Archive for the ‘Jersey Fresh’ Category
Double Brook Farm Autumn Zinnias by Tasha O’Neill
Those of you who know me, know [-- long before my own year in Provence --] that my favorite fragrance in the entire world is lavender. A close second, –with the added benefit of that pungent evergreen flavor–, is rosemary. When I lived in Cannes, lavender honey was the key treat of weekly visits to its marche/market. Fresh herbs were a given, in that land where the mistral infused the very air with rosemary. However, never did I expect to taste rosemary ice cream.
[As a food stylist in Manhattan, there was nothing trickier than photographing ice cream --Robin McConaughy's masterful image of their unforgettable new specialty: ]
Robin McConaughy’s Rosemary-Caramel Ice Cream!
I tasted this remarkable creation, –rich as Devonshire cream, darkly complex with caramel, redolent of rosemary–, in next-door Hopewell, at Double Brook farm. There is no better flavoring for lamb — but ice cream? Splendid, never-to-be-forgotten, and probably unequaled. Even Shakespeare insists, “rosemary — that’s for remembrance.”
Double Brook Farm Fresh Bean Array by Tasha O’Neill
Those of you who read D&R Greenway newsletters and the local media, know well that sustainable farming is alive and well in Hopewell, thanks to Robin and Jon McConaughy. This past Friday, friend and fine-art-photographer Tasha O’Neill attended Jon and Robin’s Friday farm produce sale, our first visit to the farm for that purpose.
Double Brook Farm Hot Peppers by Tasha O’Neill
(This energetic young couple had hosted D&R Greenway’s Down-to-Earth Ball a year ago. Their handsome cattle are carefully moved a prescribed number of times per day, from grass field to grass field, on D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve off Aunt Molly Road in Hopewell.)
Double Brook Farm Tomatilloes, Tasha O’Neill
THIS day, Tasha and I encountered Double Brook Farm’s raison d’etre, FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE and salumi (exotic meats from their own tenderly animals — Tasha bought lardo and I soppresata) cameras in hand. She was kind enough to send her images this morning, so I’m sharing them with you.
Double Brook Farm Salumi, Slow-Food-Snail-Seal-of-Approval Tasha O’Neill
As we insist, over and over in these virtual pages, New Jersey is beautiful. She produces such spectacular produce, ‘right in our own back yards.’
Garden State Bounty, Double Brook Farm by Tasha O’Neill
Here is Double Brooks web-site — Robin herself could be a fine art photographer: http://www.doublebrookfarm.com/
Double Brook Okra by Tasha O’Neill
Put yourself on Robin’s e-mail list, so you’ll know when the farmstand is open again. When the store on #518 is fully restored and providing this sort of bounty year-round. When the restaurant, on #518, that exquisite red brick home, is brought back to life and its brick-lined paths trimmed and ready for visitors. Tasha and I and I had been invited to explore the flower paths, the herb gardens behind the soon-to-be restaurants. But we “had promises to keep…”, in another dear old NJ Town, Kingston. So we don’t have herb pictures for you.
Robin’s and Jon’s Rubies - Red Onions of Double Brook Farm by Tasha O’Neill
But we do have some of the essence of Double Brook Farm in these new scenes.
Succulent, Tender, Subtly Irresistible Shiitakes of Double Brook by Tasha O’Neill
I am awash in gratitude, as you know, to those who KEEP THE meaning of GARDEN in the Garden State.
Preserved Farm, Salem County, New Jersey cfe
I thank you for reading NJ WILD so often and so studiously. Last month’s statistics included 3500 viewers, most of you staying on for a page and a half, from virtually every country/continent. How can that be? Because New Jersey is beautiful and bountiful, and we’re lucky enough to live and farm-shop here!
Winter’s Fruits from Farm Markets cfe
NJ WILD readers know I have been ‘hors de combat’ for some months now, recently remedied with hip/femur replacement. Beginning walks in nature — so glad to have feet on green growing matter and real earth after all those hospital and rehab strolls.
