A farm market may be coming to a Lakehurst park this summer if all goes according to plan.
At last month’s informal mayoral meeting held by Harry Robbins, a suggestion was made to host a farmers’ market at , a 20-acre site in the southern area of the borough.
The market is due to tentatively be held on one morning a week (likely to be either Saturday or Sunday) from roughly 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the summer and early fall, with the vendors paying for a space to sell their goods and supplying their own tables in order to do so.
Robbins commented in a recent that his office has recently been in contact with Toms River Business Development officials, who provided a tentative list of local farmers who may act as vendors for the proposed market.
At this month’s informal meeting, held in the Lakehurst Community Center in March, Robbins added that a list of 13 potential market vendors have been contacted, with six of them who responded that they would in fact like to participate when the idea comes to fruition.
“We’re looking for a member of the town to help follow up on this, and we’ll do what we can administratively,” Robbins said.
Zoning Officer and Lakehurst resident Danny Barker pointed out that the mild weather this year has made for an early growing season, which may have an effect on when the market would begin and which crops vendors would be able to make available for it.
The mayor and citizens in attendance also agreed to contact the to find out if they would like to also participate in the market. Cedar Post is located on Route 70 West in the borough.
Councilman Steven Oglesby said that it would likely “take a few weeks” of the market being in operation to gauge its success of operation, but that more businesses may be inclined to participate if it proves to be profitable. The councilman also noted that inviting businesses from all areas of town and later holding different events throughout Lakehurst was key to gaining support for the idea of these town-based events.
“There were concerns in the past that there was too much focus on the downtown area (of Lakehurst) when it came to holding events. It would be good to try and have different events in various areas of the town, such as by the Route 70 circle, the downtown and by Lake Horicon,” Oglesby said.
Robbins said that he was considering having the vendors set up on the south side of Church Street, similar to where emergency vehicles are stationed near Lake Horicon for Fourth of July.
“It’s also important that both beachgoers and visitors to the market have access to parking,” Oglesby said.
Houses for bats and Georgia Satyr butterflies are also planned to be stationed at the back of the lake area. These houses are planned to be constructed with building materials being supplied by the borough.
Robbins explained that another factor which would have to be considered would be cleanup of the weekly market and related costs therein.
“Perhaps we could invite local Scouts, church groups or non-profit organizations to help clean up the market, and in exchange, they could receive service credit or a donation,” the mayor said.
Robbins said that the goal here was to attract people to Lakehurst and that he was open to any and all assistance or suggestions on how to implement the farmers market concept.
The next informal community meeting is due to be held at a new time, 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17. The meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Lakehurst Community Center.
A new addition to Lakehurst instituted by Robbins is the informal, unofficial meetings of the borough's residents outside the scope of normal meetings of the mayor and council. At such meetings, Robbins and a lone, rotating member of the borough council will be in attendance.