A farmers market in N.J. mixes fresh produce with friendly family fun

The West Windsor Community Farmers Market brings the community together with its offerings of fresh produce, live entertainment.

People at a farmers market

The West Windsor Community Farmers Market. (David Matthau/WHYY)

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The West Windsor Community Farmers Market has been a community fixture for almost two decades. Vendors here sell a wide array of fruits and vegetables. Some have stands that sell everything from baked goods, cheeses, grains, and seafood, to items from wood workers and an alpaca farm.

Market manager Chris Cirkus, also known as the “Market Mama,” says the market has become a community hub, and it allows people to connect and reconnect with old friends and community members.

“It’s a gathering space for the community, it’s a downtown in a town that doesn’t have a downtown,”she said.“It is that space where you run into the old coaches, you run into former teachers. I saw a very beloved kindergarten teacher from town that has recently retired stroll through this morning.”

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People stand in a line at a farmers market
Market goers in line to buy baked goods at the West Windsor Community Farmers Market. (David Matthau/WHYY)

Eleven-year-old Isabel was there Saturday morning hanging out with her friends. “We can just walk around, shop, and just generally eat yummy foods,” she said.

Cirkus said the market expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were hungry for community as well as food, and were looking for safe places outdoors.

“We altered the layout of the market, we had hand washing stations everywhere and vats of Purell,” she said.“We still have folks who come in masks, we still have folks who are wearing gloves, we respect that.”

Besides vendors, the market offers live music, cooking demonstrations, and an area where children can engage in chalk art.

There are also parades and Girl Scout environmental displays. Local fire department companies show up in their vehicles to offer hands-on tours for kids.

Located next to the Princeton Junction train station on the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor line, the market attracts people from afar.

Gabby Aaron and her dog Zucchini
Gabby Aaron and her dog Zucchini traveled from Jersey City to attend the farmers market. (David Matthau/WHYY)

“So we’ve got regulars that come from Staten Island, from Edison, we’ve got folks that come up from Philly,” Cirkus said.

The West Windsor Community Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m from May through November, and then the first and third Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. from December through April.

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