It’s almost criminal how long it’s been since my last blog post, and now that my academic ventures are winding down, I hope to be able to focus more time to writing posts.
Along those lines, I have a lot of catching up to do! Here’s a brief mash-up of things going on this time of year that interest me.
- Raw milk: There’s a hearing on the raw milk bill next Monday, December 12 in Trenton. The Foodshed Alliance is asking people to come in support of legalizing raw milk in the state of New Jersey. There’s been momentum building, and an advocacy group called Garden State Raw Milk has formed as a response.
- Winter Farmer’s Market: The town of Newton, in Sussex County, has established a Winter Farmer’s Market open on Saturdays November through April from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s a little far from Morristown, but could be a good model for future winter farmer’s markets in the area!
- Acupuncture class: Morristown’s own North Jersey Community Acupuncture is holding a class this Friday at 7 p.m. Attendees will learn the theory behind acupuncture and its benefits, and this will be the first of six more in-depth classes on the topic. A $5 donation is requested.
- Music in the Woods: Schiff Nature Preserve is having its Annual Music in the Woods celebration on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 7-9:30 p.m. Spend an evening by the fire listening to acoustic music and viewing stunning nature photography. Members $8; Non-members $10.
- Gingerbread & gifts: Have a little holiday shopping to do? Check out the 20th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland and Holiday Craft Show at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum this Saturday and Sunday from 10-5 p.m. The kiddos will enjoy marveling at the gingerbread houses on display, and adults can buy locally-made gifts and crafts for the holidays. Suggested donation of $2.
- Bernards Green Drinks: Clink glasses with like-minded individuals at Bernards Green Drinks this Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. at Dolce Hotel’s Vita restaurant.
- Pork: I just got an email this morning from River Bend Farm. Now is the time to place your order for locally, pasture-raised pork, which will be ready in January. Plus, they have a spiffy new website.
Enjoy this random assortment and stay tuned for more regular posts in the coming weeks!
credit: flickr ExperienceLA
While it may seem a little too soon, if you have plans to feast on a sustainably-raised turkey this holiday season (Thanksgiving or Christmas), you should start evaluating the options now.
Last year we had a wonderful turkey from Griggstown Quail Farm and Market near Princeton, NJ. We placed the order in advance and were able to actually pick it up at the last day of the Morristown Farmer’s Market (where Griggstown is a vendor). They offer both traditional and heritage breeds and all birds are raised free range.
While Griggstown is well known and prevalent throughout the area, I would suggest giving one of the small farms in the area a shot this season. Plaid Piper Farm (the farm where we’ve purchased our pasture-raised half a pig for the past two years) is another fantastic option. Paul, the owner, considers himself a Grass Farmer, Microbe Manager and Steward of the Land. He’s a big fan of Joel Salatin (of Food, Inc. and The Omnivore’s Dilemma fame). None of the animals on his farm are treated with antibiotics or growth hormones and they’re all raised in the pasture. The farm has been in his family for over 200 years! I’ve been there, and I know he’s for real. Plus, if you go at the right time, you might get lucky and see Paul sporting his famous plaid kilt!
Another great local farm located in Long Valley, Mini Mac Farm, is offering turkeys for Thanksgiving. The turkeys are raised free range on small family farms in the area and are processed locally. I’ve been to visit that farm as well and I know Helen and her husband are working hard to make a go of sustainable farming.
The Health Shoppe in Morristown is also working with local farms to help you buy an organic or free range turkey this season. That’s a great travel-free option.
Whatever route you choose, I suggest you hurry! These farms have a limited supply of turkeys (and sizes) that they’ve raised, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Early last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Paul Miller of Morristown’s Office of Sustainability. We talked about the various goings-on in the sustainability realm in town, one of which is an exciting new supper club series. The Morristown Sunday Supper Club Series is designed to bring funding into Sustainable Morristown as it weans itself off grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The series, scheduled to occur quarterly, will be hosted by the Highlands Dinner Club (experts in the supper club scene), Grassroots (the fabulous new section in the Daily Record) and Sustainable Morristown.
The first-ever supper club event will be held on Sunday, October 30 in tandem with the first-ever Grassroots Awards ceremony (more on that later). Hosted at the Hyatt, well-known chefs from area restaurants with a focus on local and seasonal food (Blue Morel, EnoTerra, Pluckemin Inn, twofiftytwo restaurant, Elements and George and Martha’s) will prepare delectable dishes using food from local farms (Grow It Green Morristown, Alstede Farms, Totten Family Farm, Valley Shepard Creamery, Mini Mac Farm, Metropolitan Seafood and Hoeffner Meats. Wine Chateau in Morristown is also providing organic and biodynamic wines!
The Grassroots Award will go to a local community member who has made significant strides in Sustainability. One award will be granted in each of these 5 categories: Social Impact, Bottom Line, Courage in Leadership, Citizen Scientist and What a Great Idea! For more information on each of these designations and how to submit a nomination (you have until Oct 14th!), please read this informative article from the Daily Record. Winners will be announced at the dinner on the 30th.
Buy your tickets for this event and keep an eye out for a new supper each quarter. I think we can all agree that local food + local businesses + good cause = sustainability trifecta.
[EDITED 10/24/11: DISCOUNT. You can now receive 30% off ticket costs by using the discount code: "DR-grassroots". Please spread the word.]
