New Jersey Ag News
Hopatcong has self-promotion campaign in the bag
By JANE PRIMERANO
HOPATCONG (July 1, 2015) — Hopatcong Councilwoman Marie Galate was holding an armload of sunshine yellow tote bags in the center of the municipal building parking lot that is home to the Hopatcong Farmers’ Market Sundays from Father’s Day to late October.
The new bags feature a smiling sun.
Last year’s were bright blue. Galate is determined to get the word out about fresh, healthy food on sale in the borough.
By 1 p.m., she had distributed 300 bags, although she said turnout was light because it was Father’s Day.
She also collaborated with others on the market committee on a new logo for t-shirts being sold at the market for $7 each.
Diamond Graphics, a local business, did the shirts in keeping with the market committee’s desire to use borough businesses as much as possible.
Galate is still finalizing the schedule for the summer, but she did have in place a Civil War reenactment for June 28.
“I understand they recruit people to be bodies,” she said.
Because the market is just outside the municipal building, the committee mounted outside speakers so it can provide music whether or not there is a live band playing, but Galate is putting together a live music schedule for several Sundays.
Other events that will be scheduled around the music are a classic car show, a tribute to veterans and a demonstration from the Hopatcong Community Garden.
Also on tap for a demonstration is the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
“We’ve asked Space Farms to come, too, but haven’t heard back,” she said.
At the height of tomato season in August, Galate will hold a tomato-sandwich making contest.
“We try not to have too much on one date,” she said.
A few new vendors have joined regulars such as Ideal Farms, she said, including a gluten-free, egg-free cupcake baker.
“And we’re dog-friendly,” she said, as people walked by with a large poodle. A pit bull puppy was kissing every child within reach on the other side of the parking lot. Galate and Councilman Michael Francis have been known to “babysit” dogs while their owners shop.
Galate pointed out the market has no commercial sponsors, all the ideas for events come from the borough and the vendors and it is a very successful market.