Warren County market still thriving after relocation

AFP Correspondent

BELVIDERE (July 15, 2017) — It was a perfect summer Sunday on July 9.
Perfect for a Rolling Thunder motorcycle run of several hundred bikes. And perfect for the Warren County Farmers’ Market.
The market, once in Belvidere and called the Belvidere Farmers’ Market, now occupies the front parking lot of the White Township Elementary School. Farmer Kent Kimball was part of the market in Belvidere and said the present location is much busier.
Kimball is selling plenty of lettuce and greens and is setting appointments for his pick-your-own raspberries business on his nearby farm.
Customers were sampling the raspberries as they shopped.
“People get into a routine,” Maria Menegus said.
She said a couple of weeks into the market shopping picked up.
Broccoli, beets and zucchini are selling well.
So is kohlrabi, she said. She said people don’t know what to do with kohlrabi, but when she makes suggestions they are willing to take a chance. “I’ve got good reports back,” she said.
Menegus Farm is also selling a Griddle Cake mix based on a recipe by Maria’s sister, Cecelia Tkaczyk. A farmer in New York grinds the meal.
Tkaczyk moved to upstate New York when her physicist husband got a job with General Electric in Schenectady.
On a visit back to New Jersey, she fell in love with the Jacob Sheep on Buttonball Farm in Hope.
She now has a flock of 50. One cold upstate New York winter she had an injured dog and made it a bed from her wool.
The dog loved the bed so much she started making them for sale.
“Dogs go right to it,” Menegus said. Tkaczyk also makes cat beds and takes special orders.
Menegus Farm is also selling Special Lady Gourmet Spreads, vinegars and maple syrup.
Kathy Fleigauf started off selling garlic, but she discovered if she brought some cut flowers to a market people bought them.
Fleigauf and her husband moved back to the farm where she was born and raised in Oxford.
They were growing tired of commuting from Stone Row Farm on Jonestown Road.
When farmers’ markets started popping up, she wondered why Washington didn’t have one, so she got involved. She now sells her flowers at both the Washington and Warren County markets.
Humor Me Farm in West Milford raises alpacas and French and English angora rabbits.
Heather Marion and her daughter, Olivia, were spinning alpaca fiber at the market.
Heather said she got involved with alpacas through 4-H and is now a 4-H leader herself.
The farm has 14 alpacas and “around more than two dozen rabbits, depending,”
Olivia laughed. They breed the rabbits to sell, show or for fiber.
They also sell all fiber products from raw fleece to finished products.
“Farm markets help us to be out. We do a lot of education at our markets,” Heather said.
She does the Ringwood and Paramus markets as well as Warren County. “A friend of a friend recommended this one,” she said. “and I love everyone here.”
Liz Balchin of Four Fields Farm was selling her farm raised meat.
She set up a tablet to show the animals on the farm to children who come by with their parents.
“The parents talk, the kids flip through the pictures,” she said.
“It’s a busy day,” Balchin. “It’s nice to have the parking right in front of the vendors so we can judge how busy it is.”