HOPATCONG, NJ - On a day the summer heat wave took a break, the Hopatcong Borough Municipal Building parking lot filled with vendors for the opening weekend of the Farmer's Market.
Ideal Farms had piles of peaches and apricots, boxes of blueberries and bins of vegetables in a horseshoe-shape at the center of the market.
Many other vendors are not traditional farms.
Laurel Van Houton brought her Red Barn Crafts a short distance to set up. Children enjoyed her “4-seasons Teddy Bear” wood carving, as well as her frogs and other animals.
"I do shows anyway, I couldn't pass this up so close to my shop," Van Houton said.
In the shadiest spot lounged two Alpacas from Hidden Pastures Alpaca Farm in Branchville. Hidden Pastures is part of a consortium, Alpaca Farms of Northern New Jersey, that rotates through several farmers’ markets. Other members are Bear’s Den Alpaca Farm and Treasure Grove Alpaca Ranch, both in Blairstown; Flying Alpacas in Long Valley; Tranquility Alpacas, and Triple H Fibers, LLC, in Dingman’s Ferry, PA.
Llamas were not on the premises, but Sparta Mountain Farms had some llama-related products, and was touting its llama hikes and other activities.
Several bakeries and caterers were represented.
Everything Homemade from Lafayette Village had samples of many of its products. They also do the Sparta Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
The most interestingly-named booth was “2 Broke Broads,” a Stillwater catering service. Nancy Scalley, one of the “broads,” was offering samples of cookies. She explained she and Carol Fredericks came up with the name simultaneously while on a drive.
Scalley said she and Fredericks "have been friends for probably 20 years." In spite of the quirky name: "We are licensed, insured, have food handlers permits and work out of a certified commercial kitchen. The state inspector spent five hours with us once."
One of the more interesting vendors was “All Things Good,” organic skin care and cosmetic projects being hawked by the daughter of a friend of the owner.
Some other items sold there are meats, eggs, fresh pastas and sauces, dipping oils, pickles, and more.
A steady crowd visited each vendor and plenty of items were being checked out.
Hopatcong Borough Councilman Michael Francis, who has been an advocate of the farmer's market, said, "We like to keep it interesting and exciting with diverse vendors. We encourage every local business to participate in the farmer's market."
The Farmer's Market runs every Sunday through September 30, from 9am to 2pm.
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