One of the first events I’ll be visiting, of course, will be Indoor Winter Farm Markets - always a treasure to me, as NJ WILD readers know.
Bill Flemer’s Riverside Bluegrass Band at D&R Greenway Johnson Education Center cfe
January 14, D&R Greenway, where I work, will host this constellation of foods, hand-made items, homemade music, and the like.
Brilliantly Crafted and Named Cherry Grove Cheeses at D&R Greenway cfe
Our barn is always a convivial setting for parties - usually art (new exhibit, Textures and Trails, awaits on its weathered walls.) Music reverberates among the ancient beams, most from 1900, some from the 1800’s. Horses, cows, chickens, pigs and eggs once filled the stalls where we now work and you enjoy art and science to further preservation.
Home from Indoor Winter Farm Market - Slow Food/D&R Greenway cfe
This from Jim Weaver, Founder/Chef of Tre Piani Restaurant at Forrestal as well as co-founder of Slow Food Central Jersey. Enjoy and join us! You’ll not only be happier for it, you’ll be healthier, And so will New Jersey land, farmland and her farmers.
New Jersey Farm Market Produce - grown and sold the ‘Slow’ Way… cfe
Contact: Beth Feehan, 609 577-5113, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stockton, NJ: Slow Food Central New Jersey presents an indoor winter farm market at the Johnson Education Center, a beautifully restored barn from 1900, on the grounds of the D&R Greenway in Princeton. D&R Greenway is located at One Preservation Place off of Rosedale Road in Princeton. This market will run from 10am-2pm. Visit www.drgreenway.org for directions.
Why NJ Farmstands, cfe
On February 19th, Tre Piani Restaurant in Forrestal Village in Princeton hosts the Market from 11am-3pm. Tre Piani is the original site where the Markets started seven years ago with Slow Food Central New Jersey. For directions to Tre Piani, visit www.trepiani.com.
Terhune Orchards at Slow Food/D&R Greenway Indoor Winter Farm Market cfe
Saturday, January 14
D&R Greenway Land Trust, Princeton
609 924-4646 www.drgreenway.org
For more information, call 609 577-5113. For up to date information on vendors, visit Slow Food Central New Jersey on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/groups/279661868722992/.
Why Choose Jersey Fresh: West Windsor Farm Market cfe
Cumberland County Fall Farm Bounty, CFE
NJ Wild Readers are well aware of my passion for farms, farmers, farmlands and farm markets.
The legendary Michele Byers, Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, gives me willing, even eager permission to quote her recent column on these topics. Because, after all, she exults, “It’s all about education, spreading the word.”
Count yourselves fortunate to have read and experienced the glory of NJ farms in these posts. And support Michele anywhere, everywhere, everyhow - in her campaigns to keep our NJ Green and Garden-y.
