When the clock ran out on the annual fresh-everything extravaganza known as the Red Bank Farmers’ Market three weeks ago, some of the vendors wondered why it had to end.
The market traditionally runs from Mother’s Day to mid-November in the parking lot of at the Galleria Red Bank shopping center. But there’s still a cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, baked goods and crafts to sell.
“We said, as this comes to an end, there will be no place for us to go,” said Laura Dardi of Red Bank, an employee of E.R. & Son Farm, a Colts Neck grower of certified organic produce. “To be cut off two weeks before Thanksgiving is at the worst possible time.”
So Dardi looked across Hubbard’s Bridge, to the River Plaza section of Middletown, where Chris’s Deli & Liquor has a large parking lot for a boat launch. After a quick conversation, a deal was struck.
Two weeks ago, on what might have been their first idle Sunday since May, about half the 30 or so vendors who participate in the Red Bank market popped their portable tents and dropped their tailgates less than a mile away.
Last week’s edition saw purveyors of baguettes, clams and oysters, fresh ravioli, apples, leeks pies and tacos hawking their wares. Coming soon: Christmas trees. And if the event takes off, Dardi envisions live bluegrass music at the riverside location.
“Chris said we could come as long as we want,” said Dardi, who collects $25 rent from each vendor (less from those selling original art or crafts) and hands it over to the landlord.
The market has a Facebook page, natch.