Three little boys, instant best friends, ran up and down in front of the Jefferson municipal building. Other children begged to sit on the tractor at The Feisty Pepper’s booth. New vendors were setting up and a Girl Scout was working on her Silver Award project.
It was opening day of the second season for the Jefferson Township Farmers Market on Sunday, June 3.
Market manager Thomas Galfo was alternately setting up his booth for The Feisty Pepper and glancing at people with clipboards walking up and down. “Board of Health,” he said by way of explanation. These last-minute checks proved routine and the market opened without a hitch.
The contingent from Sparta Mountain Farm, one of the vendors from last season, included the owner’s son-in-law, Jeiris Cook, father of two of the three turbo-charged boys. Cook, a singer and guitarist, was providing opening-day entertainment on the plaza in front of the municipal building’s main entrance. Cook performs locally at places like Alice’s on Nolan’s Point, and Table 42 in Dover.
Brand new, not only to the farm market but also to business, was Mama Bella. Lucy Lynch is following in the footsteps of the original Mama Bella, her great-great-grandmother, who was an herbalist in Italy. She was selling teas with the help of her husband, Erik. “I thought it would be nice to come into the community,” she said.
Other vendors were Corbett’s Cookie Bar Kitchen, Jersey Pickles, Olsen’s Honey and Spice Farm, and Escentually Natural Produce.
For opening day, Emma Sannazzero, 13, a Cadette Girl Scout in Troop 4917, was educating visitors on the importance of pollinators. She gave out free milkweed plants to attract monarch butterflies. An aunt who works at BASF informed her about the necessity to preserve pollinators, Emma said. She is glad she got a chance to be at the market the first week because a lot of people come. Her mother, Jennifer, said the Junior Woman’s Club has a butterfly garden, and any leftover milkweed plants could be donated there.
Galfo thanked the market’s sponsor, Headley Lumber. He encourages local non-profits to come, and has welcomed the Blue Star Mothers and the first aid squad to do a health and wellness program.
Vendors interested in participating may contact Galfo at TheFeistypepper@gmail.com or 973-919-5657. The farmers market will be open every Sunday through October 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm. – rain or shine – at the Jefferson Township municipal complex (1033 Weldon Road, Oak Ridge). In addition, holiday markets will be set up for the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.