Today is the day I look forward to all year: opening day of my beloved Long Branch community farm market.

Every summer you will find me there relishing the experience of picking the best fruits and vegetables for my family. The Long Branch Community Market is open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Brighton Avenue in West End, Longbranch. Community Farmers Markets are more popular today than ever because exceeding numbers of consumers are becoming interested in buying their fresh produce directly from local farmers.

As a state, we have decided to embrace our nickname "the Garden State" more today than ever with the growing popularity of the farm-to-table movement and peoples' interest in eating organic foods. Plus, it can be a really fun experience where you can enjoy the outdoors and see friends and neighbors out in the open air. And everyone knows you've never tasted a piece of corn, a tomato, or a peach until you've tasted one that was grown in New Jersey.

It's possible that you, like me, often wonder where these markets are to be found in your area. I always wanted to be able to visit more of them in and out of my own county. Well lucky for us, the government of New Jersey has put together a great guide to open air farm markets throughout the state.

I couldn't have explained the beauty of these markets any better than they did so i'll quote them here:

"Seasonal markets sprout up in nearly every county as far north as Sussex to down at the southern shore in Cape May County. Leaders and business people in the community have recognized that smart consumers want to improve their diets through purchasing fresh produce. However, these markets go beyond, by providing economic viability and enhancing the quality of life in each community that creates this farm fresh experience."

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