MARGATE – It’s getting close to Labor Day and that means the end of a longstanding summer tradition – shopping Thursday mornings at the Margate City Community Farmers Market.

From the look of things Thursday, summer went well for not only shoppers but also for the vendors who sell farm fresh produce and homemade food products at the market held in the parking lot and streets surrounding Steve & Cookies By The Bay restaurant on Amherst and Monroe avenues.

“It was a hot, dry summer,” said flower merchant Susan of Nino Levari’s farm in East Vineland.

People were walking away from her stand with bunches of beautiful pink and purple lisianthus.

Farmers are feeling the heat and enduring the additional cost of keeping crops hydrated amid near drought conditions. But they trudge through the hard times as farmers always do.

“All the farmers are going through this, but we do it as a labor of love,” she said.

Kate Buzby of A.T. Buzby of Woodstown said the farm market season started “rough” with supply chain issues that caused farmers to raise their prices a bit. On Thursday, Jersey tomatoes were being sold for $4 a pound, and the tomatoes were big and ripe.

“This one is over a pound,” she said pointed to a plump red tomato just begging for some white bread and mayonnaise or a little basil and olive oil.

Buzby said the farm brings produce to four markets during the summer months, including Ocean City, Collingswood and at Head House in the Society Hill area of Philadelphia.

Cookie Till, owner of the restaurant, who is now farming at Reeds Organic Farm in offshore Egg Harbor Township, said the Margate market is always “phenomenal.”

“It’s a celebration every Thursday morning,” she said. “People look forward to shopping for the weekend. We are in a unique position because many of the people who come are homeowners and actually buy these products to cook up delicious meals at home.”

She would like to see market shoppers post photos on the Margate Community Farmers Market Facebook page showing  culinary creations made with products purchased at the market.

Although the market didn’t hold its annual peach pie contest this year, another annual tradition might be making a post-COVID comeback – the Thanksgiving Farmers Market, which is usually held the weekend before the big holiday.

“We’re thinking about it…stay tuned,” Till said.


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Categories: Margate

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.