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Summer is almost here and I can practically taste my first, fresh picked Jersey Tomato.  My vegetable garden is finally planted.   I’ve got tons of herbs, yellow and red peppers, cucumbers, squash, and four different types of my precious tomatoes.  Nothing to do now, but wait.  I hate the waiting. The picture above is a sample of our harvest two years ago.  The heirlooms that season were amazing.  Last year with the Early Blight outbreak, we really didn’t have much of a harvest which broke my heart.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a great season with delicious results.

If you’re not into growing your own veggies, not to worry.  It’s Farmer’s Market season and there are plenty of places to grab some locally grown produce.  This month, Rachel Bozek from Essex County will deliver all of the details for Farmers Market fanatics in Essex county and we’ll be featuring recipes all summer using Jersey Fresh ingredients to give you plenty of ideas for making the most of it.  Tom Kovacevich, our resident produce expert,  will be sharing some inside information on fresh Jersey Blueberries (I can’t wait) and we’ll be paying a visit to a very special farm in Hunterdon County that grows food for local food pantries through their volunteer driven “America’s Grow a Row” organization.  I know you will find their story and their accomplishments as inspirational as I do.

In honor of Father’s Day, we will be running a special giveaway starting Friday June 4th sponsored by CSN Stores which has over 200 online stores.  We will be giving away an $80 Gift Certificate to use on any one of their stores.   Now, of course, I am always thinking food, so if Dad is dreaming of a new grill or smoker, take a look at their selection on www.cookware.com.

I am very excited to introduce you to our new contributors who joined the Jersey Bites family this month. John and Lisa Howard Fusco will be covering the food scene in Ocean County.  John and Lisa are well acquainted with the world of food blogging.   They have their own very successful blog called John and Lisa are Eating in South Jersey which has been mentioned in the New York Times, New Jersey Monthly Magazine and many other publications.   Lisa has written articles and reviews for South Jersey magazine as well as for Ed Hitzel’s Restaurant Newsletter and Hitzel’s Restaurant Magazine.   Both John and Lisa have an amazing sense of adventure when it comes to food and I know we will all enjoy hearing about their excursions.

Last month, we introduced you to our new “This is New Jersey” feature which got a great reception from many proud residents.  We will continue sharing these special lifestyle images and welcome your submissions.   We will also be looking for your input for our new events calendar that we will be installing this month, so if you learn of a food related event going on in your neck of New Jersey, send us an email with the details and we’ll get it listed.

And, finally, just a quick reminder that Jersey Bites has two homes, one here and one on Facebook.  So if you are one of the 400 + million FB fans, hop on over to the Jersey Bites Facebook Page and  “Like” us. (Oh, I so miss the “Fan” ability of Facebook pages < sigh>).  We love to get your feedback on restaurants and recipes, and Facebook just seems to be the platform people use to share this info.

That’s it for now folks.  Thanks once again for dropping by.  We appreciate your readership and your input, so don’t be shy.

Deborah Smith
Founder and Executive Editor, JerseyBites.com.

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