By Clare Broderick, Founder of Greener, Cleaner LIVING, LLC
We are coming upon the best time of year in the Garden State – summertime food season! If your mouth waters just hearing the words “garden tomatoes,” “Jersey corn,” or “summer watermelon,” then read on! Organic, local offerings for summer produce abound and we are sharing some of our favorite places to scoop up your favorites all summer long.
Beyond the amazing taste of local produce, there are several other compelling reasons to change up your grocery shopping routine this summer and shop local and organic. Here are just a few benefits of organic and locally grown foods:
- Organic produce contains fewer pesticides.
- Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives to make it last longer.
- Local produce retains more of its nutritional content.
- Organic farming tends to be better for the environment.
- Organic food contains no genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).
- Financial: Money stays within the local economy.
Farm stands and farmers’ markets are gearing up to open in the next few weeks or so. Selections of cold-hardy spring vegetables will appear first – asparagus, kale, bok choy and lettuces to name a few. Strawberries will make their appearance mid-May and come June lots of fruits and veggies will be available. Check out this handy crop harvest calendar specifically created for New Jersey’s growing zone so that you’ll know exactly what to find each week at the local farm stand.
There is a wonderful array of area farmers’ markets and farm stands to choose from. While we cannot highlight them all, we wanted to share a few to cycle into your summertime food shopping routines:
- Jeff’s Organic Produce, Cream Ridge NJ – organic produce, available at the Red Bank Farmer’s Market, opening Mother’s Day.
- Skeleton Hill Provisions, Navesink, NJ – organic produce, eggs, flowers & more, available at the Atlantic Highlands Farmer’s Market.
- Moonshot Farm, Imlaystown, NJ – synthetic pesticide & herbicide-free specialty-cut flowers & eggs, available via onsite farm stand & CSA (community-supported agriculture) shares.
- Metuchen Farmer’s Market, Metuchen, NJ – open Saturdays starting in June, featuring stands from local, organic farms offering produce, meats and cheeses.
And check out all the wonderful resources in our newsletter library including listings of notable farms and growers right here in our neighborhood. New Jersey is also home to innovative indoor farms disrupting how organic health food is grown (see our feature on Drop the Beet aquaponics farm right here in Monmouth County). Grab your reusable shopping totes and start planning your first farm stand shopping trip of 2022!
Clare Broderick is the Director of Partnership Development at the WEforum Group and is the founder of Greener Cleaner LIVING, LLC, a sustainable home and lifestyle consultancy.