CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Farmers' Market is not just any other farmers' market. In addition to the expected fresh produce and local goods, last week it served as a whole wellness center.
Free exercise and cooking presentations were sponsored by Saint Barnabas Medical Center in conjunction with Sodexo, The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, and The Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market.
Beginning at 9 a.m., Sal Iorio, Tai Chi instructor at The Chatham Club, taught a beginner class on this meditative form of exercise. The group gathered at the Gazebo at Firehouse Plaza where they practiced the basics of Tai Chi to calming music.
At 10 a.m., Sodexo Chef Jesse Kraft led a two-hour healthy cooking demonstration. Kraft used ingredients from The Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market to prepare his dish, a Summer Cous Cous Salad with Cilantro Grilled Chicken.
On why teaching people how to cook healthy meals is so important, Kraft said “Healthy eating is a way of life. . . we need to start eating healthy so we can live healthy.”
“It’s great to come out to the [Chatham Borough] Farmers’ Market where it’s all fresh produce,” Kraft added.
And at every week's farmers’ market, locally grown fresh foods fill the parking lot of the Chatham Train Station.
Residents who visit the market shop from a wide variety of Jersey Fresh produce like cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, blackberries, nectarines, blueberries, peaches, and plums.
Shoppers can buy handpicked sunflower bouquets as well, along with homemade food items from a number of vendors who sell bread, cheese, tea, olive oil, wine, pickles, pastas, jams, and soaps.
Tracee Palmer of Secret Garden Soap of Madison told The Alternative Press about her handmade soap collection. “I actually keep my own goats so it's raw goats milk in all of the soaps,” Palmer explained.
Also for sale at The Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market is the Edible Jersey Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Costing just $8, this cookbook features recipes from Farmers’ Markets across the state and even one from Chef Jesse Kraft.
The Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market will continue through Nov. 17, being held on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.