Farm Market Central - West Windsor Farm Market, NJ cfe
by Michele S. Byers, Executive Director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation
Cumberland County Autumn, cfe
Cumberland County Harvest cfe
Gov. Chris Christie recently approved a new package of bills that reinforce
A Ripeness of Melons, West Windsor Farm Market cfe
One of the new laws requires “Jersey Fresh” and “Made with Jersey Fresh”
Cumberland County Decorative Corn cfe
New Jersey grows more than 100 different varieties of fruits, vegetables and
An Apple A Day, Trenton Farmers Market cfe
Only those growers who abide by the state’s quality grading program are
Cumberland County Bargains cfe
So if you can’t make it to your local farm market in the upcoming fall
Cumberland County, Jersey Freshest cfe
Just as New Jersey is a top national producer of fruits and vegetables, New
Symphony of Yellows, West Windsor Farm Market cfe
The farmland preservation funds approved by Governor Christie will help
Home From the Trenton Farmers Market cfe
For more information on the nation’s most popular farmers markets, go to
Peach Abundance, Trenton Farmers Market cfe
To learn more about Jersey Fresh products, including
Awaiting Vincent West Windsor Farm Market cfe
And if you’d like more information about conserving New Jersey’s precious
EXCURSION TO THE BARRENS
I like to watch old farms wake up
ground fog furling within the turned furrows
as dew-drenched tendrils of some new crop
lift toward dawn
three solid horses bumble
along the split-rail fence
one rusting tractor pulsing
at the field’s hem
just over the horizon
the invisible ocean
paints white wisps
all along the Pinelands’
blank blue canvas
as gulls intensely circle
this tractor driver’s
frayed straw hat
from rotund ex-school buses
long green rows suddenly peppered
by their vivid headgear
as they bend and bend again
to sever Jersey’s bright asparagus
some of which I’ll buy
just up ahead
at the unattended farm stand
slipping folded dollars
into the ‘Honor Box’
before driving so reluctantly
away from this region called ‘Barren’
where people and harvests
still move to seasons and tides
CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN
This old farm is Hobler Park, Great Road and 518, Blawenburg
That at the top is a Bucks County Barn
I work in Robert Wood Johnson’s working barn, D&R Greenway Land Trust off Rosedale Road in Princeton
Johnson Education Center, D&R Greenway Land Trust
Bill Rawlyk (Hunterdon County) Farm Blueberries in
D&R Greenway’s Pergola, Summer 2009
There is NO SUCH THING as TOO MANY FARMS!
SAVE GARDEN STATE FARMLAND!
NJ WILD readers know that I choose farm markets for restoration on any number of fronts. The Trenton Farmers’ Market is what my father would call, “The Grandaddy of them All”, showcasing the treasures of our Garden State long before there was that marketing word, ’showcasing’.
When I go to the Trenton Farm Market, my ‘trick’ is to make several circuits.
I ‘eat with my eyes’, up one aisle and down another.
Then with my camera.
I apologize that their hefty, hearty peaches outshine Russo’s truck on the pavement behind. You know I often stop at Russo’s farm. It’s in the Pine Barrens (Tabernacle), and my source for first blueberries from their own bushes, first strawberries from their fields. The last spinach of November comes from Russo’s, along with Pine Barrens wines - Chambourcin a favorite. A major delight is to find bulging bags of applesauce apples outside on a wooden table at Christmastime. You’ll fold three dollar bills for a year’s applesauce into the slit of a metal box. You’ll find Russo’s apples so spicy, it is a travesty to add sugar or even a cinnamon stick. It freezes beautifully, and actually lasts longer than a year, I just discovered.
Then, and only then, with my ’sustainability bags’ and coin purse.
That way I know who has the most luminous corn despite dire drought. Whose tomatoes come from their own fields, more precious than rubies to your writer. Whose onions equal those of Renoir, Sterling Clark’s favorite of all masterpieces in his museum overflowing with Impressionists in Williamstown, Mass.
An interesting facet of the Trenton Farmers’ Market now is that the food shows, the existence of ‘Foodies’ in our midst (interesting that we’re not to call ourselves gourmands, let alone gourmets, any longer…) brings exotics to the weathered wooden stands on either side of strolling shoppers.
New Jersey Exotics
Some of the fruits of last week’s pilgrimage follow.
Words pale beside the jewels arrayed for us by New Jersey farmers.
Rejoice, Nj WILD readers, that we still have farmers in our midst.
My favorite road sign is the yellow and black icon for tractor crossing…
Be thankful for every tractor that still lumbers up one row and down another, turning over rich New Jersey soil for purposes of nourishment and delight — not for yet another crop of McMansions.
Do everything you can to preserve farmland: in the voting booth, at your computer writing to legislators, and especially all year round in New Jersey’s vital farm markets.
Otherwise, Rutgers scientists predict New Jersey will be the first completely built-out state, in close to thirty years (if that). You can alter that prediction by your shopping choices. And, besides, it is not only gastronomically thrilling, shopping farm markets brings aesthetic delight.
