One weekend last month, I brainstormed where I would go and what I would write about. Saturday came with clouds that blanketed the sky. The idea of leaving my bed sounded overwhelmingly unappealing. As I turned over to close my eyes, ready to fall back into a slumber, the little voice in my head told me to get up and enjoy the weekend the best I could. I decided to listen to that little voice. So I threw on a pair of jeans and headed down to Asbury. It was Saturday after all, the day to enjoy self-care time and revisit beautiful, local spots.
All week I had been looking forward to visiting the Asbury Fresh Farmers Market located off of Cookman Avenue in Kennedy Park. I’m shocked I hadn’t heard of the market until recently because usually for any type of weekend farmers market in the area, I am there.
Despite the gloomy weather, I was eager to see what interesting and unique things each vendor had to offer. The beauty of a farmer’s market is how hyperlocal they are. You could be buying handmade jewelry from your neighbor or beer brewed on Main Street.
I flipped my hood up as I strolled onto the grass and under the trees lined with white tents and eager business owners underneath.
The Asbury Fresh Market takes place every Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. If you want to know which vendors will be there on a given week, you can check out AsburyFresh.com. The reason the market initially piqued my interest is because a small jewelry business called Moody Little Baby was going to be a vendor at this week’s market. The woman behind the table handcrafts beautiful and creative clay earrings.
Other vendors included Pine Coast Kombucha, Sprout House, and Green Standard Hemp, to name a few. I would sit here and list off everyone, but you get the point. Each vendor is unique, creative, and worth learning more about.
After walking around and chatting with local business owners about their passions, a friend and I decided to grab lunch at Marina Grille in Belmar.
The waterfront restaurant is the ideal summer dining spot if you are looking for a delicious meal and refreshing cocktails. We decided to throw caution to the wind and get drinks and appetizers.
My friend and I both decided on the blackberry mojito, and it was the perfect sweetness. For the appetizer, we got the citrus calamari because if there is calamari on the menu, I’m ordering it. This particular dish was so delicious and refreshing with the added mandarin oranges, while also being savory with the balsamic glaze.
For a meal, we split the rigatoni primavera. It didn’t feel too heavy because it was packed with vegetables. The sauce was creamy and had a generous dollop of pesto atop it, which was definitely a nice touch. I’d say it was just the right amount of comfort you’re looking for in a pasta dish, without feeling like you need to take a nap after. For our last round of drinks, we switched it up and tried the strawberry mint cocktail, which ended up being our favorite. It was sweet and refreshing, while not being overly minty.
The farmers market season is among us. Grab your reusable bags and head over to your local farmers market, because it doesn’t get any more local than that!