Arts & Entertainment

Sparta Farmers' Market Gets Ready for New Season

Mitch Morrison co-founder of Sparta Farmers' Market, greets customers and vendors
Annual market kick-off meeting at St Moritz
Scenes from 2015 market
Local artisans bring their wares to the market
Scene from 2015 market
Cooking demonstration from 2015 market
Vendors at the Kick-off meeting
Food prepared by vendors at the Sparta Farmers' Market kick-off meeting

SPARTA, NJ – With the increasing demand from consumers to have access to healthy, locally produced food, the Sparta Farmers Market has cultivated a large and loyal following. Farmers, bakers, crafters and shoppers continue to attend the Sparta market from all over the New Jersey and New York region.

The spring, summer, fall market begins with a soft opening in May and will get into full swing on June 4. The market will once again call the Sparta Health and Wellness Center home for the outdoor season, located at 89 Sparta Ave.

The market takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday from June thorough October at this location, rain or shine.

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Ben Del Coro, the Sparta Farmers Market co-founder and manager, said, “We are extremely proud of our farmers’ market. Six years ago we started with only six vendors and now we have over 35 market vendors. We offer the very best local farmers, food artisans and musicians and they love our market. And so do our customers.”

David Zelov and Danielle Szepi, owners of Kittatinny Mountain Farm, explain they are looking forward to another great season at the Sparta Farmers Market.  “We love seeing our customers every week and take pride in knowing that they are taking home quality certified organic produce that we worked hard to grow to feed themselves and their families.”

Sara Morrison, another longtime customer of the Sparta Farmers’ Market said, “The Sparta Farmers Market is an entertaining and friendly atmosphere to attend on Saturday mornings. Customers can engage with SFM staff and vendors, buy local and certified-organic food, enjoy live music and special cooking demonstrations.

“I enjoy going to the market to buy fresh and organic produce, homemade guacamole and hummus, homemade charcoal and coffee soaps, local eggs, frozen stuffed breads, homemade jam and special treats, like apple cider donuts. Seeing Mitch [Morrison] dressed in different costumes is a plus too.”

“Why are our animals so special?” asked Hannelie Rheeder from Churutabis Farm in Branchville.  “It’s Because we treat and raise them on lush green pastures where they can root or hunt for their own food or help themselves to a buffet of custom milled organic grains. We are selling all our year round products at the Sparta Farmers market, turkeys for Thanksgiving and meat and egg CSA shares.”

Regina Rider said, “I love hosting cooking demonstrations at the Sparta Farm Market. The SFM offers an array of fresh produce and unique food products that make it easy to promote innovative ways to cook healthful meals.  As a nutritionist, my goal is to empower people with the information and skills they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life. I am looking forward to a great season of high-lighting ‘farm to table’ recipes.”  

Maureen Huntley, owner of Mo Green Juice, said, “The Sparta Farmers Market is green local goodness at its core. It provides Mo Green Juice a fantastic opportunity to showcase our Cold-Pressed 

Juices in a family friendly atmosphere all year long.  From the vendors to the patrons, Sparta Farmers' Market supports local community not only with a weekly presence throughout the year, but through educational outreach programming. Local as local gets.”

Anne Masters, along with her dog Duke, are weekly customers of the market. “Shopping at the Sparta Farmer's Market is fun, healthy and an extension of my faith.  Faith and food shopping?  Buying locally produced food that is produced with environmentally friendly practices is good for the earth as well as for our bodies. 

"I also appreciate knowing the people who grow or produce the vegetables and meat my family eats, as their integrity is an important contrast to large scale systems focused on the bottom line rather than health and humane practices.  Going to the SFM feels like being part of a community.  Plus, it’s the highlight of his week for our Black Lab, Duke.  He's so glad the summer market is coming soon.”

John Lancellotti from Steep for the Trees said, “Steep for the Trees is proud to be a part of the community of vendors at the Sparta Farmers Market. Whether it's honey to go with your tea or cider donuts to indulge with allergen free sweet treats, the faces behind the products are why we all come back each week. ‎It's been a pleasure getting to know the customers as well as the vendors. 

“Learning about all the market products has taught us the true value of buying local and supporting the artisan, farmer, or chef. We are excited to participate in our first summer market‎ in Sparta. We wish everyone a happy and prosperous upcoming Summer Farmers Market. Don't forget to stop by and check out our featured teas.”

Maria Lange from Maria's Gourmet Edibles said, “I enjoy making someone’s meal, easy, fancy and delicious without sacrificing social values to do so.”

According to Tom Merrow, a longtime customer of the Sparta Farmers Market, we make an effort to eat healthy and like supporting local companies. Any time we drive by a farmer’s market and have 

time we like to stop in and enjoy local food and see what is going on around us. Plus, Mitch [Morrison] dresses up like veggies so that's always a fun thing to see.”

Korey Lee from the Sharing Foundation said, “Being a part of The Sparta Farmers Market gives me an awareness of my local farming community.  It has a reputable core group of vendors that are extremely dedicated to their mission of organic meats and vegetables.  These farmers care about the health of their animals and environment and that is equally important to me.   

“In addition to their enthusiastic farmers, they have a variety of artisan vendors.  As a board member for an International non-profit, The Sharing Foundation, this marketplace provides me with a fantastic customer base to sell products from our sewing program in Cambodia. If there was one thing I would want the people of Sussex and nearby counties to know, it is, ‘come to the market, you will be glad you did.’”

Christine Quinn, the Mayor of Sparta, said, “Events such as The Sparta Farmers Market are just one of the many reasons that Sussex County is such a special place to live.'

Mitch Morrison, a co-founder of the Sparta Farmers Market,said, “We are seeing the beginnings of a much needed food revolution in the USA.  We are very proud to be part of it. We are starting to eat and fully enjoy local, healthy food. 

“We want to thank Thorlabs, Lakeland Bank, Newton Medical Center and Eastern Propane for being our sponsors.  Without our sponsors, our farmers, food artisans and musicians and the thousands of dedicated Sparta Farmers Market customers, we would not exist.”

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