RED BANK: FARMERS RETURN TO MARKET

Among the myriad culinary and craft-shopping options available throughout the Green on Mother’s Day is one that bristles with green freshness: the Red Bank Farmer’s Market, above, which reopens Sunday for its six-month season in the parking lot of the Galleria of Red Bank, at West Front Street and Shrewsbury Avenue. The open-air market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through mid-November. (Click to enlarge)

SLEDGER: FAKE-FARMER LAW NEEDS TEETH

A recently enacted state law aimed at culling ‘fake farmer‘ landowners “will eventually give local tax officials the power to force out fakers,” but doesn’t go far enough, the Star-Ledger says in an editorial published Friday.

Championed by state Senator and Red Bank resident Jen Beck – who won her seat in 2007 after a battling an opponent she tagged as a fake farmer – the reform bill signed by Governor Chris Christie this month goes too easy on wealthy individuals, developers and owners of office parks who took advantage of the old law to duck some $95 million a year in local taxes, the Sledger says.

Read More »

RED BANK: GARDENERS FINALLY DIG IN

Members of Junior Girl Scout Troop 1556 working the soil on the first day of planting Saturday. Below, Linda Mulhausen stakes a plot. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

From the intricacies of composting – weeds in or out? – and soil amendments to the development of a satisfactory water plan, the Red Bank Community Garden has finally come into being. And there’s still room for more gardeners.

After political battling last year over where to site the garden, gardeners got oriented last Tuesday night, meeting with RBCG committee members and several local experts who have been part of the two-and-a-half-year process of establishing the facility.

On Saturday, under bright spring skies, the urban farmers tilled soil for the first time.

Read More »

WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

Regarding last week’s Where, which showed a tumbledown red barn, reader Fred Gill wrote:

Looks like the old Red Barn on Newman Springs Road, Red Bank almost to Broad Street. Backs to the railroad tracks and if it is that site then they use to have weekly auctions there in the early 1960’s.

Read More »

A WAGGING, PLANTING, ROCKING WEEKEND

Is veganism “like being a nun at an orgy”? “Vegucated,” a documentary screening in Lincroft Sunday, explores that question and others. The Wag, below, is at the Red Bank Public Library Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 25

RED BANK: Aaron Lewis, formerly of Staind, is on tour solo for the first time and will stop at Count Basie for a set of new tunes and old favorites. Show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $29.50, $39.50, or $55. 99 Monmouth Street.

RED BANK: Bob Burger, New Jersey singer-songwriter, returns to the Walt Street Pub for an 8 p.m. set. 180 Monmouth Street. 

RUMSON: Pat Roddy, singer-songwriter from Belmar, will be performing a free set at Molly Maguire’s Black Point Inn at 10 p.m. 132 East River Road.

Read More »

RUMSON: TAKEOUT PLACE REPLACES OLD DELI

Keeping it local, the sandwiches at Locals Creative Fresh Takeout are named for local places, heroes and legends. Below, returnable baskets customers can use to tote lunches to the beach. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A new lunch spot has quietly popped up in the former home of a beloved Rumson deli.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout soft-launched January 7, offering a menu of sandwiches to-go in a space where Rumsonites lined up for decades at Butler’s Deli, which closed in October.

Read More »

WEEKENDER: HOME SHOW, RECOVERY, SATIRE

The Daily Show political correspondent John Oliver brings his mordant wit to the Basie, and former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand is at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional to to discuss his book, below. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, January 11

LINCROFT: The Robert J. Collins Arena at Brookdale Community College hosts the 23rd annual expo of home improvement contractors, vendors and manufacturers, a three-day event showcasing everything from spas to sponges, and every helpful/healthful thing between. Hours are from 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 11 to 8 Saturday, 11 to 5 Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 kids 12-17, under 12 are free. Newman Springs Road/Route 520.

RUMSON: Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, paralyzed in a game, talks about his effort to recover, as described in his book, ‘Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life’ (available at River Road Books). 7 to 10 p.m. 74 Ridge Hill Road.

Read More »

LITTLE SILVER: COASTAL CHOW OF THE PAST

Author Karen Schnitzspahn with her latest book, and some of her earlier works, below. (Photos by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By REBECCA DESFOSSE

For Karen Schnitzspahn, food isn’t just about textures, tastes and smells – it also has deep cultural and historical aspects to it.

The Little Silver writer explores these facets of food in her latest book, Jersey Shore Food History: Victorian Feasts to Boardwalk Treats.

Complete with recipes such as “Mrs. Mulford’s Clam Fritters” and “Jesse Eigenrauch’s Butterscotch Pudding,” and chock full of photographs, the book dishes on food from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, all along the coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May.

“It’s not just about the pizza, the hot dogs, and the saltwater taffy,” says Schnitzspahn. “It’s the whole cultural thing – the cultural influence and how certain foods became popular.”