Remember, when spinach was poisoning Americans recently, New Jersey spinach was safe and healthy.
The best part is, many of those fruits and vegetables were picked that very morning - it’s as though the dew were still inside those corn husks when you open them for the feast.
Lake Oswego Heaven - Fourth of July Late Afternoon- NJ Pine Barrens South of Chatsworth
NJ WILD readers know that ‘the world is too much with me’, too often. The world of oiled birds and abandoned fishermen’s families waiting for checks so that they may buy toilet paper and dish detergent. The world of catastrophic weather as the new normal. The world of governments’ having changed without dire conditions changing for the better. ["Yes We Can". "Yes We Did". And so what?]
The world in which migrating shorebirds will soon be staging for their southward journeys, expecting to feed in marshes covered in oil the color of rusting tankers, before setting out to cross the interminable poisoned Gulf.
What Will be Happening Soon at Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge near Smithville
Next stop - oiled Gulf
Pine Barrens Byways photograph
So I take myself to New Jersey Wilderness to be restored. Sometimes it is enough simply to be there, especially among the Pines and the sands of our so-called Pine Barrens.
Lake Oswego Pines and Sedges cfe
Sometimes I do have to bring back photographs, at least.
Ripening Grapes, Historic Building, Tomasello Winery, Smithville, Pine Barrens cfe
Ideally, farm markets are open and I can return with treasures grown by real people in real soil in our own very real state. Not thousands of miles away, growing stale dead and flavorless as they cross interstates. Pine Barrens markets are rich in foods alive with the best energies of earth, blessed by those who planted, weeded, tilled, tended, harvested and sold them to this eager customer. Foods whose prices are so low, you think they have to be a mistake.
Home from the Markets, July 4 2010 cfe
Here are cameos from yesterday’s trip to the ‘Barrens’. The market for the pristine and slender Jersey asparagus and the first berries is Russo’s. Those berries come to them from nearby Indian Mills. They preside at a key corner in dear little Tabernacle, on Route 532 just slightly east of #206. The last Lenni Lenape, Indian Ann, is buried in the Tabernacle churchyard. I want to wake her up and get her to talk of her life there, teach us her language. Instead, I talk crops with the real farmers of Russo’s.
Freshly Hard-Boiled Organic Eggs from Market cfe
The dark and hearty pumpernickel bread under the smoked salmon is from The Bakery, a tiny place whose origins, in Smithville, are pre-Revolutionary. They used to age the hams and sausages upstairs. I tell my favorite waitresses, “I drive 80 miles for your sausage patties.” The eggs taste like eggs. I mean, you can close your eyes and know what is in your mouth, what is blessing your palate. The coffee is hot, steamy, non-sophisticated (no &*(&^ hazelnuts!), and constantly refilled by joshing waitresses who’ve been there forever. When I first went to the Bakery, its current owner was a baker there. He saved his money and now it’s his. On the walls are antique farm implements, signs for Provisions, “God Speed Ye Plow” and a wooden plow, Campbell’s soup tins of long ago, and saltine tins, and wire whisks and, well, go see for yourself.
The smoked Atlantic Salmon and the avocado are from Trader Joe’s, which store is local if not these food items — but it feels like a farm market in there. That is my highest praise, as NJ WILD readers know.
Pine Barrens Blueberries from Indian Mills via Russo’s cfe
What I don’t have on the table is the blueberry champagne, bought as gifts next-door at Tomasello’s Winery - wine of the Pines. Everyone expects it to be in some way a joke - it is sublime - outdistanced every bottle of Prosecco at a recent dinner party here.
All the way down and all the way back, except of course for 295 and 206, there was no one on most of the roads but us. On the Fourth of July. Try me - try Labor Day. But only if solitude is blessed to you.
Lake Oswego Solitude, Fourth of July cfe
Only if solitude, for you, pushes away that too-much world.
