Springfield Farmers Market opens early this year

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SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The Springfield Farmers Market opened on Monday, May 20.

The Farmers Market operates at the Springfield Free Public Library Lawn, 66 Mountain Ave. The two featured vendors were Alstede Farms and Pickle Licious.

Scott Odorizzi, retail operations manager of Alstede Farms, located in Chester, said they’ve been at the Springfield Farmers Market for four years. “Strawberries and asparagus are huge,” he said. “We did a lot to protect them during the bad frost a few weeks ago. Everything is ticking right along — a great start to the season.”

According to Odorizzi, the Farmers Market season started early. Usually, it begins in July, he said. The featured produce included fresh popcorn, golden beets, chives, carrots, rhubarb, zucchini, onions, garlic, jalapenos, bell peppers, carrots, scallions, radishes, kale, cabbage, beets, arugula, dill, homegrown lettuce, broccoli, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and celery.
They also make their own guacamole and hummus. And there are home-baked pies, doughnuts and muffins. “We do doughnuts all year round,” Odorizzi said. “We’ll get bigger as the summer goes on. It will keep growing.”

Odorizzi explained that when you support a farmers market you’re supporting New Jersey agriculture. “So many things Jersey grows, people don’t realize,” he said.

Joan Cingar, a lifelong resident of Springfield, said she buys from the farmers market because she likes the freshness of it. “And I got a sweet tooth,” she said. “I’m happy to see them return. I hope people support them. The quality of produce is excellent and worth the price.”

William Clark, of Springfield, agreed that the produce is fresh and that the farmers market is one of the highlights of Springfield. “I love it!” he said enthusiastically.

Emily Rivera is a vendor for Pickle Licious, her father’s family-run business. Luis Fermin purchased the business from Robyn Brown Samra, who began the business in 1997, opening her first store with her brother, Jay, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Pickle Licious offers a wide variety of old-world style pickles, along with an assortment of olives and condiments.

Some of their highlighted items include a sugar-free relish with a sauerkraut, mustard and vinegar base; new pickles, which are the stage before “half sour”; and Flaming Dill, a spicy, dill-based pickle. They also carry fermented items.

Rivera said that her father, who was born and raised in Spain, is willing to experiment to create new products. “Everything’s doing well; we just keep adding,” she said.

David Laguerre, of Springfield, was at the Farmers Market, “checking stuff out.” He tried a Pickle Licious pickle for the first time and said, “It’s good. Tasty. Really good!”

For more information on the Springfield Farmers Market, visit: https://springfield-nj.us/farmersmarket/.

Photos by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta