Friday, July 12, 2024

The Blairstown Farmers’ Market Experience

Once again, the Blairstown Farmers’ Market season has begun.

The market, in its 17th year, provides locally grown, farm-fresh produce, and is open every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. throughout the summer and into the fall. Opening day was June 1 and it concludes on November 23. The market is located next to the fire hall at 5 Stillwater Road, Blairstown.

Shoppers can enjoy an old-world market with local honey, eggs, fruit, veggies, meats, baked goods and much more. Strollers can be found stopping in for lunch or purchasing a six-pack of dark roasted chocolate cream beer from Man Skirt Brewery of Hackettstown. Shoppers peruse the tents and enjoy the atmosphere as a live acoustic performances lift the spirits.

3 rubber ducks on a raffle ticket
The Rotary Club of Blairstown raffle ticket. Photo by MB Journe.

At a recent market day, the Rotary Club of Blairstown sold 50/50 raffle tickets for $5 each for a drawing that will take place at the 4th of July celebration at Footbridge Park.

New to the market is Krakus Polish Deli. With a restaurant in Phillipsburg featuring authentic Polish cuisine, Krakus has expanded its business by selling homemade kielbasa, pierogis and other Polish delights.

Joe Dunn holding sign at Farmers Market
Joseph P. Dunn from Consulting Forestry Services. Photo by MB Journe.

Another new vendor for only the month of June is Joseph P. Dunn of Consulting Forestry Services and former mayor of Hardwick. He is one of the few New Jersey licensed tree experts and has also been an approved forester for nearly 40 years, assisting landowners with their farmland assessment.

His presence this month is due to the ash tree decimation from the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestations. More information on this can be found in the Ridge View Echo archived article “Beloved Ash Trees Under Attack.”

Dunn is ready to assist with various strategies. He is selling seedlings of native trees in hopes of a greener tomorrow. One shopper bought 20 seedlings for her neighbor who lost many trees recently.

“Reforestation is needed at this time,” Dunn said. “I am here to help.”

Artist Lydia Chiappini in her van.
Artist Lydia Chiappini. Photo by MB Journe.

Lydia Chiappini, who can be found at the market every other week, is a multi-talented artist. She is a painter, sculptor, quilt maker and fiber artist and owns a llama farm in Blairstown. Her love for her wooly pets inspires her creative talent and she vends from a pretty vardo (gypsy wagon) that she built herself, adding carpentry to her many talents.

Chiappini shears her llamas once a year and processes the wool herself using a small wooden machine, providing her materials for her creations. She weaves, spins, felts, knits and crochets the fibers creating beautiful clothing. Chiappini sells her fibers to other artists and enjoys producing custom works.

Stop by the Blairstown Farmers Market on Saturdays to enjoy the many talented vendors. 

Yelens Choban
MB Journe, Contributing Writer
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.