• The Hammonton Gazette

A roadside tradition


John Swartz, Amanda Swartz and Frank Stollenwerk enjoy the local convenience of Waretown Farms. (THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

Roadside farm markets are as much of a summer tradition in New Jersey as watching fireflies, enjoying a baseball or softball game and sitting on the sand at the beach watching the ocean waves roll to shore.


Walking through the aisles of a stocked farm market fills the senses. The sights, smells and sounds at any one of our local markets bring customers back to an era when people had time to stop and chat, purchasing their produce from people connected to local farms.


But wait—in and around Hammonton, that era still exists.


You can still walk the aisles of our farm markets, pick out some fresh vegetables and fruit and shoot the breeze with the owner of the stand, who is usually behind the counter ringing up your purchase.


In many cases, farm markets in Hammonton and the surrounding area have been in the same family for generations. There are still family farms in Hammonton with their farm markets. They sell crops that are raised on their own farms to the public, just as they have for decades.


It’s easy to take these farm markets for granted if you live here, like year-round residents of beach towns become used to the vast ocean in their backyards or residents of ski towns forget to look in awe at the mountains on their horizon each day.


Don’t take these markets and the people who own and run them for granted. Last year, during the pandemic, they provided a needed service because they were “open air” markets. This year, they continue to deliver fresh produce to their customers, and an experience that is always a pleasure. We wish them a successful summer season.