Blairstown Farmers’ Market features peach festival

AFP Correspondent

BLAIRSTOWN (Aug. 15, 2015) — Peach season is in full swing in Warren County and the Blairstown Farmers’ Market declared Saturday, Aug. 8, its Peach Festival weekend.
Kendrya Close, executive director of the Foodshed Alliance which runs the farmers’ market said the idea came from the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council in Glassboro.
The council encouraged markets, restaurants, supermarkets and orchards to celebrate August as Jersey Fresh Peach Month.
“We asked all of our vendors to do something peach-themed,” she said. For the microgreens vendor and the home-made dog biscuit people, that meant using peach-colored tablecloths, but the farmers had plenty of peaches for sale and were providing recipes for peach entrees and desserts.
“Yellow,” was Bob Best’s answer to which peaches make the best jam as he supervised his young sales staff. Best’s peaches and nectarines were going fast.
Perhaps the person taking the peach festival most seriously was Sarena Cannistraci, 12, who was selling vanilla ice cream with peach topping from a cart she was pulling around the market.
Assisted by her friends Kathryn Close, 9, and Avery Griffin, 8, she was a popular fixture of the market.
“A theme is important,” Close said, noting the market was extremely busy for the peach fest. “Last year we had a bacon festival and that was very popular.”
She pointed out the market serves as a meeting place for friends and neighbors, a fact borne out by the fact many people were standing around talking during the Saturday morning market.
The Foodshed Alliance and its affiliate, Local Share, decided to add the “Give It Fresh Today” program to the peach festival.
The program, known as GIFT, encourages shoppers to buy extra and drop it off in a box at the market or to make a monetary donation.
Christine Parauda, project coordinator for Local Share explains volunteers will deliver the food to Manna House, a soup kitchen in Newton, and food pantries in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.
The next event at the market will be the Tomato Festival on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the start of Farm to School Week, Close said.