivers on that promise by featuring food from the 150-acre farm of a Ramsey resident. An emphasis on sustainable, organically grown, and fair trade products are part of the continuing mission.
Soy candles, specialty homemade pasta, and a focus on vegan and vegetarian options are also highlights. (Ramsey Main Street Train Station, Ramsey; Sundays, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm)
Ringwood Farmers' Market
It’s a party every weekend at the Ringwood Farmers’ Market, where a musical guest performs a concert while you shop the large selection of offerings. This market is unique in its focus on providing healthy, local food to all residents, eliminating income level as a barrier. Initiatives are in place to allow for the conversion of EBT cards to credits to buy food there. There is also a Healthy Families program in place to deliver food and cash donations to hungry residents of Ringwood, West Milford, and Wanaque. If you’re interested in growing your own food as well as buying from others, consider planting in the Community Green, another project affiliated with the Ringwood Farmers’ Market. ( 20 Cannici Drive, Ringwood; Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm)
Morristown Farmers' Market
What sets the Morristown Farmers’ Market apart is the sheer diversity of its vendors. While the food is always top notch, non-food vendors and musicians mix it up on the second Sunday of the month. On the fourth Sunday of the month, local health practitioners promote their services.
The market also features frequent surprise special events! (Spring Street and Morris Street, Morristown; Sundays, 8:30 am to 2 pm)
Historic Downtown Jersey City Farmers Market
The Historic Downtown Jersey City Farmers Market is located within the Grove Street PATH Plaza and is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm, featuring whopping 25+ vendors. Favorites include Raritan Bakery, Elements Truffles, Squeezd, and Bread and Spoon. Don't forget to pick up a bouquet of freshly picked flowers.
Dover Flea Markets
The Dover Flea Market is a down to earth affair where even adults can feel like kids. Free pony rides are given out as clowns make sure everyone is having a great time. Unlike some other, more formal flea markets, Dover’s opens up the possibility of participating as a seller to anyone who’s interested.
The carnival-like atmosphere of the street fair combines with the bargain shopping to create an enduring community tradition. As the official website states, it is the “nation’s oldest continuously operating Sunday Street Fair and Flea Market”! (18 West Blackwell Street, Dover; Sundays, 9 am to 5 pm)
Five Acres Flea Market
Five Acres Flea Market in Belvidere serves up antiques galore at rock bottom prices. This tiny town packs a punch every weekend with furniture, crafts, unique antiques, and even fresh produce. Did you love your experience so much on Saturday that you can’t wait to come back? Come back the next day! Five Acres is open both Saturdays and Sundays for your shopping convenience. (421 Route 46, Belvedere; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 3 pm)
Head over to Scranberry Coop in Andover for an array of haute couture to kitschy collectibles. Step back in time as you discover vintage cameras for sale as well as Tiffany lamps and Victorian era furniture. Scranberry Coop is an 80s lover’s paradise with Smurfs and Trolls for sale around the 10,000 square foot building. The sign outside looks like a treasure map with its font reminiscent of pirates and its big red “X marks the spot” logo. Come claim your buried treasure! (42 Main Street, Andover; open the first Sunday of the month (weather permitting), 8 am to 4 pm)
New Meadowlands Market
Open year-round, rain or shine, New Meadowlands Market, located within the Meadowlands Sports Complex, is an ideal place to spend a Saturday strolling through the lot and perusing wares from hundreds of vendors. Find great deals on used books, accessories ($2 sunglasses for those hot summer days), and even new merchandise like toiletries sold at a discount. Don't miss the carnivalesque food vendors, strategically placed around the market. (MetLife Stadium, Lot J, East Rutherford; Saturdays, 8 am to 4 pm; parking and admission are free)