what are the best farmers markets and roadside stands in NJ??
especially interested in markets and stands that only sell local produce, dairy, honey and baked goods.
You might want to get a copy of Brian Yarvin's "Farms and Foods of the Garden State". Brain used to be a regular poster on the old chowhound site. I really like the book. Each chapter is a profile of a different New Jersey local farmer or producer. Very diverse and covers the whole state.
His web page also includes lots of good links about local foods.
The Trenton Farmers Market is a real farmers market. The vast majority of the food is local and seasonal, although there are a few gourmet food stands and a Polish deli thrown into the mix. This is the perfect time to start going as the asparagus, spinach, onions and flowers are in. Next door to the market is the Halo Farms dairy, which will give you incredibly inexpensive, BHT-free dairy products.
Sadly, several of the family-owned roadside stands near our home that I've gone to regularly throughout the years are no longer selling produce and other food items. A couple have now reduced themselves to selling just flowers and plants. :-(
One that is still fully operational is Stattel's, on Route 530, just west of Route 79, in Marlboro. They sell their own corn, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini. Also fruits and vegetables from other sources. In the fall, they do "pick your own" pumpkins and hayrides. I had a conversation with the owner towards the end of the summer season last year. He said he's trying to hang on as long as possible because he loves farming, but it's really tough.
Battleview Orchards, in Freehold, is a market that sells some of their own produce. Last year, their strawberries were absolutely sensational! I bought them already picked, but you can pick your own. This year's season starts Wed., May 16th. Later in the season, there'll be peaches. They also sell their own baked goods.
Delicious Orchards, of course, is huge -- a full-service food market. They sell local produce in season though I'm not sure how much of it is their own. They have pick-your-own. They have a vast variety of their own baked goods. The pies and cider donuts are especially popular.
One more I forgot: Wemrock Orchards, in Freehold.
Btw, The local strawberry season is underway. While I haven't picked my own yet, on Monday, I bought boxes from both Wemrock and Battleview. A few days before that, Wegmans had a shipment of locals. Gorgeous-looking berries and seriously delicious!