Who runs the West Windsor Community Farmers Market (WWCFM)?
Two community members founded the Market in 2004. We are a grass-roots group of community members who make up our volunteer board along with a paid market manager and assistant manager. Stop by any Saturday to meet several of our board members and our Market Manager who can frequently be found at our information tent. This is community spirit at its finest, so please stop by our tent to say hello and introduce yourself!
We greatly appreciate the support of the West Windsor Parking Authority for allowing us to use the space at the Vaughn Drive lot. We thank West Windsor Township for support with paperwork and the portable toilets along with Public Works for trash and recycling removal.
What are the Market hours?
The WWCFM runs from 9:00am-1:00pm every Saturday from the first Saturday in May until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. While we don’t prohibit our farms and vendors from selling before 9:00am, we ask that you please allow them the necessary time to set up and get ready for the Market. They will gladly sell early if they are ready.
What happens if it rains?
Our farmers and vendors work hard all week to grow, raise, and produce the freshest local food in central New Jersey. We open rain or shine. Music and/or special events may be cancelled due to inclement weather. Severe weather would be the only reason that a market would be cancelled. Check our home page and/or our social media for up-to-the-minute updates.
Who are the farms and vendors at the WWCFM?
Click on the vendors tab on our home page for information on all of our farms and vendors. This season, we are the proud host to 16 farms and 12 artisan food and natural product vendors, all of which are located within 50 miles of West Windsor. Many of our farms have been with us since our first year in 2004, and all are happy to engage in conversation about their farms.
What products can I find at the WWCFM?
The majority of your weekly grocery shopping can be done at our open-air Market. Purchase fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, meat, poultry, dairy including cheese, milk and butter, bread and bakery items, pasta, honey, balms and soap, wine, herbs and teas, plants and flowers, sauces, jams, and pickles among other seasonal items. In addition, fresh pressed juice, coffee, breakfast and lunch items to enjoy on site may be found at the Market. We also offer a weekly knife/blade sharpening service. Enjoy a massage every other week with long time Market friend, Gail LaBoard. Please check our weekly listing for attendance dates.
Are all the farmers organic?
Of our nine produce growers, including mushrooms, four are certified organic farms by the State of New Jersey with one offering both organic and conventionally grown produce. Please discuss growing practices; pest control and animal care with the farmers directly, as they will happily chat about their farms.
What is the seasonality of produce in New Jersey?
Fruit and vegetables grown in New Jersey grow differently than in warmer climates. We are in the Zone 7 growing region and our farmers only sell (and grow) fruit and vegetables that are seasonally appropriate to this area. That’s why you won’t find watermelon in May or strawberries in November.
Why aren’t there tropical fruits at the market?
As with the seasonality question, tropical fruit doesn’t grow in New Jersey, and therefore, you won’t see it at our Market.
Can I bring my dog to the Market?
We welcome friendly dogs, on leash. The Market has become a wonderful place for new puppy socialization and we always have a water bowl at the information tent. We do ask that you pick up after your dog, if necessary. You, as pet owner, assume all liability should any incident occur while at the Market.
Do all the farms and vendors accept credit cards?
Many of our farms and vendors do accept cards. Please check with each farm and vendor.
The Market itself offers wooden tokens (Market Bucks) for sale at the Market in $5 denominations at the information tent that can be used at any of our farms and vendors as cash. Our Market Bucks don’t have an expiration date, so if you have leftovers, you can use them at any time during the season. We accept all major credit cards and currently do not charge a transaction fee.
Can I use FMNP and SFMNP vouchers at the market?
Several of our growers are authorized by the State of New Jersey to accept WIC/FMNP (Farmers Market Nutrition Program) and Senior FMNP vouchers for fresh, uncut fruit and vegetables. Please stop by the information tent for a list of farms.
Can I use SNAP benefits at the Market?
The WWCFM is authorized by the State of New Jersey to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP).
Customers using their SNAP/EBT card will receive wooden tokens in $1 denominations. Please stop at the market information tent to swipe your card to receive tokens to then shop within the Market.
Standard SNAP/EBT restrictions apply; therefore, farms and vendors may not give any change on the tokens. The SNAP tokens do not have an expiration date and may be used at any time during the Market season.
Households can use SNAP benefits to buy:
Foods for the household to eat, such as:
breads and cereals;
fruits and vegetables;
meats, fish and poultry; and
Cookies, crackers, bakery cakes and ice cream;
Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.
