The Burlington County Board of Commissioners are inviting residents from across the county and beyond to participate in what has become a popular Spring rite of passage: the opening of the Burlington County Farmers Market.
This year marks the 15th season of the seasonal market, which is typically held weekly on Saturdays from May through October at the Burlington County Agricultural Center on Centerton Road in Moorestown.
The market is held at a renovated barn on the site and always features a wide variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, flowers, plants and baked goods, along with an assortment of handmade crafts.
Opening Day this year will also feature craft beer sales for the first time.
The beer sales are permitted under a new law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in February that allows the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control to issue special seasonal permits to New Jersey breweries or wineries to sell their products at farm markets.
Two Burlington County breweries have signed up to sell at the County markets this season: Marlton-based Zed’s Beer will sell on Opening Day and on the first Saturday market of each month. Burlington City-based Third State Brewing will sell at markets on the 4th Saturday each month.
Beer sales will be for off-site consumption, though overage adults will be permitted to try a limited number of samples at the market.
“It’s a nice addition to what was already one of the most popular and well-attended farmers markets in our region,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “Breweries like Zed’s and Third State are important small businesses in two great communities, so we’re pleased to offer them this opportunity to gain additional exposure and sales.”
In addition to shopping opportunities, each market day features live entertainment from area musicians. Moorestown-based band Opus Soul is slated to perform on Opening Day.
“Our farmers markets were always a big attraction, but last year we saw just how important they could be for our residents living through a pandemic,” said Commissioner Linda Hynes, the Board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “The markets provided a place for residents to come and shop for fresh, locally-grown produce, foods and crafts in a safe, open-air environment, and we’re thrilled to welcome folks back for a new season. We expect it will be the best one yet.”
While COVID-19 capacity limits have been relaxed in recent months, customers and vendors will still be required to wear face masks or face coverings when attending the market.
The Farmers Market is one of the chief attractions at the Agricultural Center, a 68-acre former dairy farm on the Moorestown-Mount Laurel border that the County preserved in 2005. A portion of the property continues to be leased for farming, and the site also features community gardens and demonstration gardens, field plots maintained by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and a commercial kitchen.
“Burlington County’s support for farming and agriculture is well-known. We are home to New Jersey’s first preserved farm and we are among the top 10 in the nation for acres of farmland preserved,” Hopson said. “The Agricultural Center reflects our farming heritage and tradition, as well as our ongoing commitment to keep agriculture alive and vibrant in our county.”
Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson checked out the produce stands while visiting the Burlington County Farmers Market last October. The market is held weekly on Saturdays from May through October at the Burlington County Agricultural Center on Centerton Road in Moorestown.