TOMS RIVER – The Downtown Toms River Farmers’ Market is back in action for the season, this year setting up shop behind the Ocean County Parking Garage.
Opening day was May 24, as local vendors selling fruits and vegetables, flowers, wine, ravioli, baked goods, pickles and even homemade dog treats lined up on the lawn facing Hadley Avenue.
Alizar Zorojew and Kim Dippolito of the Downtown Toms River Business Improvement District, who had a booth set up at farmers’ market, said things are just getting started, and hope this year’s new location will stick.
“It’s going great so far, we love this location,” said Dippolito.
Although parking in the Ocean County Parking Garage is free, many cars were parked on the street. Zorojew said they went door to door to all the residences within a 50 house radius and gave them a letter letting them know to reach out if there were any issues. If they bring the letter to the farmers’ market, they’ll even get a free gift bag.
“We’re trying to be friendly and keep an open dialogue with the residents because it’s going to impact them,” said Zorojew.
The good news is that the market packs up for the day at 5 p.m., which is typically when residents would get home from work.
The farmers’ market has been in town for 10 years, but has shifted locations throughout that time, from Huddy Park to the parking lot next to the Post Office. One thing that hasn’t changed is the vendors, such as Krowicki’s Farm in New Egypt that has been selling fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers at the market from day one. Picklelicious has also been a staple at the market, offering plenty of free samples of their spicy, sweet and sour brined cucumbers.
Local business Devil Brownies also had a booth at the market. Run by Clare Bojus and her daughter Maureen out of a commercial kitchen on Route 37, she has been coming to the farmer’s market for five or six years, offering samples of her Devil’s food brownies that she said she brings every week.
“We try to balance the competition and the vendors really like that. There’s only a few organic farmers. There’s only one wine vendor; one or two brownie and baked goods,” said Zorojew. Dippolitio added that there are five farmers, but said that a lot of people buy fruits and vegetables at the market.
Another five vendors are expected to join the farmers’ market either next week or the beginning of June. Residents should expect the market to keep getting bigger over time, as more fruits and vegetables become in season.
Here’s what to look out for:
June 7 – Strawberries and Lettuce
July 5 – Blueberries and Zucchini
August 2 – Peaches and Tomatoes
September 6 – Plums and Eggplants
October 4 – Apples and Pumpkins
November 1 – Cranberries and Sweet Potatoes
The Downtown Toms River Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays, rain or shine, at the Ocean County Parking Garage lawn from May 24 to October 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 1 to 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and November 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, visit downtowntomsriver.com.