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Bayshore Medical Center launches weekly farmers' market with top NJ food artisans

APP.com (Asbury Park, NJ) logo APP.com (Asbury Park, NJ) 6/6/2020 Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press
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Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel will launch a weekly outdoor market beginning Saturday, connecting the community with New Jersey farmers and food artisans.

Open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in a parking lot outside the medical center, the yearlong market is designed to raise awareness about the health — and economic — benefits of what organizers are calling good food procurement.

a sign on the side of a road: Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel © David P. Willis Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel

"We really need to learn to depend on the food supply coming right here from the Garden State, which has an enormously long history in agriculture," said Andy Clurfeld, who is curating and managing the weekly event.

The medical center is located at 727 N. Beers St. Visitors will be required to adhere to social distancing rules and should wear a mask.

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Vendors at the Bayshore farmers' market said they have felt the impact. Good Feeling Farms in Asbury Park has been selling microgreens — baby plants that are said to be high in nutrients — to wholesale produce companies since it opened in 2017.

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Its business tailed off after restaurants closed. But owner Chris Chiappetta hopes the farmer's market will help him reach a new group of customers.

"We're trying to get everyone to try it," he said.

Shore-area farmers' markets, which have taken a foothold in recent years, have had to adapt in the wake of the coronavirus.

a group of people standing in front of a produce stand: Asbury Fresh farmers' market in 2018. © Courtesy of Asbury Fresh Asbury Fresh farmers' market in 2018.

Asbury Fresh, which had operated at Kennedy Park in Asbury Park, has moved slightly west to the Cross & Orange restaurant on Sundays through June from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The farmers' market at Holmdel has been in the works for more than a year. Clurfeld, the former dining critic and food editor at the Asbury Park Press, approached Bayshore Medical Center about her idea to promote healthy eating and spotlight New Jersey farmers and artisans.

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It was good timing; hospitals are increasingly trying to expand their services beyond their doors to promote healthy lifestyles.

Among the vendors: McCormack Family Farm in Middletown; The Pastoral Pig, a butcher based in Flanders, and Jersey Girl Cheese, based in Branchville.

"I want people to get into the habit of not going to a farmers' market to buy a zucchini like it's a T-shirt souvenir on the boardwalk," Clurfeld said. "I'm interested in people doing their weekly food stock-up shopping at this market."

Michael L. Diamond is a business reporter who has been writing about the New Jersey economy for 20 years. He can be reached at mdiamond@gannettnj.com

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Bayshore Medical Center launches weekly farmers' market with top NJ food artisans

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