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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A SMOOTHIE IN A BOWL

020316freshica4The Acai PB&J bowl from Freshica’s Juice Bar, owned by Jessica Dalmedo, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

020316freshica3It might seem counter-intuitive to put a juice bar in the same building as a luncheonette known for its porkroll, egg, and cheese sandwiches, but Jessica Dalmedo, owner of Freshica’s Juice Bar says it works.

Sharing space with Fairwinds Deli on River Road in Fair Haven for almost four years, Freshica’s counter takes up a portion of the dining area. At lunchtime, you’re likely to see a construction worker downing a sub as you are a gray-flannel suit or someone coming from the gym. Less expected: the number of children from the preschool next door taking sippy-cup-sized swigs of kale- and spinach-infused juices.

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FAIR HAVEN: POND DEAL ON COUNCIL AGENDA

schwenker's 012315Schwenker’s Pond, on River Road. The long-vacant Doremus house, below, which overlooked the pond, was demolished in late 2013. Two new homes are planned for the site. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

doremus-houseAfter years of limbo, a deal that would transfer ownership of Schwenker’s Pond in Fair Haven to the borough is expected to be sealed Monday night.

On the council’s agenda is a proposed developer’s agreement that Mayor Ben Lucarelli said will add to the town’s waterfront and open-space holdings.

“I’m of the belief that you only get one chance to make a piece of property public,” Lucarelli told redbankgreen last week.

Well, in this case, two.

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RED BANK: FLAVOR’S ORGANIC FOR KITCH CHEF

110515kichorganic6Kitch Organic chef Jennifer Freeman stirs a mixture of ground turkey and vegetables while Liam Splane cuts down a flat of wheat grass.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

110515kitchorganic8In the exquisite, state-of-the-art kitchen at Kitch Organic on Leighton Avenue in Red Bank, the cooks are busy preparing some extraordinary recipes.

All the food here is gluten-free and certified-organic, but that isn’t what makes it exceptional. Health benefits aside, chef Jenny Freeman is producing meals chock-full of flavor — and she’s doing it with home-grown and carefully sourced ingredients.

The 42-year-old chef went to the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York “to learn how to help heal people through food,” she tells PieHole. “I wanted to learn good nutrition and use it in my cooking.”  Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: COUPLE’S FUTURE COMES TO PASS

canyon pass 092215 1Derek DeBree, seen below with his wife, Genevieve, gutted the building’s interior, removing walls and leaving much of the wood exposed.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

drew & genevieve debree 092215 1

From outside, except for the rustic sign on the lawn, 733 River Road in Fair Haven still looks like the cottage-style house it was before it became a dentist’s office 25 years ago.

Step through the Dutch front door, though, and you’re transported to retail space that could be on the side of a mountain in Wyoming or Vermont, with raw wood floors and ceiling joists summoning a deeply rustic vibe inside the vinyl-sided structure.

The address is now home to Canyon Pass Provisions, a week-old clothing shop created by a couple who abandoned the 9-to-5 life in order to make a new life for themselves and their two kids — without leaving the town they love, they say.

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RED BANK: TOUR TOUTS ECO EFFORTS

092714 ecowalk4Michael Paul Raspanti shows off his eco-friendly organic garden during last year’s Green House Tour in Red Bank.  (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge.)

On a first-autumn-weekend that also features Shore Paddle and the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, it might be easy to overlook a quiet, grass-roots endeavor that opens some of the town’s “greenest” gardens and homes to public perusal.

But as the borough Environmental Commission points out, the public-welcome happening that’s all about the community’s future has grown by leaps and bounds since last year’s inaugural Green House Tour.

Scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m.to 6 p.m., the newly rebranded Red Bank Garden and Eco Tour offers a self-guided excursion designed to “educate the local population on the individual and environmental benefits of incorporating sustainable living practices, and to provide residents an opportunity to build and grow together,” in the words of commission chair Frank Corrado.

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RED BANK: GIVE OR TAKE, IT’S ALL FREE

242 Spring st. rbGet a taste of the gift economy on Spring Street in Red Bank Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

free market logoGot stuff lying around the house or workplace that you’d like to give a new home?

Or are you in the market for stuff, and don’t mind if it’s used?

The folks behind a venture called Treasure Circle will hold an event in Red Bank on Saturday that may be of interest.

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RED BANK: CHURCH CONVERSION COMPLETED

211 broad 072815 5Space beneath the steeple, complete with spiral staircase, is now an office. The new First Church of Christ, Scientist worship space, below, is a fraction of the original size (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb church 072815Red Bank’s First Church of Christ, Scientist has a new home, just off to the side of its former one, and some new neighbors.

