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Posts Tagged ‘Garden State’

Two words.

Tomatoes. Corn. (Well, lots more, really.)

This is the season – every summer fruit and vegetable growing in the Garden State is at its peak, and super delicious. I may be doing my food shopping this weekend, but I will not be picking up any produce at the supermarket. That I will get at one of the local farmstands, several of which are within a few miles of where I live.

New Jersey gets a bad rap. The first thing that many people see when they arrive in NJ is a massive array of oil refineries in Elizabeth and nearby areas. Visitors come from New York or the Newark airport, and sadly, this dirty, smoke-spewing sight is sometimes all they ever get to see.

But they don’t call us the Garden State for nothing! Right about now there are stands by the side of the road packed with fresh, delicious produce of every kind imaginable. Sometimes it’s from a farm; sometimes it’s just a local gardener sharing his or her backyard bounty.

Always accompanying these unattended and smaller stands is a lock box for you to put your money in. We’re all on the honor system out here – to put in the right amount and not take the contents. That’s another reason why my part of the state is so wonderful. That actually exists.

My guess is I’ll stop by Phillips Farm in Holland Township, which is looked over 24/7 by the Jersey Fresh guy, pictured here. Looking for fresh and delicious? Pass on by the refineries; drive across the state aways; take a scenic backroad, and that’s where you’ll find it. I’m already thinking tomato sandwich.

 

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Farmstand-appleTomatoes2

There are always wonderful things to love about wherever we live. Out my way, in a highly agricultural area, there is fresh produce.

Farmstand-Gourds2

I am so grateful that from the first greening of asparagus in the Spring through apples and pumpkins in the Fall, there is always an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available. And even though they are not grown in my part of the state, (fairly) local blueberries and cranberries can be found in season as well. (Did you know that New Jersey is the #1 producer of blueberries in the U.S.? And #3 for cranberries!)

Farmstand-Peppers2

New Jersey has an unfortunate reputation of being like the very small area of smoggy highways and industrial refineries located in the eastern part of he state. But hello! New Jersey is the Garden State, and best known for its seasonal unfolding of tomatoes, corn, apples and everything in between. We are joined by nearby Pennsylvania in offering a true harvest of delicious and healthy foods from early April through late November.

Farmstand-MoreGourds2

Particularly in Fall, the beauty of apples, squash and pumpkins is a treat for the eye and palate, and an inspiration to cook and bake. Local farmers often have up to 10 varieties of apples daily which change as the trees come into fruit. Their own fresh-pressed cider tastes completely different each week thanks to the blend of apples they include.

Farmstand-Pumpkins2

To live in an area where I can stop and pick up fresh, locally grown food along any number of routes is indeed a blessing, for which I truly am grateful.

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