Read More »

SHREWSBURY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Monday night’s council meeting, convening at 7:30 p.m., was adjourned in time for  attendees to be home to watch the 49ers take on the Bears at 8:30 p.m. – or “Dancing with the Stars” if that’s more your taste.

Louis Ferraro’s contract as police chief was approved unanimously. The specifics of the contract were not discussed at the meeting and were not included in the resolution passed at the meeting.

Read More »

WEEKEND: HENRY, HOCKEY, & HEEBIE JEEBIES

Staged by Michael Sexton of the Shakespeare Society, the Bard’s Henry V opens a three-week run at Red Bank’s Two River Theater Friday night. (Photo by T Charles Erickson. Click to enlarge)

We’ve got a solid block of entertaining and educational diversions available on the Green this weekend. Getting right to it…

Thursday, October 25

7 p.m. – Middletown Public Library will host a free wedding planning workshop and presentation by Rachael Citron of Glass Slipper Wedding and Events. Q&A session will follow. Register online or call 732-671-3700×320. 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown.

7:30 p.m. – Executive Hockey Editor for the Associated Press and Fair Haven resident Tim Sullivan will present details on this year’s Eastern Conference Finals between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. Hosted by River Road Books, the event takes place at the Nauvoo Grill Club. Contact River Road Books to reserve: 732-747-9455. 121 Fair Haven Road, Fair Haven.

Read More »

HIDDEN IN RED BANK, A CHEF’S PARADISE

Jimmy DiBartolo, below, orients his business toward the restaurant trade, but has draws the occasional individual shopper, too. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In terms of kitchen provisions, it may be Red Bank’s best-kept secret.

Tucked behind the Colorest art supply store on Newman Springs Road, its odd name all but lost on the sign out front, DiBartolo’s Quick Stop Food & Paper sometimes elicits audible gasps when first-timers stumble into its parking lot. Not because of the menacing-looking electrical substation it faces, that is, but the unexpected bins of brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables on display.

redbankgreen was present recently when a woman entered DiBartolo’s warehouse store through the wind curtain that covers the front door and cooed, to no one in particular, “I had no idea this place was back here.”

“We get that a lot,” says owner Jimmy DiBartolo.

Read More »

A POT OF SAUCE IN ONE FAT TOMATO

Natale Siclare, garden manager at Sickles Market in Little Silver, calls out the weight – 3.26 pounds – of the winner of the store’s annual biggest-tomato contest Saturday. The tomato was home-grown by Mike Mansfield of Oceanport. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

IN SHREWSBURY, CULTIVATING COMMUNITY

Della Benevides stakes a tomato plant in one of the “Plant a Row” plots designated for the needy. Below, a hot chili pepper. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

Fair Haven’s had one for decades. Tinton Falls has had one since 2009, and Red Bank, after much baring of teeth, appears about to finally get one.

Community gardens have become widespread as places where neighbors can kneel side-by side in the dirt and cultivate homegrown veggies together. Now, Shrewsbury has joined  the trend with a month-old mini-farm that is already yielding eggplant, peppers and more.

“This was our whole point, that it improves the quality of life in the community,” said Maureen Collins, President of the Shrewsbury Garden Club.

Read More »

TRADE YA: SWAPPING HOMEMADE FOODS

Food swap organizer Wendy Weiner (right) samples some of April Lippet-Faczak’s hand-milled oats, which were served with toppings such as molasses, chopped walnuts and fresh bananas. Below, Lois Blake’s chimichurri. (Photos by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

There’s a quiet thrill in making something from scratch, a reassuring sense of independence that comes from throwing together homegrown ingredients to produce something tastier and cheaper than store-bought items.

This is one of the underpinnings of food swapping, which has now made its way to Monmouth County.

Wendy Weiner of Little Silver was first introduced to the concept of swapping when she read an article in the summer 2012 issue of Edible Jersey magazine. A group known as the South Jersey Swappers learned it from a group in Brooklyn, and the trail apparently leads all the way to England.

“As soon as I read it, I said, ‘we totally have to do this,’ ” said Weiner.

Swapping is an easy way to foster sustainability and make participants more “dependent on community neighbors rather than the government,” she said.

Read More »

A FRESH APPROACH AT LUNCH BREAK

In addition to its customary slate of hot meals, clothing, social services referrals and job counseling, Red Bank’s Lunch Break is now distributing fresh produce and flowers grown by local gardeners.

The free Gardeners’ Market is open from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday through September. Growers who wish to contribute  are asked to drop off their produce on Monday afternoons or early Tuesday morning at Lunch Break’s home, on Drs. James Parker Boulevard. For more information, call 732-747-8577. (Click to enlarge)

FARM MARKET CULTIVATES A RELAXED VIBE

Artist Matthew Becker comes to town each Sunday to sell his paintings. Below, mushrooms from ‘the Mushroom Capital of the World.’ (Photo by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge)

By STACIE FANELLI

A mushroom buffet, freshly picked callaloo and a vegan lunch truck: all are staples for Red Bank Farmers Market customers, many of whom trek dozens of miles week for these delicacies, as well as clothing and art.

