Something from the distant past was the
Farmers Market, Down Neck off of Chapel Street. This was truly Americana.
To my knowledge there was no other market like it in New Jersey.
My father would take us there back in the 1940's to buy fruits and
As we all know the train started to pull out of all the major
cities back in the 1950's. Newark was probably one of the first
trains. The Garden State Parkway, N.J. Turnpike, F. H. A. ,V. A.
and cheap farmland were the accelerant of those trains. The cities
I know that today the largest migration of people is taking place
in third world countries. Mexico and obviously China are in the
forefront. But guess what they are going from the rural to the urban
We did it the other way. We left our metropolitan areas only to
spend several hours each day driving back to them. Generally speaking
there is very little employment elsewhere. Somewhere in between
we lost the source of our culture. There are no neighborhoods out
Back in the 1990's I worked as a consultant for Comcast. I used
this opportunity to take a good look at southern New Jersey. I wanted
to see the source of some of the things that made New Jersey great.
Remember our State song "My Garden State"? Also the lyrics
from a long forgotten song or poem:
Peaches grow in Florida,
they grow in Georgia too,
but it takes a state like Jersey to grow a peach like you.
How about chicken and dairy farms, Jersey corn , peaches , apples
, strawberries , blueberries and other labor intensive crops. They
are becoming a vestige of the past. Soy beans are one of the big
crops on the large working farms today. We have some of the richest
fertile soil in this country. What are we doing with a lot of it?
We are putting housing developments on it. Does that make sense?
I can still remember like yesterday going to the Farmers Market
in the evening. That was the time the Market came to life. The Market
was like the flea markets of today. The farmers would park their
trucks along a walkway. Their produce would be placed on the walkway
in wooden baskets. The sale would continue from the evening until
the next morning. It was during those early morning hours that the
store owners would come to buy the farm fresh produce for their
In the 1940's it was a vibrant place. There were all sorts of
talking , yelling and shouting . Many of the voices were of a different
tongue. It was an exciting place when you consider what they were
peddling. I think it was the Lone Ranger who said " everything
changes put the truth ".
The loss of the Farmers Market was truly a loss.