A glorious day marked the beginning of National Farmers Market Week last Saturday. Farmers' colorful displays of produce looked so delicious that shoppers could not resist making plenty of purchases. Farmers were doing a brisk business, with folks stocking up on Jersey tomatoes, corn and red and yellow watermelons.

During this special week, we reflect upon the value that the Brigantine Farmers Market brings to our community: the environmental benefits, the fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, meat, eggs, plants and flowers, juice and aloha bowls. In addition, shoppers love the jewelry, soap, pillows, pottery, art, dog treats, candles, skin care and other gifts available for purchase. And the crowds love the coffee, pastries, doughnuts, cannolis, crepes, jams, honey, pretzels, popcorn, clothing, water ice, nut spreads, soups, sandwiches, cheeses, pastas and more.

The full service market serves as a hub for the community to meet and socialize and to enjoy our beautiful island.

The Trivia Contest was all about foodies. One of the most difficult questions was, “What is the food that is most ordered?” Many people responded, “pizza,” but the answer is “fried chicken.” Congratulations to Linda Lakind, who won a $25 TD gift card.

An important goal of the Green Team and Farmers Market is health and wellness. To that end, consumers are encouraged to take advantage of all of the information provided by fitness experts, dietitians and certified therapists, and then purchase nutritious foods full of vitamins and protein.

Children were having fun with the fitness track, creating their own games from the available hula hoops, hurdle sticks and soccer net.

The Green Team is a leader in environmental initiatives and is partnering with Terra Cycle this summer. Please continue to collect red Solo cups and bring them to the market Aug. 24 to be boxed, sent to Terra Cycle and recycled.

Marisela Zumba Chic brought her fun energy, and the contagious rhythms had shoppers joining in.

Jeana Beana was at the Demo tent. Her modus operandi is "cooking without rules and just for fun."

"Watching her at the Farmers Market was a pleasure as she rekindled friendships with former vendors. Her 8-year old son, Ryan, was a great assistant, and it was obvious that he enjoys cooking with his mother," Danielle Smith reported.

Jeana prepared two mocktails (nonalcoholic cocktails), blueberry and peach, in which one mashes either fruit. Add sugar water (equal parts sugar and water, boil and refrigerate), a sprig of rosemary or basil, and fresh lime juice. Shake this along with ice and ice water in a shaker and serve with club soda. Option, rim glass with sugar.

Jeana also made grilled panzanella, which can be prepared by grilling Gulf shrimp or tuna that has been cut into small pieces and marinated in olive oil, one tablespoon of garlic honey, lemon juice and chopped onion or shallots. This may be used in the salad to bring out unique flavors or as a dressing.

The salad was described as being "sensational" and was made of halved cherry tomatoes, zucchini, shrimp or tuna, ⅔ cup oil, ⅓ cup vinegar, lemon or lime juice, and grilled bread.

Suzanne Peterson displayed her lovely paintings at Art in the Park, donating a portion of her sales to charity.

Alex and Zakia of NEXTEK were at the Chamber tent expounding on the benefits of solar education.

Susan Coan and Ken Mosca from Atlantic City Electric were explaining the project to strengthen the electric power infrastructure on the island against future storms.

For the young noncash shopper, soup vendor Ladle of Luv accepts VENMO, a digital wallet that allows one to make and share payments.

Ashley at Carolina Artisan introduced items from her new jewelry line of "lustrous fresh water pearls and semiprecious stones knotted on beige nylon cord and finished with a sterling hand-cast clasp."

On Saturday, Aug. 10, we celebrate "Love Your Library." We are so fortunate to have the quality library that we have on our island! So come and check it out as Sue Marx from the Atlantic County Library Foundation will staff the Spotlight on Community. The library sells used books at a great price weekly at the Farmers Market, as well as on the bottom floor of the library. The library will sponsor face-painting as the children’s activity — always a delight.

If you are participating in the Perfect Peach Pie Contest, bring your pie to the Demo tent between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. and sign up by emailing brigantinefarmersmarket@gmail.com.

Kim Schenk and Insurance Agencies Inc will be the Spotlight on Business.

Looking forward to Johnny Vibe and the Foot Petals, who will entertain in the park.

Artist Stephanie Silverman is proud to be the featured Artist in the Park. Her paintings range in style, media and subject matter. Each piece explores her endless interaction of color and light. Each work of art is an attempt to capture fleeting moments in time and the expressive qualities of the subject. Her award-winning artwork has been exhibited nationally in galleries and museums throughout the country.

There will be a Disaster Relief collection for school supplies. Items such as backpacks, lunch bags, binders, pens, pencil cases, crayons, rulers, scissors, etc. may be brought to Information. This will help 100 children on the island from pre-school through high school.

Come and celebrate National Farmers Market Week tomorrow! Follow us @BrigantineFarmersMarket.

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