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Montgomery Agriculture and Nature Preservation Builds Business and Community



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E L E G A N T | S U S TA I N A B L E


Continued on Page 14

609-309-5451 | only 2.74609.924.3624 miles North from Prin

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important. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All of our other farmers and vendors are New Jersey-based, as far as we can get,â&#x20AC;? said Pruden. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Griggstown Market is right across the canal.â&#x20AC;? Maybe most importantly, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become a community focal point. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Montgomery doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a downtown, except for Saturday mornings at the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market,â&#x20AC;? said Pruden. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where people come, they greet their neighbors, we have coffee, we have music, we have pastries.â&#x20AC;? As the farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market sits nearby The Village Shoppes, a local strip mall, the market brings business beyond local farmers to the rest of the community at large. While the focus of MFOSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land preservation has been on saving natural spaces from explosive tract development and maintaining the stability of natural elements like water quality, the public-friendly natural lands have had several benefits for local residents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sometimes, people come to our area and visit just for the open space,â&#x20AC;? said Sarah Roberts, president of MFOS.

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In 2002, the Montgomery Friends of Open Space (MFOS) formed. Focused on preserving local land and running a weekly farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market, the nonprofit allvolunteer organization has helped bring thriving Montgomery businesses together, while creating a homegrown community hotspot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a thriving, healthy farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market in New Jersey,â&#x20AC;? said Lorette Pruden, farm market manager of MFOS. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grown by leaps and bounds.â&#x20AC;? Pruden has been a part of MFOS for years, and has worked hard to maintain a high standard of quality. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very particular that the farmers that come to our market grow what they sell, and that is not always true of so-called farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets. Most people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that.â&#x20AC;? In the past several years, the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; markets have expanded to include multiple kinds of local businesses and products, including meat, dairy, fish, and more: the Stockton-based WoodsEdge Wool Farm brings both sheep and alpaca wool products for sale, for example. To Pruden, keeping the farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; market local is



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