The farm-to-table social movement of delivering locally grown produce to communities has been offered for the past four years at Asbury Fresh, the city’s outdoor market in Kennedy Park on Cookman Avenue.
And now, for the first time, a community supported agriculture [CSA] program will be available via Lambertville-based Rolling Hills market owned by Stephanie Spock and John Squicciarino [shown at right in courtesy photo].
The duo will run the co-op program at a discounted rate, allowing participants to pick and choose what they need on weekly basis.
Rolling Hills farm is part of the Lambertville Historical Society’s program.
Prior to Spock and Squicciarino’s ownership the land first served as an orphanage before being converted to an ostrich farm in the 1980s. Lambertville and New Hope residents went ice skating on its pond during the winter months and today the local Historical Society conducts summer tours showcasing a bridge that dates back to the Revolutionary War.
With an eye on sustainability, Spock and Squicciarino use mostly hand-tilled methods [courtesy photo at right] to produce their organically grown fruits and vegetables.
“Many large scale farms rely on heavy equipment and lots of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides,” farm owner Stephanie Spock said. “We don’t rely on any of that. We use lots of compost and cover crops and take very good care of our soil to keep it healthy.”
CSA members will have the ability to buy the produce they needed on weekly basis, collected from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays from June to September. Any money not spent rolls over from year to year.
“We are the only producers of organic mushrooms in the state of New Jersey, as well as one of the very few growers of mushrooms in the area,” Spock said. “Being able to provide a very diverse spread of food is important to us.”
Rolling Hills offers the following market shares:
$250 establishes a $275 account – a 10% discount
$350 establishes a $392 account – a12% discount
$500 establishes a $575 account – a 15% discount
Asbury Fresh runs for 16 weeks starting June 12 on Sunday afternoons and for nine weeks beginning July 1 on Friday nights. This year, organizers will open a Saturday Belmar Fresh pop up starting June 18 at Pyanoe Plaza on Main Street.
Last year, over 60 curated vendors offered produce, baked goods, handmade jewelry and soap, home décor items and plants.
“We have an amazing family of farms that truly are at the heart of the weekly market,” market manager Meghan Armbrecht said. “Rolling Hills, Thompson Family, Harvest Moon and Farmer Meg- these are people dedicated to making sustainably grown, local produce more accessible. Hough Family Farm provides ethically raised meat and eggs and this year we are incredibly excited to have Eric Morris of Local 130 Seafood joining us with fresh, local seafood. Add to that all of our talented artists and craftspeople… it’s going to be a great summer.”
Last summer Asbury Fresh launched a box-share program, also offered via Rolling Hills. Weekly 10- to 20-pound packages of vegetables and fruits begin at a summer share cost of $400 [less than 15 per week], complete with weekly recipe email blasts.
The Asbury Park Sun is affiliated with the triCityNews newspaper.