MIDDLETOWN: SHARING SUMMER’S BOUNTY

fresh start 081016donegoodlogoChildren of five families from the River Plaza section of Middletown have been using their summer vacation to grow, and collect from neighbors, produce that they donate weekly to Red Bank’s Lunch Break.

Dubbing their effort “Fresh Start,” the members of the Brett, Carson, Passo, Pipercic and Grissom families have delivered more than 270 pounds of fresh produce to the 33-year-old free kitchen.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

RED BANK: SENIORS GET DOWN AND DIRTY

rb seniors garden 071416 2rb seniors garden 071416 1Despite wilting heat and humidity, a group of seniors tended the newly installed raised-bed garden purchased by Councilwoman Cindy Burnham for the borough Red Bank Senior Citizens Center Thursday morning.

At right, 98-year-old Edith Blake checks the aroma on a sage leaf from the planter, where seniors have also planted tomatoes, taragon and basil. The planter is set up beside a picnic table so seniors can garden while seated, said Burnham. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: LITTLE KITCH ORGANIC DREAMS BIG

kitch 092815 8Kitch Organic partners Rick Ivone, left, and Joe Durso beneath the pyramidal skylight in their new Leighton Avenue eatery, which features its own garden along Catherine Street, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kitch 092815 3With a skylight reminiscent of the Louvre illuminating the impeccable interior and a design-conscious herb-and-vegetable garden out back, the new Kitch Organic restaurant on Red Bank’s West Side would stand out in any town.

But the fact that it replaces a liquor store remembered without fondness for serving minors while the occasional hooker milled about outside adds a dimension of change to a project that its owner hope will have all kinds of reach: social, economic, and more than anything else, nutritional.

Yeah, Rick Ivone and Joe Durso are thinking big. And they’ve put their money on the table to make it happen.

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RUMSON: BLITHEWALD GARDEN IN PHOTOS

rumson blithewald 1 rumson blithewald 3The April 20 fire at the Rumson mansion known as Blithewald, which was undergoing extensive redecoration for use as a designer showcase in the monthlong VNA Stately Homes by the Sea fundraiser, occurred the same morning that landscapers had put the finishing touches on a yard design called the Secret Garden.

Red Bank-based Siciliano Landscape, which oversaw the project with a landscaper from Marlboro, has posted a gallery of before-and-after photos of the garden, along with a link for those wishing to donate to the VNA. The now-canceled home tour was to be the nonprofit organization’s largest fundraising event of the year. (Photos courtesy of Siciliano Landscape. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: ORGANIC TAKEOUT GOOD TO GO

kitch organic 090414 1A pyramidal glass skylight and other touches would transform the former deli and liquor store shown below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

kitch organic 090414 2Red Bank’s zoning board gave unanimous approval Thursday night to a plan by Kitch Organic to turn a vacant neighborhood deli and liquor store on the West Side into an organic take-out restaurant.

The new business will deliver pre-ordered meals, allow for pick-ups but offer no onsite dining at the former home of Best Liquors, co-owner Rick Ivone told the board.

The dowdy one-story building, at the corner of Leighton Avenue and Catherine Street, will also get a a makeover that includes a glass pyramid skylight, extensive plantings and an herb garden out back.

“Aesthetically and functionally, it will be far superior to what’s there now,” planning consultant James Higgins told the board.

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RED BANK: FROM ROOF TO ROOF-OF-MOUTH

Jamian LaViola grabs some herbs from the rooftop garden over the restaurant’s kitchen. (Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

At Jamian LaViola’s eponymous Red Bank bar and restaurant, Jamian’s, patrons are apt to arrive on beach cruisers or skateboards, and if they come by car, there’s a good chance there’ll be a surfboard or two strapped to the roof.

That neighborhood vibe now extends to Jamian’s menu, with some produce coming from as nearby as a small garden atop the Monmouth Street restaurant and LaViola’s backyard garden in Navesink.

This summer LaViola is harvesting greens like romaine and frisee from the home garden and using them in the kitchen.

“We just brought in some lobster, and we’re making a fresh lobster salad tonight,” he told redbankgreen last Friday. “Will I use some of my fresh greens for that? Yeah, absolutely because it will make it just that much better.”

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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)

FLUTTERLY DELIGHTFUL

In this recent video from Sickles Market in Little Silver, gardener and bird lover Fran Waldmann gives a tour of her Red Bank backyard, crafted not only for maximum floral beauty but to serve as a magnet for her beloved hummingbirds.

CHILDREN’S VEGETABLE GARDEN BURGLARIZED

authorities3The crime reports below were provided by the Red Bank Police Department for the period of June 24 to July 1, 2011. This information is unedited.

Criminal Mischief occurring between 6-27-11 and 6-28-11 at Monmouth Street-business. Victim reported that unknown person(s) broke window in business. Ptl. Michael Zadlock.

Theft occurring at West Bergen Place between 6-28-11 and 6-29-11. For the past several months’ young children of the Head Start Program have been planting vegetables and maintaining them in an enclosed pad locked area behind the building.

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LITTLE SILVER GARDEN NEARING COMPLETION

ls-memorialOrganizers expect Little Silver’s Memorial Garden to be completed by December. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

For the first couple of weeks of October, members of Little Silver’s Shade Tree Commission would gather daily to watch the yellow bucket trucks and fork lifts turn dirt and move materials around the tract opposite Prospect Avenue from the fire department.

“We’d meet there for coffee every morning,” said Linda Goff, the commission’s chairwoman, “just to make sure everything was done right and going smoothly.”

So far so good, Goff reports. And by the beginning of December, she expects the long-awaited Memorial Garden to be unveiled to the public.

“Probably in time for the first snowstorm,” she joked.

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RECOVERY FOR A ROOFTOP GARDEN

riverview-garden1Patients are allowed to get their hands dirty at the rejuvenated rooftop garden at Riverview Medical Center. (Photos by Peter Lindner; click to enlarge)

riverview-garden3

It sat idle for years, a tangle of ivy and weeds bound by three brick walls and one of glass.

A rooftop deck created on the fifth floor of Red Bank’s Riverview Medical Center had fallen into disuse, and then a state of neglect.

But a recreational therapist, Jo Ellen Ross, saw in it the potential to create an environment conducive to recovery for patients of the hospital’s rehabilitation program, says rehab manager Brian Walch.

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