By MADDY VITALE
Customers made the most of the last day for the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce Farmers & Crafters Market on Wednesday.
The grounds of the Ocean City Tabernacle were bustling with shoppers who scooped up Jersey fresh fruits and veggies to purchase from the local farmers.
Fresh cut flowers, herbs, jams and sauces were among some of the many goodies available at the market.
There were pizza pies to key lime pies and a host of crafters selling clothing, jewelry and household items.
Barb and Roy Law, of Longport, said they think it is important to support local vendors. For them, the Ocean City Farmers Market is their favorite out of all of the farmers markets in the area.
The Laws made sure they stocked up on as much as they could while they were there, savoring the last day of the farmers market for the season.
“There’s really a good variety here and there is unique jewelry,” Barb noted, while holding flowers and a bag filled with fresh apples, tomatoes, squash and jewelry. “The people are pleasant. It’s just a fun place to be.”
Roy said he was really impressed with the vegetables.
“I’m holding a five-pound squash. My son is going to make us soup out of it,” he said.
Then he joked, “I never thought I’d get my picture taken holding a five-pound squash.”
And when it comes to variety, the Ocean City Farmers Market definitely seems to have something to entice everyone.
Pizza may seem like an unlikely food offered at a farmers market.
But judging by the line of people at the Tony Boloney’s table waiting for thick, Sicilian slices and traditional pieces of pie, pizza seems to be a loved food just about everywhere.
Carol and Herb Brown, of Egg Harbor Township, anxiously awaited the slices of Sicilian pie being boxed up by Tony Boloney’s owner, Mike Hauke.
“We go wherever the food is,” Carol said with a laugh. “We love pizza and Tony Baloney’s has a great reputation.”
And just as the Laws said, the Browns said they like to shop locally whenever they can.
The Ocean City Farmer’s Market finished up its 26th year Wednesday. Vendors said that it was one of the best – if not the best – season they have had.
“This is our busiest season in 10 years,” Hauke said in between helping patrons. “This is one of my favorite markets. Everyone here is nice.”
Mike Buchinski, of Ocean City, was filling up baskets of shiny apples for the Wm. Schober Sons Orchards, based in Monroeville, N.J., vendor tables.
Buchinski said he helps out his friend at the market each year because he loves it.
“We always do really well here,” he noted. “It is a wonderful market.”
He then pointed to some of the apples he was putting out for customers.
“These are the best,” he said of some honey crisp apples.
Pete Pittaluga, of Hank Sauce based in Sea Isle City, helped Gerry Schmidt, of Meadowbrook, Pa., who owns a vacation home in Ocean City, with some selections of homemade sauces.
“We come to the market each year,” Schmidt said.
Pittaluga said that the market was busy all season.
“We do it every year because the customers are so nice and the atmosphere is fantastic,” he said.