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RED BANK: A MOVIE THAT’LL EAT YOU ALIVE

The trailer for ‘Consumed,’ which gets a one-time showing in Red Bank Wednesday night. (Click to enlarge)

HOT-TOPIC_03It hasn’t exactly scorched the box office, and you didn’t see it sweep Sunday night’s Academy Awards. But in the parlance of the Hollywood pitch, Consumed has it all: a mystery you can sink your teeth into, a take-charge female protagonist, a sick kid, a race against time, shadowy conspiracies, and the kind of global armageddon scenario that’s a cornerstone of the modern movie blockbuster.

The threat in this case comes from the insidious presence in food of Genetically Modified Organisms, and when the dramatic feature by director Daryl Wein comes to Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas for a one-time screening on Wednesday, it will make no bones about its anti-GMO stance, and pull no punches about its point of view.

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LINCROFT: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEE-ING

As part of the Social Action Film Series, the documentary feature ‘Wings of Life’ screens for free this Sunday evening at the Unitarian Meetinghouse in Lincroft.

We’ve long looked to “the birds and the bees” as fleet-flying messengers of the Facts of Life — but just as crucial to the maintenance of life on earth are the butterflies, the bats, and the blossoms.

On Sunday, a worship space in Lincroft plans to host a free screening of Wings of Life, a DisneyNature documentary feature narrated by Meryl Streep that explores the often unheralded ways in which some of the world’s most endangered species hold the key to the continued existence of all living things on the planet.

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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 »

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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LITTLE SILVER: VYING FOR TOP TOMATO

tomatoThe stakes are high once again, as three-peat champion (and top-seeded competitor) Michael Mansfield prepares to defend his crown in the 2015 Biggest Tomato Contest, scheduled for Saturday at Sickles Market.

It’s fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated homegrown competitions of the summer season — an annual event that’s been dominated by a single champion whose reign is ripe for a challenge.

This Saturday, August 29 marks the 2015 edition of the Biggest Tomato Contest, sponsored by Sickles Market and hosted for the fourth consecutive year at the garden center of the Little Silver landmark. With weigh-in time at 1 pm, this is scarcely your run-of-the-mill county fair contest, as three-time winner Michael Mansfield is expected to make another bid for dominance and heavyweight bragging rights. The Oceanport resident’s current record holder of 4.4 pounds pasted the competition last year; leaving all other tomato growers to stew for another season (and vow to ketchup this year).

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LITTLE SILVER: SICKLES

SicklesTrifectaJersey-fresh tomatoes, corn and peaches is the main attraction Thursday as Sickles Market celebrates 350 years of farming in the Garden State with a public-welcome community BBQ.  

HOT-TOPIC_03In the event that you missed out on the hoopla last year, New Jersey celebrated its 350th anniversary – and on Thursday, Little Silver’s landmark Sickles Market marks its long agricultural history in the Garden State with a summer BBQ extravaganza that spotlights three colorful guests of honor.

Those welcome visitors are the “fabulous and famous summer trifecta” of Jersey corn, tomatoes and peaches, and between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m., they’ll be the center of attention at a public-welcome event that boasts a full barbecue menu, live music by the Danjos, kids’ activities and a gamut of get-acquainted tasting opportunities by a bevy of local food producers and vendors.

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RED BANK: GET OUT AND STAY OUT

Motor CityLayonne Holmes (right) and the Motor City Revue roar into Sandy Hook as the up-next act in the summer beach concert series. Weather permitting, Tuesday night marks the twice-scheduled debut of Red Bank’s Dog Days of Summer.

rb dogs 061714 6[UPDATE, July 20, 2 p.m. Once again, the Dog Days event is being postponed, this time because of high temperatures, RiverCenter announced. The event is tentatively scheduled to be held Wednesday, July 22, at 6 p.m.]

Gripe all you will about summer traffic, summer crowds, summer expenses: the season for warm-weather diversion can seem especially fleeting when viewed through the frosted panes of our extended polar-vortex winters. And between Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon, we’ve got a whole range of excuses for getting out of the house, beginning with the latest in the 2015 series of Red Bank Dog Days of Summer .

