tomatoesMontclair resident Laura Schenone cased a whole bunch of local farmers markets for a story in today’s Star-Ledger. Among her discoveries, people are happier when they go to farmers markets. (We could have told you that, without all the reporting!) And then there was this:

Random samplings of tomato buyers brought one remarkable finding. Shopper after shopper stated the exact same intentions for tomatoes — to mix them with mozzarella, basil and good olive oil. Who knew that this classic Italian Caprese salad had become a New Jersey classic?

And this writer knows her Italian Caprese salad. Schenone is the author of “A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances,” a book fat enough to let a kid sit on for Thanksgiving dinner.
One mini-scandal. Schenone reports that of the 60 farmers markets in New Jersey, only 35 require that farmers sell only food they grow.

Some municipalities, such as Montclair, allow brokers to come in — not necessarily a bad thing, but not the same as buying from the person who grew your food. Also, brokers may gain an advantage of buying and selling at lower cost — right alongside the family farmers who put their lives in the land.

As Yogi Berra might say, farmers markets are 90 percent locally-grown; the other half comes from somewhere else.

2 replies on “Jersey Tomatoes and Other Vegetables Fruits?”

  1. Capitalism has infected agriculture! Ahhh… Say it AIN’T SO!
    Just add it to the checklist required for food passage across pious liberal lips.
    Even if 100% of the food was grown by the seller there is a slight chance the grower *might* even be of a different political persuasion.
    What are the pure-of-heart to do?

  2. Jersey fruits — who knew that this was foreshadowing the McGreevey announcement? (The Barista!)

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