Bivalve Fishermen and Farmers’ Market Celebrates a Maritime Legacy
On the Maurice River near the Delaware Bay, the fishing village of Bivalve evokes a bygone era. Pines give way to marshland; the air is brackish yet sweet. The landscape reveals a history tied to the water. At the new Bivalve Fishermen and Farmers’ Market along the Bayshore Center’s restored wharves, that maritime legacy is being rekindled—and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to visit.
Historians say turkey played second fiddle at the original Thanksgiving table, where seafood and venison took pride of place. At a special market on November 22, shoppers can bring that tradition to their 2016 holiday tables in the form of Jersey oysters, clams, crabs and plenty of fall produce.
“Since Sandy, I’ve had my eyes opened about the importance of the economy to the region’s resilience,” says the Center’s founder and director, Meghan Wren, who launched the market with support from a USDA Rural Development Grant. “Our goal is to build pride in the amazing resources we have.”
Meandering the waterfront, you can’t help but ponder tradition. A century ago, this was one of the world’s largest oyster operations, with 60 million shipped annually by the 1920s. Chatting with vendors who sell sea salt, lima beans and the day’s catch, that generational connection is clear.
“It’s like a festival, isn’t it?” says Jenny King of Jack King’s Seafood, music from a folk trio filling the air. Perhaps that’s why people linger, savoring East Point oysters and Fortescue Fisherman’s Ale in the shadow of the restored A.J. Meerwald oyster schooner. With the year’s biggest meal fast approaching, it’s a lovely place to feel gratitude for the Garden State’s bounty. —Jenn Hall
Bivalve Fishermen and Farmers’ Market
Bayshore Center at Bivalve, Port Norris
Tuesday, November 22, 3pm to 7pm