Garden State

  For some reason New Jersey gets a really bad rap from the rest of the U.S. Not sure how that originated, but I must admit that I definitely have laughed at NJ jokes before. I still think it’s funny that NJ gets mocked, but now I give more of a “hey, NJ really is a great place to live” response.

But one of the things I enjoy most about NJ is that it really is the Garden State. Everywhere I go there are farm stands and fresh “Jersey Fresh” produce. When you’re in NJ you have your pick of any kind of fruit or veggie that strikes your fancy. Most are way better than the shipped in, chemically bland, glossy produce that lines the bins of the local supermarket, so for me it’s like hitting up the candy store and having my pick of whatever flavors I want.

The other day my girlfriend and I stopped at one of our favorite farm stands only to find it closed. Bummed but knowing that there were stands aplenty in the area we drove around until we came to a farm we had passed many times but had never stopped at. (That’s a picture I snapped on the left.) Despite it’s advertisement for produce galore we had never seen anyone working there or any visible produce. But, desperate to find fresh legumes, we drove down the long gravel driveway and parked in front of their barn. Tiny donkeys – including an adorable baby donkey complete with a bedhead – grazed to the left of the barn. When we walked inside the barn our eyes feasted on bins of green peppers and eggplants and onions and corn. Containers of brightly colored tomatoes were stacked on the shelves next to tiny cloves of garlic. Large glass fridges lined one wall and were stocked with fresh jams, tomato sauce, eggs, and greens.

Talk about vegetarian heaven!!!

After we wiped the drool off our chins, we looked around for someone to pay. On an old wooden table stood a jar filled with coins and bills to make change as visitors paid through the honor system. So of course we loaded up with as much as we could carry, paid, and left knowing we had found our Produce Nirvana. 😀

  1. Sounds like a cool place!

    I spent my teen years in Sussex County, NJ and when I try to explain it to people not from the state I have to say, “It’s the part of NJ with the cows and the trees.”

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