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We are now six weeks into our Locavore Project, and I’m amazed by how easy it is to get our fresh items close to home. I’ll admit, I have purchased produce that is grown out of the region (lemon and pineapples), but we chose to support a local, privately owned business when we did. We have been investigating many small businesses, farms, and purveyors over the last month and we are beginning to compile a directory of our favorites. Here are the top 6 from the first 6 weeks.
Where are these businesses located?
To be part of our Locavore Project all businesses, farms, or purveyors must be within 100 miles of our home. This means all of New Jersey is fair game which is awesome. It is the Garden State after all. We can also go as far west as Lancaster, and even into northern Maryland and Delaware. To the north, Wilkes-Barre & Scranton are in our perimeter, but so is a good portion of southern New York.
Lil’ Ponderosa offers home delivery of locally raised grass-fed beef and pork products. Products are currently available a la carte or in special combination boxes, and a monthly subscription service will be rolled out by the end of the summer. Shop all cuts of beef and organ meat, house-made jerky, and farm heritage pasteurized pork from the neighboring farm.
Note: We received a complimentary special combination box to review. Hands down, these were the best burgers I have ever had. We are planning to have the steaks this week, and then put together another order to have delivered to us.
Tanner Brothers Dairy Farm
Tanner Brothers Dairy Farm is a staple in Bucks County. This market is always busy selling local produce, their own angus beef, milk, half & half, and cream from their dairy cows (even chocolate and strawberry milk), eggs at an amazing price, and ice cream, plus so many other wonderful local/regional grocery items. We make the 15 minute drive every 10 days or so to purchase milk, half & half, pickles (my kids have a thing for deli pickles), and ice cream. You can buy ice cream to eat there, outdoors overlooking the farm, or purchase 1/2 gal tubs to bring home. Their chocolate ice cream is amazing! If you visit Tanner Brothers Dairy Farm, make sure to bring cash or check since they don’t take plastic.
Wm. Schober Sons, Inc
My family has been going to Schober Orchards in Monroeville, NJ for years. This is the only place we purchase apples and peaches and I make the drive down there a few times a year to stock up. If you visit their website, you can see exactly which varieties of fruit they have from the orchard right now, as well as a harvest timeline of all the varieties they grow and when you can expect them. Schober’s is open from July through at late January, and they don’t close until they sell out of the last of their apples. In addition to the items from their orchard, you can also purchase other locally grown fruits & vegetables there, plus firewood, hard woods for smoking, and deer & turkey feed. You can find Schober’s at several local community farmers’ markets, or at their stand in Monroeville. Please note, they are closed on Sundays.
For over 95 years, Stella Farms has been growing their own vegetables for the people of south Jersey. Each May, the road stand opens with asparagus, followed by their own strawberries, and then later in the season Jersey Silver Queen corn. You can also find Jersey tomatoes, melons, peppers, potatoes, beans, and lots of other produce for sale during the growing season. Stella Farms is open 7 days a week, and is a cash only business.
Specca Farms is a Pick-Your-Own farm near Columbus, NJ. They open in late May with PYO strawberries, then close for a few weeks while the remaining crops get ready for harvest. They are typically open Thursday through Sunday, but make sure to check their Facebook page to know if the weather is forcing them to open a little later than usual. In addition to PYO vegetables, you can also purchase already picked items at the scale house. Our two favorite thing to purchase from Specca Farms are plum style tomatoes for canning and pumpkins for decorating the yard at Halloween. Both are incredibly inexpensive, and I like that I am supporting a local, family run farm with each visit.
Howell Living History Farm
Howell Living History Farm is part of the Mercer County Park System. There is a lot to see and do at Howell Farm, and it makes for a wonderful family day out. Each time you visit there is something new going on. We like to visit on Saturdays because there are free events and programs each weekend. The products produced at the farm are sold in a small gift shop in the welcome center. Here you can purchase maple syrup, honey, pop corn, cornmeal, and ground wheat that have been grown, harvested, and produced on the farm. Howell Farm is open Tuesdays through Sunday from April-November, and their hours change in the off-season. Admission is free. Check their website for upcoming events and operating hours.
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