Belleville farmers market returns July 16

Just like a Jersey tomato in July, the monthly farmers market is continuing to grow in Belleville. After the success of last month’s inaugural event, the township is expecting the second installment to be even bigger and better.

More vendors selling a wider variety of fresh produce and more small-business owners selling home-made crafts and other items will be on hand Saturday, July 16, at Belleville High School.

The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Supported by the township’s Green Team, the creation of the farmers market is an extension of other recent township initiatives, such as the launch of the community garden and last summer’s well-attended Green Fair.

The idea grew out of the township’s desire to create a farmers market like the ones each summer and fall in neighboring towns, Gabrielle Bennett-Meany, a member of Belleville’s Green Team as well as vice president of the Board of Education, said.

However, the vision was also for the market to have a social component and act as a catalyst for community pride on the third Saturday of every month.

“We wanted the market to be an event — and not just a place to shop for fresh produce,” Bennett-Meany said. “We wanted it to be a moment for residents to set aside some time and come out for a little while and say ‘hello’ and meet the community.”

Soon, some of the produce that will be sold at the market will come from the Belleville Community Garden. Bennett-Meany said some of the local gardeners using the plot are eager to harvest vegetables and share them at the next couple of events.

“It sounds like I’m making a pun when I say this, but the Farmers Market is really taking root in Belleville,” Councilman Vinnie Cozzarelli, also a Green Team member, said. “I’ve heard from so many residents who enjoyed the first one in June and are eager to attend Saturday’s event. It promotes healthy eating, healthy living and even more community spirit in Belleville.”

For more information, call (973) 450-3345.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.