I go to the Pines to watch grapes ripen and peat waters ripple and rare birds feed…
Good news re Refuges about to be funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife for our birds — my beloved ‘Brig’ - Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge near Smithville - point of yesterday’s journey.
Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, Ocean County, New Jersey – Protect 243 acres of wetlands and upland fringes, the last natural open space on the northern portion of Barnegat Bay. The area provides essential migratory habitat for waterfowl and passerine birds species, as well as several state-listed endangered and threatened bird species.
When ‘the world is too much with me,’ when especially the 21st Century is too much with me, NJ WILD readers know I have to head out.
Hunterdon County Barn and Clssic Truck cfe
So last Friday became my “Reading-the-Farms” Day. Throughout bucolic Hunterdon County, farm signs began to delight as roads began to rise, as I headed west toward the river:
“Windcrossing.” “Windtryst.” “Windfall.” “Sonbob.” “Stonehedge.” In and out of these signs are others that bring great joy: That gold and black icon that means Tractor Crossing. Thank the Lord and New Jersey preservationists that there are still tractors. “Saws Sharpened.” “Farrier.” “Saddlery.” “For Sale by Owner — Bit of Heaven.”
My favorite, right outside of Hopewell, is always “Featherbed Lane - No Outlet.” It was so named because colonials tied bits of quilts (featherbeds in those days) tightly to horses’ hooves to hush them as these heroes rode these roads to protests in the time of King George III. Here both Hart and Stockton were pursued, sometimes eluding pursuers, although Stockton’s capture led to dire torturing from which he never recovered. Hart is buried in the Hopewell churchyard I just passed.
Featherbed Lane has stories to tell, not only of the Revolution, but also of migrating Sourlands songbirds. Known by birders as passerines, these winged creatures are tended as nestlings and as travelers by the legendary Hannah Suthers. “No Outlet” is misleading - for the road Hannah often monitors on horseback leads to great beauty in the landscape, as well as during spring and fall songbird migrations.
Carolina Wren, by Brenda Jones
I head either due west or due south to re-fill the well, my well, in our New Jersey. My spirit level which can be taken down too far by oiled birds, the leadership gap, ever-forecast storms which never materialize, cracks in the yard outside my new apartment looking like Kansas cornfields in August, general indifference to the crisis in the Gulf, in our environment, developers, bulldozers - well, you know all this…
Friday, therefore, became Farm-Quest day. I headed out early, into Hopewell, up Greenwood avenue, past the Sourland Mountain Preserve, to the red barn with the black and white Holsteins, where I turn left to get to my beloved Delaware. NJ WILD readers know she has just been named the most endangered river in America because gas well drillers are hoodwinking unwary property owners all up and down the Delaware watershed, wherever Marcellus shale holds so-called natural gas. In order to get AT that gas, ‘frakting’ has to take place. ‘Frakting’ the chemicals of which process poison wells and sickens families who sold gas right on their land to those convincing drillers. Have you heard this song before? Do you know that the drillers are still insisting “Frakting is safe.” Remember that BP gave us a number of 5000 for oil leakage in the profoundly globally important Gulf. The ruiners are the measurers, over and over and over.
Brenda Jones’ dawn-peaceful, pristine Delaware, which measurers, drillers, would profane:
So, I needed to escape this century. I required silvered blue siloes rising into baby-blanket-blue skies. I needed wind-stirred grasses, still dew-damp, reflecting morning light. I needed stone house after stone house, all resembling and one BEING one of George Washington’s headquarters in the 1700s. I needed that dear New Jersey winery to be nestled by a stream along a curve with a quirky old bridge - not to stop there, just that it BE there. Grapes ripening. Nature prevailing.
I needed those increasingly rolling hills, as Delaware’s surround became ever more riverine. I had to have every single one of those pouf clouds, the kind children draw in kindergarten and first grade, alongside lollipop trees of impossible green. Except, yesterday, westering toward the Delaware, everything was indeed impossible green of first slender Crayola boxes and kindergarten simplicity and trust.