This week, and right on schedule, lawyers, healthcare providers, a ribbon manufacturer and a boudoir photographer started moving into 211 Broad Street, the steepled structure that was a church for 62 years. Read More »

FAIR HAVEN: NOW CRAVIN’ SPROUTS

071615seedtosprout4Vegan pastries, grab ‘n go salads, kale wraps and smoothies are a few of the items customers line up for. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

071615seedtosprout5In a space formerly home to a luncheonette inspired by the “grease trucks” of the Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, customers looking like models in a Lululemon fashion show lined up recently for grilled avocado sandwiches, seed salads and millet-and-flax toast with coconut butter.

Yes, there’s been a complete 180 at the former Cravin Haven in Fair Haven, a beef-heavy luncheonette that closed in January after just a year of operation. The space, in the River Road shopping center anchored by an Acme supermarket, is now a strictly vegan restaurant and juice bar called Seed to Sprout.

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FARMERS MARKETS: WHERE TO GET FRESH

061815sbmkt1At the Sea Bright farmers market, Meg Paska sells locally grown produce and flowers from Seven Arrows Farm, while the Holly Hill Farm table, below, offers Rumson-grown seedlings and produce.  (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

061815sbmkt2Options for finding locally grown produce on the Greater Red Bank Green doubled with the addition last year of a farmers’ market in the Sea Bright municipal parking lot on Thursdays.

For local shoppers, that means more variety. While both Sea Bright and the Red Bank Farmers’ Market at the Galleria on summer and autumn Sundays are dependable for farm-grown veggies, there are some characteristics that differentiate the two.

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RED BANK: CINNAMON SNAIL, IN GLOSSY COLOR

062214 cinnamonsnaildonuts A sample of pastries from Adam Sobel’s Cinnamon Snail food truck and copies of his new cookbook, ‘Street Vegan,’ below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

051215 sobelstreetveganGet out your aprons, Cinnamon Snail fans: Adam Sobel, four-time winner of the Vendy award for food trucks has penned a collection of recipes and stories that will keep you chained to your stoves.

While awaiting the truck’s expected return to the Red Bank Farmers Market, Snail-starved disciples wondering what just goes into the making of “Mexican Hot Chocolate Glazed Twists” can now take a shot at it themselves.

Sobel shares his secrets in an often-funny, non-preachy way, with chapter after delectable chapter of addictive recipes in “Street Vegan,” all while eschewing animal products.

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LITTLE SILVER TO OPEN COMMUNITY GARDEN

ls garden 051315 1Little Silver gets down and dirty Saturday with the opening of its community garden, located on Harrison Avenue behind the Parker Homestead on the approach to Sickle’s Market. With a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m., the borough joins neighboring towns of Fair Haven, Red Bank and Shrewsbury as a place with a centralized growing spot for its residents.

Plot holders are charged $50 for the season, and four ADA-compliant plots were still available earlier this week. For more information, email littlesilvercommunitygardens [at] gmail.com. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

FIVE JOIN MONMOUTH CONSERVATION BOARD

mcf+-+CHRISS-LANDING-seagulls-tinaThe foundation is in the process of acquiring the 15-acre Chris’s Landing in River Plaza. Below, Meredyth R. Armitage. (Photo below by Tina Colella. Click to enlarge)

Press release from the Middletown-based Monmouth Conservation Foundation.

Meredyth R. ArmitageMonmouth Conservation Foundation, the non-profit organization that collaboratively has preserved more than 22,500 acres of open space and farmland throughout Monmouth County, is pleased to announce five individuals have joined the organization’s Board of Trustees: Meredyth R. Armitage, Paul R. Brown, Ph.D., Mai Cleary, Mark Forrest Gilbertson, and Bob Sickles.

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RED BANK: WEST SIDE TO GET PHARMACY

224-226 Shrews 040615The facade of the approved proposed three-story structure, shown above in an architect’s sketch, replaced an earlier version, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

224-245 shrews 031615Three weeks after it was panned by planning board members for sticking out like a sore thumb, a pharmacy proposed for Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank won approval Monday night.

The yet-to-be-named, independently owned pharmacy, which its owner said will sell medical products only, got the go-ahead after a redesign that replaced a proposed contemporary facade with with a more traditional one.

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RED BANK: FIRST TROUT OF THE SEASON

rb trout 040415 1 rb trout 040415 2James Tulley of Asbury Park shows off his catch from the first day of trout fishing at Red Bank’s Mohawk Pond Saturday morning. “All the guys come out and laugh and joke and get in some fishing,” said Tulley, who stops at the pond every year on opening day.

The the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife does an annual restocking of the pond with trout. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)