Each Saturday, the community comes to buy fresh local food at the Blairstown Farmers Market, next to the Firehouse. The Market which runs every Saturday from 9:30 to 1 p.m., is always a friendly event where everyone knows the vendors by name. The Market has an Old-World charm, where buying seasonal produce is encouraged. This story highlights three unique businesses. They have the same things in common – all natural, artisan quality and a zeal for their products
Kelly Lyons, owner of Miner’s Daughter (Botanical Cold Process Soap and Body Care) has been at the Blairstown Farmers Market for two years. The name of her company came from Lyons’ lineage. Her father, grandfather, great grandfather, and uncles all earned their livelihood mining zinc in New Jersey.
“As a child, I was deeply affected by the blasting of the mountains. I understand the importance of nurturing the Earth’s valuable resources. I have been gardening and studying the properties of plants and herbs since I was 16. My love for the natural world inspired me to start this business.” she exclaimed.
Lyons has been in business for seven years. Most of the plants in her products are from her garden. When purchasing ingredients, they are from reputable companies that are organic, fair trade, and/or sustainably grown and always high quality.
She now sells potted herbs to show the ingredients first-hand.
“Miner’s Daughter makes products that allow the plants to show off their inherent beauty. Not only are the products good for the skin, but they are also a beauty ritual, an opportunity for self-care. A way to connect with Earth’s gifts.” Lyons elaborated.
Her products are not only good for the skin, but they are also a beauty ritual, an opportunity for self-care, and a way to connect with Earth’s gifts.
Lyons can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. A quiet girl, she spends most of her time mining her own business.
Jimmy Moll owner of Jimmy’s Gourmet Mushrooms has been at The Market for 3 years now. Moll retired at age 65 and a year later started this business. He met his partner, a second-generation mushroom farmer from a mutual friend.
“He taught me everything I know about mushrooms. It was a marriage made in heaven” Jimmy exclaims.
Moll explains “We carry Shiitake, King Trumpet, Gray and Golden Oysters, Lions Maine, White Buttons, Mini Tokie, Portobello and currently we are working on a few more varieties.”
Moll sells his mushrooms to restaurants and at Farmers Markets on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The mushrooms are grown all year round in cement barns that are half undergound and half above. This ensures the proper conditions for mushroom growth.
Hope Cress Farms
Greg and Jenny Van Grouw, owners of Hope Cress Farms have been at the Blairstown Farmers’ Market for seven years. It’s a family run farm in business for 35 years.
“We are merely passing on to our customers the same fresh and healthy goodness that we have been feeding our family for years” stated Jenny happily. “We now have so many of our local customers and always look forward to the market season.”
Hope Cress Farms is known for their meats. They raises non-GMO, all natural pasture raised, chicken, beef and pork. No antibiotics or hormones are given to their livestock. “This is the freshest and tastiest meat available” states their customers on the Hope Cress Farms’ Facebook page.
They also sell Microgreens which are the shoots of salad vegetables such as arugula, Swiss chard, mustard, and beetroot. Micro-greens are picked just after the first leaves have developed. The plants are only 2 to 3 inches tall; the nutritional value of the plants are several times higher by weight than the mature plants.
During the Pandemic, radish microgreens were extremely popular because they are loaded with zinc. Hope Cress offers a wide range of microgreens, year-round at their farm stand in Hope. They currently grow about 35 different varieties.
Enjoy these silly Farmers Market Jokes
- Why did the Rapper get kicked out of the farmers market? The people did not dig his beets!
- A melon proposes to a tomato
“I love you, let’s get married I have my eye on a flat we can live in at the farmers market.”
And the tomato said, “I love you too, but I just cantaloupe”
- A mushroom might be a fungi, but he’s not as cool as a cucumber.
MB Journe, Contributing Writer
MB has been a resident of Frelinghuysen for the past 22 years. She lives in an old farmhouse on the side of the road. She enjoys the simple life, puttering in her flower garden, practicing Qi Gong under her redbud tree, or creating art on the deck.
MB's experience as a journalist began when her son was quite young, she began writing for The Paulinskill Valley Chronicle, often bringing him to work with her. Her responsibilities were writing articles with photos, selling ads, and billing. This suited her, as a single mother not wanting to be separated from her small child.
She considers herself a lover of nature, often seen photographing its beauty. She has worked as a seasonal employee of YMCA Camp Mason for the past 17 years. She is a teacher and mentor of children, always emphasizing the YMCA’s core values - caring, honesty, respect and responsibility. She tries to listen carefully to each individual she interviews, getting their viewpoint. That is why she likes to write about the interesting people and places that make Warren County such a nice place to live.