LITTLE SILVER: BARN RESTORATION STALLS

parker barns 070915 2No work has been done on the barns at Little Silver’s Parker Homestead in months. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

parker barns 070915 1One year after it began, work to restore three decrepit old barns at the Parker Homestead site in Little Silver has been stalled for months, and may be heading to court.

Neither town officials nor the contractor, Nickles Contracting, would discuss the reason for the inactivity, or even say when the stoppage began, leaving the structures a patchwork of braces and plywood coverings.

“It’s kind of in the hands of our attorneys,” Mayor Bob Neff told redbankgreen, citing the possibility of the matter winding up in litigation for his reticence on the matter.

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LITTLE SILVER: OLD HOUSE TO BE RAZED


benevedis 070915 3
The borough-owned Benevedis house, at the entrance to Sickles Park, was badly damaged when a radiator burst during February’s cold snap, officials say. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Standing as it does next door to a farmhouse that traces its origins to the early 1700s, the so-called Benevedis house in Little Silver might strike passersby as a relic of American agricultural history, too.

Well, it is 112 years old, according to Monmouth County records. Otherwise, though, the borough-owned house at 221 Rumson Road appears to have no historic value, local officials say. It’s also now badly damaged as a result of a leak from a radiator that burst over the winter.

So in keeping with a plan contemplated when the town bought the property nine years ago, the house is coming down to make way for parking, with the reluctant endorsement of a preservationist.

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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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LITTLE SILVER: COOKIE TIN YIELDS GEMS

PH Cobb set A collection of baseball cards from 1909, including two feauring Ty Cobb, found among the possessions of a former Parker family member will be on display Sunday. (Photo above by Liz Hanson. Click to enlarge)

[CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly reported that there may be thousands of baseball cards in the collection. That estimate refers to postcards, not baseball cards.]

By JOHN T. WARD

LS parker 121613 1Sunday may be Flag Day, but at the historic Parker Homestead in Little Silver, it will also be a day for baseball.

Old-time baseball, that is, in the form of a rare set of baseball cards discovered recently in a cookie tin among piles of possessions from the historic house on Rumson Road.

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RED BANK: MARKET OPENS SUNDAY

rb farm mkt 061514 12 rb farm mkt 061514 16A week later than its customary Mother’s Day opening, the Red Bank Farmers’ Market returns Sunday to kick off its 16th run through summer and fall.

Among the returning vendors – but not right away – is the nationally regarded Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck, which recently lost its rights to do curbside business in New York City over permitting issues. The Snail’s return to the farm market was uncertain, but a post on the farm market’s Facebook page says the truck is expected to be back “later this month.”

Pets are no longer allowed at the market, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Galleria, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue.(Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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: RAYRAP PLAN RAPPED FOR SIZE

rb zoning 011515 1Audience members reviewed exhibits during a break in Thursday night’s hearing. Below, a rendering of the eight townhomes proposed for Hudson Avenue. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rayrap hudson 011515After a five-month layover that included meetings with neighbors and extensive revisions, developer Ray Rapcavage returned to the zoning board Thursday with his plans for a greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank.

But the first round of questions from the public indicated that neighbors still consider the project too big.

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RED BANK: BURNHAM, RAPCAVAGE ON AGENDA

rb rapcavage 081614A proposed market and 20 homes at Red Bank’s five corners, above, returns to the zoning board Thursday night. Councilwoman Cindy Burnham, below, also has an application on the agenda. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

burnham 3 010114A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank returns to the zoning board this week, four months after it was pulled back by the developer for revisions.

Also on Thursday night’s agenda: a request by borough Councilwoman Cindy Burnham to build a garage behind her home on Wallace Street.

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RED BANK: RAPCAVAGE REVISES PROPOSAL

rapcavage plan 2 081213 A proposed market, above, at Red Bank’s five corners, seen below, would have two apartments on the second floor instead of commercial space under an amended plan. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rapcavage 081614The developer of a proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank has modified his plan to address concerns of nearby residents, he says.

Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ still calls for 20 homes and a grocery story taking up half of a block bounded by Harding Road, Clay Street and Hudson Avenue.

But two of the residences would now be apartments above the market. And parking for the remaining 18 homes would be accessed via a single driveway, eliminating numerous curb cuts and preserving street parking, he told redbankgreen Wednesday.

“The plans have definitely been improved,” Rapcavage said. “A lot of these elements come from the feedback of people who were kind enough to come and take a look at” the proposal.

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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: PEPPERS, PICKLED AND PACKED

marc dostie 100316Stuffing 50 or so pickled cherry peppers with proscuitto and provolone goes faster with an assist from helpful neighbor Marc Dostie. Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumWe’ve had our crop of cherry peppers from the backyard garden pickling in the refrigerator for a couple weeks now, and decided that it was high time we stuffed them with something to make them even more delicious.

Prosciutto-and-provolone-stuffed cherry peppers sounded like a good idea.

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RED BANK: ECOTOUR FEATURES GREEN IDEAS

092714 ecowalk5Michael Paul Raspanti in his garden. Below, Judy Marlow’s clothes dryer was good for laughs. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

092714 ecowalk7Energy efficiency, organic gardening and rain barrels were the talk of the town on Red Bank’s Green Home Tour Saturday, but composting was the star.

Every home on the four-mile, walkable tour practiced some form of composting, though each with a different method.  Michael Paul Raspanti has a unique underground compost area in his yard on Brown Place, for example, while Lou Di Mento of Alston Court uses an Earth Machine system for his.

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FAIR HAVEN: HARVESTFEST BRINGS ‘EM IN

092714 knollwood harvest7092714 knollwood harvest12Fair Haven reaped another in an annual series of enjoyable Harvestfests at the Knollwood School Saturday. Orange cotton candy, a petting zoo and a contest for the most artistic pumpkin contest set the mood for the day. We’ve got more photos after the jump… (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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RED BANK: HOME, HOME ON THE GREEN

rb marlow 092414Judy Marlow’s 46-foot-long sidewalk garden on Madison Avenue is among the stops on Saturday’s Red Bank Green Home Tour. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

rb eco tour 2014Just to clarify things, it’s not the redbankgreen Home Tour — it’s the Red Bank Green Home Tour, as in a tour of environmentally forward-thinking dwellings located within the borough of Red Bank.

So while your favorite hyperlocal news source hasn’t gotten into the business of conducting open-house showcases, we can definitely get behind the notion of local homeowners who are rethinking the concept of life in the suburbs. And this Saturday, a select group of people in our community will be opening up their houses, yards and gardens to neighbors who’d like to see how ideas like composting, rain collection and solar power are working in a real-life setting.

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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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LITTLE SILVER: KEEPIN’ IT LOCAL FOR PARKER

091314 parkerhouse16 091314 parkerhouse7More than 250 attendees braved drippy tents for a “farm to table’ fundraising dinner at the Parker Homestead in Little Silver Saturday night. The menu, crafted by celebrity chef  David Burke, included New Jersey wines and cheeses, Barnegat bay shellfish and bushels of locally grown vegetables.  The $250-per-plate event benefitted the Parker Homestead – 1665 restoration project and the Monmouth County Historical Society. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

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LITTLE SILVER: SEEDS OF A TOMATO DYNASTY

083014 sickles tomato1083014 sickles tomato3For the third year in a row, Michael Mansfield of Oceanport won the the biggest homegrown tomato contest at the annual Sickles Farm Market weigh-in on Saturday, with a 4-pound, 2-ounce giant.

This time, though, Mansfield was “tickled,” according to his wife, Linda, to finally meet 88-year-old Minnie Zaccaria, right, the Long Branch tomato breeder whose hybridized seeds Mansfield uses to grow his juicy monsters.