Everything, it seems, is homemade, handcrafted, passed down for generations or grown on a farm owned by someone who spent his life savings to buy it. Everything has a story.

Matthew Becker, an artist whose full-time job is running a karma yoga practice, comes every Sunday from Point Pleasant, even though he doesn’t do a tremendous amount of business selling his work. He uses the time to paint and to soak in the market atmosphere.

“I like to spread good vibes around for people,” he said, pointing out the “chill-out trance music” playing from his speakers in the parking lot of the Galleria at Red Bank. “It’s my most relaxing day of the week.”

Read More »

COW PUT DOWN AFTER RIVER PLAZA ACCIDENT

One of the two cows that got loose in lower Middletown early Tuesday. Her half-sister was destroyed by police after she was struck by a car. (Photo courtesy of Mary McGrath. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

One cow was struck by a car and had to be euthanized after she and her half-sister wandered away from a farm in the River Plaza section of Middletown early Tuesday morning, police said.

The accident occurred at about 12:20 a.m. on West Front Street near Chris’ Deli, police said.

The sight of the second cow on the loose in a residential development near the Navesink River caused a stir among neighbors.

Read More »

KEEPING BUCK AND VIOLET COOL AND CLEAN

3:20 p.m.: Pudgie Conroy feeding Violet, a calf, at Sheep’s Run farm on Rumson Road in Rumson. (Photos by Connor ‘Solstice’ Soltas. Click to enlarge)

“Okay, Stinky. That’s it.”

The one-year-old calf’s name is Violet. But to Pudgie Conroy, a Middletown native turned full-time stable tenant in Rumson, calling her bovine charge “Stinky” – not to mention “muddy” and  “sweaty” – on the year’s hottest afternoon yet works just as well.

Said Conroy, “I feed Violet once a day, but I’ve been cutting her back little-by-little because she’s a year old now and doesn’t need as much.”

Once Violet’s milk bottle is drained, Conroy heads to the stables to shower Buck, a horse.
Read More »

FARM MARKET BACK IN BIZ

One of Red Bank’s culinary gems, the Farmers’ Market at the Galleria at Red Bank, returns for its second outing of the season this Sunday with more vendors than at any time in the past: 45, according to George Sourlis, whose family owns the Galleria.

“We’re packing them in tighter, with some new vendors we hope will be successful, and just hoping for good weather,” Sourlis tells redbankgreen. And no, he says, the market won’t be displaced this season by the family’s plans to erect a parking garage on the site, on West Front Street at Shrewsbury Avenue.

The market is open every Sunday from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. into mid-November and features locally grown produce and flowers. (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK GARDEN PLAN NEEDS WATERING

A narrow borough-owned lot with a disused pumping station on it needs water access before it can be transformed into a community garden, town officials say. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The battle over a proposed Red Bank community garden abated Wednesday night when its main proponent appeared to accept to an offer of a vacant East Side lot as its location.

Now, it’s just a matter of finding water.

Read More »

PITCHFORKS OUT OVER COMMUNITY GARDEN

With organizer Cindy Burnham holding up a photo, Annie Jones argues for allowing residents to garden a 900-square-foot strip of borough property at Maple Cove. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Community garden proponents assailed the Red Bank council Wednesday night for what they termed its “because-I-said-so” opposition to the creation of a farm plot at a borough-owned Navesink River site.

Revisiting the council’s 2011 rejection of a proposal for a pilot garden behind the borough library parking lot on West Front Street, residents challenged elected officials to articulate their opposition to the plan, and left as frustrated as they were going in.

“What we have a hard time understanding is that we haven’t really heard a good reason why not,” Locust Avenue’s Kathleen Gasenica told the governing body.

“It’s very simple,” replied borough Administrator Stanley Sickels. “The council doesn’t share your vision for a garden there.”

“That doesn’t really answer the question,” Gasenica said.

Read More »

ON THE AGENDA: PITCHFORKS, TURF & MORE

Proponents of a Red Bank community garden try for another bite of the apple with their request to farm a portion of the public library property, above. (Click to enlarge)

The agenda for the bimonthly meeting of Red Bank’s council Wednesday night is a busy one.

On the docket:

• Red Bank RiverCenter comes in for approval of its annual budget. No details have yet been provided. Last year’s spending plan, like the two that preceded it, totaled $512,000. The business promotion agency, which manages the borough’s state-chartered Special Improvement District, is funded by a surtax on commercial properties within a defined zone and gets no money from borough coffers.

Read More »