New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.
It would be a sin to live in the Garden State without taking a moment to enjoy the fruits of the Jersey farmer’s labor, and what better place to find that than at on of the state’s many farmer’s markets?
Typically open from May through October (and sometimes year-round), these markets will offer you and your date a cornucopia of Jersey-grown and made products to enjoy on the spot or to take home to prepare. From fruits and vegetables to honey and baked goods, a date at the farmer’s market allows you enjoy a little Jersey sunshine with a lot of Garden State taste.
Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night that’s sure to grow on you!
Big Variety in Scotch Plains
There’s always something to see when you shop in downtown Scotch Plains and it gets tastier thanks to the Scotch Plains Farmer’s Marketplace. Established in 1992 as a community service to support local farmers, this market has evolved and expanded to include a variety of Jersey-grown produce and gourmet products.
Farms here include Cherry Grove Organic Farm in Princeton and Ort Farms in Long Valley. Don’t miss Bang Cookies (small batch goodness!), Chef Ido’s Finishing Sauces (complete with recipes) and the Florence Ravioli Company.
The Scotch Plains Farmer’s Marketplace is open every Saturday May to November from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. rain or shine. For more information, visit www.scotchplainsfarmersmarket.com.
Something Tasty All Year Long
A Saturday in Montclair wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Montclair Farmer’s Market. In its 27th year, this market was one of the first three in the state. You and your date will love the produce and freshly cut flowers from local growers including Matarazzo Farms and Circle Brook Farms.
You’ll also find a wide range of gourmet products including Jersey-roasted coffee, herbs and spices and baked goods. Be sure to check out Shore Catch for fish caught off the coast of Barnegat.
The Montclair Farmer’s Market is open year-round on Saturdays with summer hours from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.montclairfarmersmarket.org.
One Date in a Big Community
When an Estonian farm girl immigrates to the United States, what does she do? She spearheads the opening of a farmer’s market in her Denville, NJ community! Ten years later, Liisi Lascarro is still managing the Denville Farmer’s Market, which is stronger and fresher than ever. With 28 vendors ranging from produce to specialty foods, you’ll also find some Jersey-grown community spirit.
You and your date might just make a few new friends when you check out the fresh flowers and vegetables along with specialties including the small batch jams and jellies from Bubala’s Gourmet Spreads and the mushrooms from The Foraged Feast.
The Denville Farmer’s Market is open Sundays from 8:30 a.m .to 1 p.m. now through Nov. 24. For more information, visit www.denvillefarmersmarket.com.
Where Getting Fresh is Easy
You’ll have to up your flirting game if you want to compete with the freshness found at the Summit Farmer’s Market. Located in the heart of downtown Summit, you and your date will be amazed at the offerings of this super-popular spot. You’ll find everything you need to prepare a feast, ranging meats from Mangalitsa to breads from Baker’s Bounty.
You and your honey won’t want to miss the honey products from Tassot Apiaries and don’t forget to spoil your dog with a few treats from Mandarin’s Cookies for Dogs.
The Summit Farmer’s Market is open Sundays from 8 a.m. to1p.m. now through Nov. 24. For more information, visit www.summitdowntown.org/events/farmers-market.
Off the Market at the Market
One of the best activities a couple can do together is to shop for ingredients and prepare a meal. It’s a perfect exercise in collaboration, resulting in a tasty, tangible reward. It’s important for couples to connect and work as a team, and food is a perfect catalyst to achieve this. Spending the morning together getting fresh at the farmer’s market will lead to one flavorful evening.
Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of “The 49th Challenge,” Rogers has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about him, visit CraigRogers.nyc.
What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date? Tell Craig all about it at email@example.com.
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