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SEA BRIGHT: INSPIRATION AMONG THE WEEDS

holly hindin 051715Holly Hindin, owner of Holly Jolly Jams. Below, her dandelion jelly being readied for sale. (Photo above by John T. Ward; others by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

dandelion jelly-001Next time you find yourself lamenting a dandelion-dotted lawn, consider the culinary inspiration a jelly chef found in those annoying perennials.

Kyle Goedde sells seasonal vegetables grown at Harvest Moon Farm in Hillsborough at the Sea Bright Farmers Market every Thursday in summer. Next to his booth, Fair Havenite Holly Hindin, of Holly Jolly Jams, sells jams and jellies. Getting off to a chilly and slow start, they had plenty of down time to chat.

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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)

SEA BRIGHT: TO MARKET, TO MARKET

Mrkt_Pic_RadishSome ravishing radishes are among the locally sourced  produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses and other food items on display (and avail. for sale), when the Sea Bright Farmers Market returns for a second season this Thursday, May 7.

Regular readers of redbankgreen know that the people of Sea Bright weren’t about to let a thing like Superstorm Sandy reduce their community to a found-footage footnote in someone’s disaster documentary — and perhaps nothing has signaled the spirit of what we might call Sea Bright Spring than the arrival of the borough’s Farmers Market, the second annual edition of which kicks off this Thursday, May 7.

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FAIR HAVEN: FOR GARDENERS, 2014 IS A WRAP

101714 raevisThe  front walkway at the Raevis house in Fair Haven is decorated with pumpkins grown in the community garden. Below, a bountiful harvest of pumpkins grown on a double plot in the garden. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091314 fhgardenEven with this second coming of lettuce and spinach, rules must be obeyed, and all forms of inner fencing, weed-control sheeting, rakes, spades, hoses and whirligigs are to be removed from the Fair Haven Community Garden by this weekend, closing out another season.

Opinions on how the season went had a lot to do with what was planted and where. The sunnier plots nearest Ridge Road seemed to have a better tomato crop, while the cruciferous vegetables did better in the shadier back areas.

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LOCUST: A FARM DINNER TO SAVE THE FARM

meg pasha farm benefitMeg Paska, Beth Herbruck and Deb Stasi show off some of the produce grown at Paska’s farm. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

HOT-TOPIC_03Look carefully towards Hartshorne Woods as you cross the Oceanic Bridge from Rumson to Middletown, and you may catch a glimpse of something exceedingly rare in our area: a working farm providing local produce and eggs to area families and restaurants.

Meg Paska farms that property, at Seven Arrows East in Locust, but her farm and livestock may not make it through the coming winter. Despite a  successful second growing season at a Community-supported agriculture enterprise that feeds more than 35 area families, Paska is struggling to keep her farm operational, in part because her business partner left unexpectedly last winter.

“His departure was a surprise, and I was left a little bit in a pickle,” Paska tells PieHole. “I’ve held it together this year, but we have taken a real beating. It hasn’t been as productive as it should have been this year because I had to run it by myself.”

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RED BANK: PUMPKIN PANDEMONIUM

100514 rbfarmmktAngus McDougald with his daughter, Jade, at Red Bank Farmers’ Market. Below, Lisa Bagwell among the edible pumpkins from Organic Produce. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

100514 rbfarmmkt3 For those who think the season for fresh produce is over, there are still many vendors showing up at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market to prove them wrong.  It is the perfect time of year to buy fresh apple cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

But squash pumpkins and other  cruciferous vegetables take center stage this time of year.

“I like to simply roast them and eat them,” Lisa Bagwell, of the Certified Organic stand, said of the different varieties pumpkins and squash. Noting the smaller blue hubbard squash, she added: “These are delicious. The gourds, on the other hand, are not delicious.”

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SHREWSBURY: GARDENERS EAT THEIR OWN

091414 shrwsbry gdn feast3Community gardeners celebrating their harvest at the garden, located adjacent to Borough Hall. Below, Pam MacNeill and Maureen Collins in the gazebo. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

091414 shrwsbry gdn feastSipping wine amid tables festooned with bouquets of flowers, the Shrewsbury community gardener’s celebrated the end of the growing season with a potluck dinner recently.

In the gazebo, a table laden with casseroles and salads made from this year’s harvest looked like a picture from a home and garden magazine.

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