GLEN ROCK – Locally-sourced farm-fresh ingredients are coming to Glen Rock next month with the launch of Bergen County's newest farmers market.
The opening day ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 4 and will include a performance by Glen Rock High School sophomore and singer/songwriter Cat Merkle, who will be accompanied by market director Alison Bloomfield's 8-year-old son, Will Bloomfield. Other local musicians will perform regularly throughout the season.
The new market will be held in the borough hall employee parking lot and the adjoining lawn off of Rock Road, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., every Sunday from June 4 to Oct. 15. The #175 bus stops at the market and the Boro Hall Glen Rock train line is located across the street.
The Borough Council discussed the market and authorized Mayor Bruce Packer to sign the contract with the Glen Rock Farmers Market earlier in the spring. Market liaison Councilwoman Amy Martin and the governing body discussed the details, including traffic considerations, during work sessions.
Last fall, there were three "test" days of the market.
According to Bloomfield, the market is "an authentic 'producers only' market."
"The Glen Rock Farmers Market allows consumers the opportunity to speak directly with the farmers who have grown their food," Bloomfield said in a press release.
"Participating prepared food makers are required to source ingredients that are grown sustainably without the addition of toxic chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetically modified seeds. Sustainable farming methods don’t degrade soil, water, or other natural resources. When space allows, the market also includes art crafted by local fine artists," she said.
“There will be a variety of prepared foods, fresh breads, cheeses, meats, produce, pickled and fermented items, and allergen-free offerings,” said Laura Occhipinti, one of the organizers of the market and a member of Glen Rock's Environmental Commission. “Every category that people look for at a farmers market is covered, and pop-up vendors will also be joining every week.”
“The market has inspired unexpected collaborations and new Glen Rock businesses," said Bloomfield. Vendors include Glen Rock resident Sheila Bober who launched the brand Dacha, Russian fizzy and fermented probiotic-rich pickled flavors of her childhood. Bober will be buying much of her produce from two of the market's vegetable farmers: Poplar Wood and MEVO.
Chris Leishear of the gardening and compost services company Farmburbia is another new Glen Rock vendor. Leishear says the prospect of joining the market was what inspired him to officially launch his business. Chris will be chatting about composting while selling his custom designed raised beds, compost bins and gardening services.
Students and community members will be volunteering at the market, and town nonprofit clubs and organizations will be joining to disseminate information and help further the mission with a community activity. Glen Rock High School art students will be providing an interactive community art project every-other-week.
Lizzmonade, a popular locally sourced fruit-infused lemonade stand, has hired members of the community, including Glen Rock High School and college students, to staff their booth. "It’s really exciting to witness all of the relationships that are forming simply because the market exists," Bloomfield said.
Glen Rock's brick-and-mortar businesses have benefited, as well, from the market.
“This will be a valued and loved addition to our borough. Our pilot market surveys proved that the Sunday markets resulted in notable downtown retail sales," said Glen Rock Councilwoman Amy Martin. "Kilroy’s Wonder Market is at the entrance of the farmers market. Market visitors shopped at Kilroy's after leaving the farmers market, and survey respondents detailed numerous purchases made at the downtown retailers before and after their farmers market visit.”
This year's vendors and products include Glen Rock Chef Meiganne Serrano’s Empanadas, Dacha Pickles, Poplar Wood Farm, MEVO, Prospect Hill Orchards’, Growing Dirt’s pasture raised meats, Top Of The Mountain Honey, gourmet cheese and sausage from Bella Mozzarella, Glen Rock’s Merves Kitchen and Bakery, Greenwood Lake Roaster’s locally roasted fair trade and organic craft coffee, farm-sourced desserts from Corbett’s Kitchen, and handmade fresh bread from Artisan Oven Central Bread Bakery among many others. Vendors are currently being announced on the Glen Rock Farmers Market Facebook page.
A full list of vendors and events can be found on www.GRFarmersMarket.com.