I required burgeoning crops. Though I was startled, since it is only June, to be absolutely dwarfed by corn on both sides of the road. One crop looked as though it had tasselled out already. Whatever happened to “knee high by the Fourth of July?”
I’m ever so slightly able to rejoice in patriotic songs again now, now that fascism seems to have receded in our land, that flags are Old Glory again, no longer banners of insularity and revenge. So “Amber waves of grain” came to me pleasingly, as my car purred between broad swathes of fully ripened wheat. Frankly, that grain was beyond amber - all the way to toast.
Summer Wildflowers, Essential to Cabbage White Butterflies, by Brenda Jones
I needed summer-new wildflowers. I didn’t really want them to be this early, because of global warming and all. Yet, my heart leapt up at every bonnie blue burst of chicory; each airy disc of Queen Anne’s lace; the sturdy, determinedly sunny spurts of first brown-eyed Susans.
Chicory by Anne Zeman
Delaware’s generous signature was everywhere, as the rounded shoulders of her neighboring hills welcomed, then compelled me to her shores. The skies, the very air itself hold sparkle and a scintillation when Delaware is near.
A hearty breakfast at Meils in Stockton fortified me for two brief shopping errands. The Stockton Farmers’ Market, with a handful of purveyors is tucked in at the back entrance on a Friday. It’s cool and dark as a cave in there. Crossing the threshold conveys an air of secrecy and blessing. There is the sense that only those truly determined to shop with (o.k., MAD for!) local farmers come tiptoeing between saucy flowers at entry. Inside, the cognoscenti know they will be rewarded by exuberant produce, freshest eggs, the savory gold tomme cheese aged three full months in a cave, in New Jersey!; fat hearty cookies; hefty cuts of home-raised meats; succulent quiches and handmade soaps and tiles.
Vibrant Indoor Produce, Stockton Farm Market Fridays cfe
Garden State Produce, Indoor Stockton Farm Market Friday cfe
Highland Cattle, raised by Highland Farm Market, Sold at Stockton Farm Market cfe
En route home, I stopped at Maresca’s, that old-world, personable butcher shop just around the bend from the Sergeantsville covered bridge. I stock up on their sweet/smoky tender yet sustaining bacon ( which I’d enjoyed at Meil’s). I asked if he could cut me some filets an odd way so that they can be thick enough to be rare inside, but not overwhelming for one person. Delight was Emil’s response, as he checked and measured until he had exactly the number, shape and size that I wanted, one for tonight, the rest to freeze. I added their sublime lemon pound cake and a few almond cookies like soft biscotti. All that food made there or cut there, sold by those who bring it to market, in the shadow of mysterious white conical flowers that look like heaven for bees — my total was $23. I thought they forgot to add in the sweets. Quite the contrary - he gave me all the rest of that delicate filet — I may do boeuf tartare as my reward for surviving inner and outer challenges of the week just past.
Lavender Farm in Bloom cfe
Somewhere near Hopewell, I remembered a sign for fresh lavender, $3 a bunch. Sure enough, there it was, in a broad flat delicate basket that would have been carried by one of Monet’s willowy models, in flowing white gossamer, stiff/floppy hat, blue ribbons at the waist. Wading through poppies. Instead, lavender bunches lay in waiting right by the side of the road, wrapped in crinkly paper. I put my $10 bill (nothing smaller) in their unlocked box and closed it. I drove on home with the sweet tang of true French lavender, for which I always long since my life in Provence, suffusing my modern American car.
Through the grainfields. Back through the black-green Sourlands woods. Over the back roads. Home.
Leaving one bunch of lavender in the car (forever!), bearing the other two into my bedroom, I realized, my entire journey had been “Outlet”.
Twenty-five miles each way. Timelessness. Time-travel. To a world where the far-sighted, such as D&R Greenway Land Trust, but not limited to us, are preserving the Garden State.
The Garden State - Farm Near Hopewell, by Anne Zeman
This quest is worth it, for your own sake and that of family. This is worth it for the farmers. It is so wrong that, in the Garden State, farmers are becoming an endangered species.
