The Cedar Grove Council passed a resolution this week that will allow a weekly farmers' market in the township starting next month, provided some last minute details are ironed out first.
The resolution, which was unanimously supported by all present council members, names Municipal Alliance Chairman Patrick Mullen, who has spearheaded the initiative, manager of the farmers' market. He will be responsible for ensuring the vendors have the proper insurance in place, and for making sure the Morgan Farm property is cleaned up after the market closes for the day.
Mullen said five vendors have already signed up, and more may be added to the roster as the plan progresses. Vendors will pay a $25 per-week fee to rent a 10-foot by 10-foot area to sell their produce at Morgan Farm. Mullen has said the proceeds from the market will be given to the township for use as they see fit.
The Cedar Grove Historical Society, which oversees the 14-acres of the historic Morgan Farm, gave its blessing to the idea in March.
"The board members loved the idea of a farmers' market. As for using Morgan's Farm, we all felt it was a perfect fit, as this was the last working farm in the town," Peggy O'Connor, Vice President of the Society, said in late March.
Another potential stumbling block raised when Mullen addressed the Council at a March staff meeting was how the market would be received by Nicholas Markets Inc., which operates several area Foodtown supermarkets including a location at 597 Pompton Ave. in Cedar Grove, less than a mile up the road from the proposed site of the farmers' market.
Mullen said not only did David Maniaci, President and CEO of Nicholas Markets, embrace the idea, he said he would purchase whatever produce was left over each week for sale in the Pompton Avenue Foodtown, marketed as local produce.
The council also wanted assurances that vendors would not be setting up shop in a way that would damage the lawn of the Morgan Farm property. Mullen said the vendors might drive on the lawn to load and unload their wares, but the vendors' tables would be confined to paved areas.
The market will be held from 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays from June 22-Sept. 28, and will be closed for the season just in time for Morgan Farms' annual pumpkin sale.