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Posts Tagged ‘locally grown’

The weather is still crisp and perfect for making the most of enjoying the Fall colors and seasonal fare. A friend and I decided to take a short journey to Oldwick, a town in the eastern part of our county.
Our first stop was breakfast at the Oldwick General Store.

OldwickGeneralStore2

Unassuming from the outside and simply furnished within, this converted house offers a variety of delicious home-style foods. You order your meal off the blackboard behind the counter where staff takes your order, gather your utensils, fetch your beverage, and find a table. They’ll give you a shout when your food is ready.

The selection of hot food is always delicious and cooked right there in plain view. Adjacent to this is a deli counter with standard delicatessen fare and a host of delicious made-on-premises salads. And right next to that, a bakery case of rich homemade  treats that is hard to resist. (But I did.) Tasty food, hot coffee, pleasant surroundings and a good friend start the day off right.

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Our next stop was right down the road at Melick’s Town Farm, a family owned farm that has been growing fine produce for several generations. Their apple cider can be found almost anywhere in the county, and their main farm stand, where we stopped, carries a great variety of their own fruits, vegetables, plants and flowers, home-baked breads and sweets, and more.

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Melick’s has many varieties of apples, and if you don’t want to buy by the bushel or pound, you can buy in 1/2 peck bags.

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Only when we were on the way home, did I remember that I’d wanted to buy one of their breads!

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What I didn’t photograph at Melick’s Farm, but did succumb to, were a couple of their delicious apple cider doughnuts and one fabulous coffee cake muffin, above. It’s hard to resist homemade.

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Once we’d gotten home, we still felt like doing something else, so decided upon a walk. The sky had become a bit overcast, so the autumn hues were not as incandescent as they had been earlier in the sunshine.

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Even so, the feel of Fall was in the air.

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Along our walk, we passed all kinds of weeds … tiny magenta thistles, miniature daisies of some kind, vines. However, this pod, one of many to be found along the path, was fascinating. Closed, they are soft green, hard-shelled pods, but when open, they push out something akin to cotton. At one point along the way, there was a stand of them, looking to my eye not unlike a landing spot for so many aliens.

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They may just be weeds, but even in their texture, they have an interest all their own. Sugar maples are on fire around the next corner.

Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.  ~Rachel Carson

 

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

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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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