From the Good Earth Asparagus - NJ’s Stellar Food! Carolyn Foote Edelmann
Hunterdon County Barn - About 20 minutes west of Princeton
There has been an oddly detached response to my recent posts re searching for very fresh (morning-picked) local produce and other foods, honoring them in the kitchen, savoring at table.
Relatives and very dear friends write the equivalent of “It’s all very well for you…”
I am thoroughly fed up with being patronized for natural enthusiasms, for successful quests that link to what is best for Mother Earth.
This includes people telling me I’m too sensitive, all my life, really, but now especially about BP, failed government, worldwide peril, worldwide indifference to hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil gushing into our blue mantle.
OILED BOOT OF GREENPEACE WORKER, JOHN MOORE, GETTY IMAGES
Below is a site to which anyone can go, enter his or her zip code and find out where the CSA’s (yes, Community Supported Agriculture farms) where one can join and often not even join, yet still buy fresh healthy local often organic produce and other seasonal foods in one’s own back yard. I love Paris, but I’m not telling you to go to Paris for true gastronomy. I’m saying, go to the Internet and then go find those nearby farm and markets.
Salade de la marche, Carolyn Foote Edelmann
In little Kingston, minutes north of Princeton, minutes east of me, is a tiny market. Yes. The Kingston Farm Market. It’ll be open at least until Thanksgiving. I don’t take my camera there - you can trust me. Go there. Buy everything they tell you is local. And if you have to succumb, as I sometimes do, to lemons and limes, so be it.
In the interim, ask the proprietor, as I did, the difference among the eggs available on his shelves. Hear his proud answer, as he points to the carton I just opened for a thoroughly nourishing, satisfying lunch on all ronts, even aesthetic: “These are from my farm. It’s 8 miles from here. I say hello to every egg.”
The Hello Eggs have toasty brown shells. When you break them, fine upstanding yolks crown thick clear whites.
When you cook them, whether hard-’boiled’ or ’sunny side up’, the yolks are the richest red gold of anything this side of red gold. More gold than sunflowers, darker than marigolds. That means those hens are richly nourished.
Pre-Thanksgiving Farmers’ Market Run (Trenton) Carolyn Foote Edelmann
That means YOU will be. In all seasons - for Trenton’s Farm Market is open on weekends in winter, and this is some of their offerings of beauty and health.
This quest is worth it, for your own sake and that of family. This is worth it for the farmers. It is so wrong that, in the Garden State, farmers are becoming an endangered species.
how to find Community Supported Agriculture near you from Jersey Sierran
Some sample projects in New Jersey:
CSA: If you visit www.localharvest.org/
csa/ and enter your zip code, you will be
rewarded with a list of local farms that
will contract to provide fresh
and often organic vegetables to you every week.
Besides supporting your local urban
farm, you will enjoy fresh tastes.
Actually, that’s fairly simplistic. Nobility alone isn’t enough of a reason to change your shopping and eating habits. Hedonism plays its part. And energy — I have twice the energy and resilience in the seasons when, at least for 2/3 of my food, I have talked to, even shaken hands with, the person who planted or hatched or milked or aged or harvested or carried to market or sold, or all of the above, the savory produce of our GARDEN STATE.
Yes. New Jersey. The one with all the oil tanks. There are still gardens. There are still farms. They are still producing. Go to them.
Remember, when there were those vegetable scandals when people were dying from produce, New Jersey’s local farms, farmers and farm products were not involved. Ours are healthy. Families still plant and harvest and sell.
Reward them. Reward yourselves.
Eat Garden State.
This post will hold more images than words, on the heels of multiple visits to nearby farm markets.
My favorite line in any farm market ever, in any land, happened in Kingston, New Jersey, last week. I stopped for milk, lemons and limes - the produce I needed being admittedly neither local nor likely sustainable. I was out of those exotics, and will use any excuse to stop at that charming market right on Kingston’s main street, Route 27, minutes from home.