In many of my group projects for school, I come across many like-minded individuals, and it’s a great way to share resources and ideas. Most recently I learned about the concept of Collaborative Consumption. In essence, rather than owning everything you use, create a shared ownership with others. As an example, my classmate pointed out that a vacuum could be a shared resource since it’s not something you use every day. This not only reduces expenses, but it greatly reduces consumption and the waste associated with it.
My classmate introduced me to a website and company that I’d like to share with all of you: CollaborativeConsumption.com. They’re a great resource for all kinds of nifty “stuff-sharing” websites, including a few that I’ve already heard of or used… Swap.com, ZipCar, Airbnb, RentTheRunway. But, there are so many neat ideas that I’d never heard of — things like Art.sy (for renting art), Toygaroo (renting toys –that are sanitized) and ShareSomeSugar (for sharing with neighbors).
I encourage you all to explore the various links and sites on Collective Consumption and do a little sharing of your own!
The festival is postponed until further notice due to the incoming hurricane. Stay safe, all!
Sustainable Morristown is at it again with another eco-minded event this weekend! Check out Green on the Green and the Morristown Film and Music Festival on Saturday, August 27 on the Morristown Green. This will be the fourth annual film festival hosted by MorristownGreen.com, showcasing films by local filmmakers with this year’s theme built around sustainability! And who doesn’t love to watch a movie or two outside on the Green? Viewers vote for Best Picture at the end. I can’t wait to see the results and learn more about all of the sustainability intiatives in the area.
It will be a daylong celebration, beginning at 12 p.m. Musical acts of all genres will perform throughout the day and festival goers can check out exhibitors from local non-profits and eco-concious companies. The Loretta Hagen Band will headline the afternoon’s musical acts at 7 p.m. with a mix of country and rock music. Once it gets dark (around 8 p.m.), the film festival will begin! Be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call it Farm-to-Table or Farm-to-Fork, this summer there’s no shortage of options in the Morristown area for getting farm fresh food into your tummy.
Here’s a highlight of farm-to-table dinners in the area this summer:
- Morristown’s own Grow It Green Morristown will have a Farm-to-Table Dinner at The Artist Baker on Cattano Ave. on Sunday, August 14. Produce from the nonprofit’s Urban Farm at Lafayette will be featured in the meal. Tickets cost $85 pp and proceeds will benefit Grow It Green and all of the work they’re doing to make mo’town more sustainable. Make reservations through The Artist Baker (973-292-5940).
- Slow Food Northern New Jersey Chapter will host it’s annual Sustenance on the Farm Dinner on Sunday, August 21 at Fosterfield’s Historic Farm in Morristown from 5-8 p.m. The 5-course meal will be prepared by area chefs and paired with sustainable and organic wine. Proceeds will go toward Slow Food NNJ‘s work to establish school gardens in local schools. Tickets are $155 per person and can be purchased through Sustenance Events.
- Foodshed Alliance, a nonprofit organization based in Blairstown, is hosting a farm-t0-fork dinner at Alba Vineyard THIS weekend! On Sunday, July 24 at 4 p.m. enjoy a 5-course gourmet dinner with paired wines, and enjoy the ambiance of the vineyard (Rain date is July 31). Tickets are $125 per person and proceeds benefit the Foodshed Alliance. Check out the menu and buy tickets on their website.
I’ve said it before: the last thing this area needs is more development, especially on previously untouched land. The Harding Land Trust is urging Harding residents to petition their township committee members to support the preservation of Primrose Farm Estates in Harding (a 122-acre property off of Brook Drive South). The land is at risk of being divided and developed, and the town of Harding has the ability to leverage state funds to purchase the property for preservation. Preservationists say it is the last large opportunity for preservation in the town.
For more information, visit this blog. If you’d like to help, sign the petition!
There’s no shortage of farm fresh food in Morristown this time of year. It’s all about finding the right places and buying the right items. Before you make your automatic stop at the grocery store, try one of these places first. Here’s a brief list of places to go this weekend or in the upcoming weeks:
- Morristown Farmer’s Market – Sundays from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the lot behind George & Martha’s & The Grasshopper. Great way to meet your local farmers!
- Grow It Green Morristown’s Urban Farm at Lafayette – On Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., tour the garden with a volunteer, learn about the crops and they buy what you’d like straight from the garden at a very reasonable price. It doesn’t get any fresher than that, people!
- The Health Shoppe – always a great local resource for food from the area.
- Mendham’s Organic Farmer’s Market – Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., enjoy live music as you buy your local and mostly organic produce from local farmers.
- Local Food Buying Club – Consider joining the Foodshed Alliance (based out of Blairstown). They have an innovative Food Buying Club where you place an order for what you’d like from the farm and it’s delivered right to a Morristown location. There’s a small delivery charge and a small annual fee ($30) to join the organization.
- Online tools – Check out NJ Dept of Agriculture’s Jersey Fresh website for what’s in peak season and links to farms. LocalHarvest.org is also a great resource.
If I forgot anything, please add it to the comments!
Buy your tickets now for Schiff Nature Preserve’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4 from 5:30 -9:30 p.m.
According to Schiff, the evening will include:
- Two hours of short films
- A 30-minute night hike to and from Woodbadge Lodge. For those who prefer not to hike, we will offer a hay ride to the theater
- Bucket Auction items and free gifts from local and national sponsors
- Light refreshments from Black River Roasters Coffee, Chester Meat Market and more
- Campfire and games for kids after intermission!
The list of films includes:
I haven’t been, but I hope to go this year! Tickets are $20 per person, or $17pp when you buy 4 or more. They’re also encouraging carpooling to the event by offering a forum on the event site.