The tokens may not be used to purchase hot food or any food sold for on-premises consumption, alcohol or non-food items such as flowers, cosmetics, grooming items or soaps.
For more information on USDA SNAP eligible foods:
How do I become a vendor?
Interested farms or artisan food vendors should check this website in late January/early February for applications for the following season. Our farms and vendors commit to a full market season and as such we do not allow drop in or guest farms/vendors.
Any value added food must be prepared in certified kitchens with health department licensing. New Jersey does not have a cottage law where products made in home kitchens can be sold at farmers markets.
How come there aren’t crafts and jewelry at the market?
In our early years, we did offer space to crafters and jewelry makers. While we appreciate the beautiful handwork, we keep the commerce to the relationships about farming and local, artisan food vendors.
I am part of a non-profit community group and would like to set up a table at the market; how would I do that?
We offer space to local, non-profit community groups (including scout troops) to engage with and educate shoppers whose mission is in line with the WWCFM. No items may be sold, nor do we allow any fundraising. Interested groups should read our guidelines sheet on our homepage, under the vendors tab.
How can I promote my local business at the WWCFM?
The WWCFM is a wonderful way for you to spread the word about your local business. We offer varying seasonal sponsorship opportunities to local businesses. Some sponsorship levels include a sponsor day at the Market during our regular season. Interested businesses should contact our Market Manager for a media guide and sponsor packet.
Can I fundraise at the Farmers Market?
Because our mission is to connect farmers directly with their consumers, and keep the money surrounding agriculture and local food, we don’t allow fundraising at the Market. We have a food assistance group that we allow to collect money, which immediately is spent at our farms and vendors.
Can I protest, picket or solicit signatures on a petition at the Market?
We pride ourselves on letting our shoppers enjoy the Market; we remain neutral to any religion, politics, protests, solicitation, petitions and/or picketing. We kindly ask that you keep these endeavors outside our Market. Please direct your comments to our Market Manager.
What happens when the outdoor season is over at Thanksgiving?
Just because the outdoor season closes doesn’t mean there isn’t local food! Winter and Spring markets will be held at the Windsor Athletic Club at 99 Clarksville Road, in West Windsor. Please note that we shorten the market time by one hour to 10:00am-1:00am. Market dates will be announced later in the season, but generally, we’ll hold the indoor markets on the second Saturday of December through April. Please sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on indoor markets.
How can I get involved with the WWCFM?
We love when community members enjoy the market! We welcome local residents who would like to help us with setting up or putting away the market each week. We offer community service hours for middle and high school students interested in helping out. Please email our Manager, Chris Cirkus for more information ([email protected])
For 2016, we are looking for scout troops who would like to help us initiate a project around plastic bag reduction by making no-sew t-shirt grocery bags. Please see our Market Manager if your child’s troop is interested.
Are there any special events at the WWCFM?
We offer many special events each season including our community pie contests, cooking demonstrations featuring local chefs, safety days with our police and fire officers along with the popular annual food writer panel. Be sure to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to stay up on all the events and activities at the Market! The sign up can be found at our information tent at the Market or on our home page.
How can I play music at the market?
Our music schedule fills within one day of opening it to local musicians. We do that in early spring, so be sure to send us an email if you’re a local musician who would like to get on our roster for next season.
Does the Market have parking?
The Market has ample free parking both through the entrance on Vaughn Drive and the new Vaughn Lot entrance from Alexander Road. If entering through the new lot on Alexander Road, please follow the flow of traffic along the back of the market; there is no left turn coming down the ramp.
Bicycles may be parked at the racks near the Vaughn Drive entrance.
Where are the restrooms located?
Two portable toilets and a hand washing station are located just to the left of our market shed with the mural on the north side of the Market.
Is there a place to sit down?
We have tables and chairs scattered throughout the Marketplace for you and your friends/family to sit and enjoy breakfast, a juice or coffee, listen to the music, or to simply take a well deserved rest from the workweek.
Is there a place to leave heavy shopping bags?
Absolutely! Feel free to stop at the information tent to leave your bags while you shop.
Is there WWCFM merchandise that I can purchase?
We offer canvas shopping bags for sale at the market information tent along with WWCFM t-shirts. We also have a few copies remaining of our self-published cookbook from a few years ago, What Our Friends Like to Eat.
Do you offer gift certificates?
We sell market tokens that we call Market Bucks. They can be used as cash at any of our farms and vendors and make great gifts for teachers, coaches, family members and children’s allowance. Tokens may be purchased at the market information tent using any major credit card.