Seeing three different cartons of eggs, I asked the avuncular man behind the counter, “What is the difference among the eggs?”
With the pride of a new father, the proprietor pointed to the set directly ahead of me. “They’re from our farm… eight miles from here. (talk about low carbon footprint - I LOVE it!)… He continued with the line I’ll never forget: “I say ‘hello’ to every egg.” Needless to say, I bought his own eggs, along with their divine fresh-ground, ground-to-request peanut butter, and some sturdy intricate bread from a woman whose children named her bakery, “Nice Buns.”
On Friday, I took a friend over to Stockton and its farm market, detouring on our rolling-farm-hill journey home into Sergeantsville. There, with the help of a woman who could star in a Fellini film, I was coached through fresh meat purchases at Maresca’s. They’re not open every day, and they don’t take credit cards. But on Friday and Saturday, at least, and maybe more, but never on Sunday, you can come home, as I did, with fresh homemade sausages right out of Europe. I chose a very American ham steak that looks sp succulent. Just opening the package, my home will be blessed with the the sweet/sharp fragrance of the inside of this shop that has been there since 1943.
Others knew just what to buy, unlike moi. A man ordered t-bones, then filets, from Emil - everyone else knows the name of the surviving brother. Emil –quickly, deftly, proudly as any meat man in Provence or on the back streets of Paris–, cut the meats to his requirements. The spirit in this shop felt as though smiles were flitting about, from ceiling to floor and back, like butterflies. Delightful murals of rural scenes warmed my virtual-farmer heart. A handsome painting behind the cash register could take its place on Antiques Road Show. Leaving, we all wish one another the heartiest“Bon Appetit!”
I have already started preparing foods from treasures brought back from my farmland sojourns. I’ll ‘adjust’ those pictures and add them. So you can see what bounty exists so very near each of us, in this indeed GARDEN State.
Spaghetti from Italy via Trenton Farmers Market, Greek Olive Oil, Trader Joe’s
Greenhouse Tomatoes - Pine Barrens Greenhouse, Russo’s, Tabernacle
En route to Stockton-on-the-Delaware, we were blessed to rumble over the Sergeantsville Covered Bridge. On all sides, peonies were bursting with health, seeming encouraging omens to my passenger who had just come from her first check-up after a lumpectomy. Siloed farms erupted like exclamation marks on brown paper, ploughed fields. In certain lights, we could watch the ripening of winter wheat - more golden in afternoon light than just that very morning. In other contours, we discovered sharp green sprouts of newest corn. O, Lord, please let it be real, not genetically destroyed…
Another farm market up Route 519 held superb dairy products, hefty meats, homemade chicken pot pie, beef pot pie and shepherd’s pie, as well as gourmet items such as smoky paprika and ‘Sexy Olives.’ This one, new to me, is called Highland Co. Gourmet Market - 908-996-3362. In its farm fields grazed the long-haired strawberry blonde cattle of the Highland breed. It wouldn’t take much to convince me that their cows are wooly mammoths.
Highland Calf, Highland Co. Gourmet Market of Route #519
When I eat, part of the savor is not only the basic ingredients. I bring home the “Hello egg” man and the ‘wooly mammoth’ boy and the lady who makes almond cupcakes with honeysuckle on their frosting. Provence taught me this, in 1987 and 88, and it’s been a long time turning into the norm in the garden state that we get to talk to the people who raise the food. A sacred exchange.
Preserve our farms, and farmlands, NJ WILD readers!
Market Spaghetti, Served
Avocadoes from Kingston Farm Market, fresh oregano from friend’s garden, aged Reggiano, Sea Salt, with Joseph Wechsberg’s “Blue Trout and Black Truffles” - neither of which appears in this feast, but stay tuned…
Our rides to and from these nearby New Jersey markets are worthy journeys just in themselves…
Sergeantsville Springtime, Preserved Land and Waterway