Last Sunday, the hallways of Smith Middle School in Ramsey were bustling with shoppers looking for fresh produce, locally grown vegetables and homemade breads. The indoor version of the Ramsey Farmers’ Market opened at the school for the winter season Sunday, and will remain open every Sunday through March 24.
“There actually is something to do in Bergen County on Sundays,” Nancy Boone, the market’s manager, said.
The market is run by the Ramsey Historical Association, which started a summertime market at the Ramsey Main Street Train Station in 2010. Last winter, the RHA ran its first indoor winter market.
“To my knowledge, we are the only market like this in Bergen County,” Boone said. “We have people traveling from all over the area to visit us on Sundays.” And, visitors are finding more than 25 food vendors, local musicians, artisans and rotating featured vendors each week.
The market isn’t taking a holiday break, Boone said, so patrons can pick up fresh ingredients for their Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve recipes every Sunday during the holiday season.
“The foods our vendors sell are fresh, recently picked and I think they are perfect for holiday cooking,” Boone said.
And, though you can find a lot of them at the market, the offerings are not limited to just in-season vegetables. Each week, the RFM website lists the following vendors as open for business:
- Blooming Hill Farm – The 150-acre farm run by Ramsey resident Guy Jones is the anchor of the winter market
- Southtown Farms - An Iraq War veteran turned farmer in Mahwah started selling free range eggs at last year's market. This booth also offers firewood to order.
- Fontanarosa - At the market every other week in the winter, this vendor offers fresh pastas, ravioli, gnocchi, homemade sauce and more
- Dr. Pickle - Stop by to pick up a wide variety of fresh pickles and olives
- Panzarella Foods - This booth stocks artisan breads, smoked mozarella, crab cakes
- JD Gourmet - Stop by select weeks this winter to pick up olive oils, balsamic vinegar and more
- Orchards of Concklin - An area farm since the 1700's, this vendor sells a variety of orchard fruits and bakery products
- Aunt Vicky's Bickys - Stop by for all natural, homemade dog treats, biscuits and bones
- Burt's Mountain Honey - At the market every other week, Burt's has a wide selection of honey and honey products from apple blossom, white clover and wildflower nectar.
- Yona's Gourmet Delights - Stop by for freshly made quiches and appetizers
- Meredith's Bread/Horn of Plenty - Pick up locally-made pies, biscotti, cookies, muffins, rolls, breads and more
- Guyank Brand Hot Sauce - Get hot sauces, rubs and spices certain weeks this winter
- Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruits - This booth sells over 50 varieties of dried fruits and nuts, along with organic figs
- True Food - This booth offers organically-prepared food made from local ingredients
- Lynnhaven Goat Milk Cheeses - Stop by for a wide selection of goat cheeses from purebred Nubian dairy goats
- Edge of Knife - Expert knife sharpening offered December 9, January 13, February 10, and March 10
- The Amazing Real Live Food Co. - This booth has cheese made in the French tradition from farm fresh cow's milk. Also, Ronnybrook's Farm dairy products, including milk, yogurts, and butter
- Charley's Organic Toffee - This booth has your supply of organic toffee/caramels
- Mostly Myrtles - Check out this vendor for gluten-free bakery items
- Madura Farms - Pick up mushrooms and more
- Woods Edge Wool Farm - Locally made clothes are at the RFM, too. Stop by for alpaca and llama wear
- Tea Time - This booth stocks loose leaf organic and fair trade teas from farms around the world
- Ventimiglia Vineyards - This vendor will be at the market on select dates this winter, offering handcrafted wines in small batches of top quality grapes
- Pure Vida Fisheries - Pick up fish fresh from the Hampton Bays
- Zar & Co - Check out this booth for choregs (brioche/bread) and more
- Mo Green Juice - Stop by for daily green organic juices by Maureen Huntley, CHHC, AADP
- Coventry Body Care - It sells handcrafted soaps and skin care products.
- The Starving Anthropologist - This vendor sells handmade, gluten-free ganolas
- LL Pittenger Farm - The farmer sells beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and turkey - pasture raised, no antibiotics
- Berkun & Blanko - Check out this booth for fresh florals
The RHA is a non-profit organization, and as such has used money made from its summer and winter farmers markets to give back to the town, Boone said.
So far, market proceeds have been used to purchase benches at the new Ramsey 9/11 Memorial and help finance renovations at the Old Stone House.
“We also have plans in the works, like a donation to the Ramsey Library,” Boone said.
The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Sunday. Locals looking to find out what special featured food and artisan stands will be at the market each week can sign up for the Ramsey Farmers’ Market newsletter.