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August 10, 2012

Tomato season has finally arrived -- as mid-August begins to peak -- time to enjoy one of Jersey's famous fruits. If you don't grow your own, your best bet for finding a ripe, fully flavored tomato is one of the state's 153 community farmers' markets.

And its not only tomatoes that will be found there: there is still local corn, peaches and nectarines, vegetables, herbs, and flowers at the height of the season. Most markets also offer specialty items like artisanal cheeses, meats, fish, pasta, and novelties like pickles and tea.

Seniors and those qualifying for assistance through the Women, Infants and Children program will be eligible for $20 checks to be used at local farmers' market. The federal government is providing more than $2 million for the program.

New this year is a list of public transportation options for visiting the state's farmers' markets, an effort to encourage urban dwellers and seniors to take advantage of the program and purchase healthy foods.

A list of all 153 community markets is available online.

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