First prize was a $100 gift certificate to the Little Silver market. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

RED BANK: SMUT AND WEED AT THE MARKET

082414 rbfarmers mktCorn smut, or huitlacoche,  for sale at the Twin Pond Farm table.   (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

morsels mediumThe Red Bank Farmers’ Market can be counted on as a great source of fresh-picked tomatoes, corn on the cob and sunflowers, all of which and more PieHole found in abundance last Sunday.

And then there were the oddball items, one of which came with an eyebrow-raising name.

“Corn smut is what it’s called,” said Jen from Twin Pond Farm in Howell,  referring to the strange amalgam on the table between us. We looked from her to the container and back, thinking maybe we didn’t hear her correctly. “Corn smut is a fungus and a delicacy that came from some blue Peruvian corn we are growing,” she added.

Returning home, we found recipes for corn smut in a Mexican cookbook, and it is, indeed, considered a delicacy. Used in a quesadilla with cheese, it isn’t that different from a mushroom.

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RED BANK: HEARING OPENS ON MARKET PLAN

rb rayrap 082114 4Audience members reviewing the site plan for a market, condos and townhomes at Red Bank’s five corners, detailed below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rayrap 082114 1 A proposed greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank began what could be an extended series of hearings Thursday night.

The zoning board heard descriptive testimony for developer Ray Rapcavage’s project, dubbed ‘Renaissance Village,’ which calls for a two-story commercial building on Harding Road, 10 condos on Clay Street and 10 townhouses on Hudson Avenue.

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RED BANK: HEARING SET FOR MARKET & HOMES

Developer Ray Rapcavage’s plans call for a market, above, as well as condos and townhomes at Red Bank’s five corners, below. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

rb rapcavage 081614Almost a year after it was first reported by redbankgreen, an ambitious plan for a greenmarket and 20 homes on the edge of downtown Red Bank is about to get a public airing.

Developer Ray Rapcavage’s project, calling for a two-story market, 10 condos and 10 townhouses bounded by Harding Road, Hudson Avenue and Clay Street, is scheduled to go before the zoning board Thursday night.

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RED BANK: THE JUICIEST PART OF SUMMER

rbms watermelon 081414 rb peach 1Ah, to be a kid again: off for the whole summer, enjoying the warm sunshine, not giving a thought to… YIKES! Like some sort of devious enticement, this watermelon was growing in flowerbed near the entrance to the Red Bank Middle School as seen last week.

Meanwhile, the juiciest stretch of summer is also evident in the peaches growing outside an office at the corner of Broad Street and Irving Place in Red Bank, as seen above right and below.

School reopens September 4, by the way.  (Click to enlarge)rb peach 2

RED BANK: MARKET BEGINS DOG-FREE ERA

rb farm dogs 051213 2A ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market becomes the rule with this Sunday’s edition of the 15-year-old open-air emporium.

After ordering the ban a week ago in response to a report of a dog urinating on food for sale, inspectors from the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1 this week informed the owners of the Galleria, which hosts the market, that restricting dogs to areas where food is not displayed would be permitted. But the idea was “deemed not to be workable,” MCRHC director Dave Henry tells redbankgreen. So now, let those puppies… sleep in. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: DOG BAN IRKS FARM MARKETERS

rb farm dogs 061514 2A ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market appears to have been triggered by a complaint about a dog urinating on a watermelon, the mayor says. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

[See Update at end of article]

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A sudden ban on dogs at the Red Bank Farmers’ Market caught vendors and local officials by surprise Sunday.

The ban, by the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission #1, appears to have outraged some shoppers, who told vendors they would not return unless their dogs were welcome at the market, which is held weekly in a parking lot at the Galleria at Red Bank on West Front Street.

News of the ban came within 24 hours of reports that the health commission warned vendors at the Red Bank Community Block Party on Drs. James Parker Boulevard that they would be shut down if they didn’t comply with agency rules, Mayor Pasquale Menna tells redbankgreen.

In neither case had the borough administration gotten any communication about the actions from the commission, which Menna called “unacceptable behavior.”

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