Since the 1600’s, when peaches were first grown in New Jersey, the ‘fairest fruit of summer’ has been gaining fans. Yellow, white, flat “donut” and nectarines have been eaten raw, grilled, baked in pies and cobblers and preserved for the seasons without them through canning, freezing and turning into jellies. With consumers increasingly nutrition-conscious, peaches are seen as not only juicy and delicious, but also nutritious. A medium-size peach has only 35 calories, with 2.6 grams of fiber, 333 mg of potassium, antioxidants Vitamins A & C and other important vitamins and minerals.
Now, Jersey-Fresh peaches are getting their just attention, celebrated with Peach Parties all over the state, at community farmers markets, on-farm markets, restaurants and supermarkets, starting in late July and running throughout August, officially proclaimed “Jersey Fresh Peach Month.”
Kicking off the Peach Party season, July 22-25, is the annual Peach Festival, held during the Gloucester County 4-H Fair. Following a 28-year tradition, last year’s lovely Peach Queen will crown a new one, selected from several contestants in different age groups. Winners from each age group make up the queen’s court, chosen on Friday evening July 23. Leading into the parade of lovely contestants, at 7 pm, will be the Secretary of Agriculture’s awarding of the Governor’s Cup for the best “box,” selected from among the state’s commercial peach growers and packers, judged by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Quality Grading Inspectors. Over the next two days will be the annual peach bake-off competition, Saturday, July 24th, and the Little Mister and Miss Peach Blossom Parade for kids, Sunday, July 25th.
Let the Peach Parties Begin–variations on the Theme
Each Peach Party will be slightly different at each community farmers market, styled by the creative efforts of the market managers. At every market will be Jersey Fresh Peach banners; peach recipe booklets, compiled from New Jersey’s finest restaurants; brochures on the care and handling of peaches and more.
Markets include Woodbury, Jamesburg, Hunterdon Land Trust, Flemington; Downtown Milburn, Salem
Collingswood, Ramsey , Nutley, Bernardsville, Highland Park, Chester Community Presbyterian Church, Chatham Borough, Long Branch, West End; Toms River, Burlington, Denville and Morristown.
Among the various special activities will be peach baking/cooking competitions with prizes, peach samplings, raffles for a basket of peaches, donated by attending growers. Participating restaurants will offer cooking demonstrations and tastings. For kids, there will be “Peach Quizzes,” with prizes and other kids’ activities, such as face painting, story telling (James and the Giant Peach is one story), coloring books and more.
Following is a listing of participating community farmers markets with their peach growers; supermarkets and restaurants, with a calendar of events. Check the market websites for details not listed below. All participating farmers markets and restaurants are posted on the website of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, with links to the participants. Go to www.jerseypeaches.com
July 22 & August 5: Salem Farmers Market, 11am-2pm, 367-679-7589
July 22-25: Annual Jersey Peach Festival, Mullica Hill, 856-307-6450×1
July 24: Bernardsville Farmers Market, 9am-2pm, 908-766-5836
Activities: peach tastings, peach cake, peach ice cream, drawing for basket of peaches
Silver Lake, Blairstown; Hensler’s, Belvidere
July 25: Peach Blueplate Restaurant & Holtzhauser Farms Dinner in the Orchard, Mullica Hill, 4pm,
856-478-2112 (reservations recommended)
July 27: Downtown Milburn Farmers Market, 10am – 2pm, 973-379-2341
Activities: Peach samples by Alstede and Ort Farms, Peach Pie samples by Gina’s Bakery and Vacchiano Farm, Food demonstration by Osteria Mediterrania (10:00 – 12:00), Food tasting by Epicere Fine; Peach Gelato tasting by Café Luna, Peach pairing by Hoboken Farms. Peach recipes and a peach themed coloring book for children (including crayons donated by Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse). Entertainment provided by the Chatham Brass Quintet and a free drawing for a peach themed gift basket of peach jam, peach tea, peach and raspberry shea butter soap, peach and raspberry cocktail napkins and luncheon napkins and one-year subscription to Edible Jersey Magazine.
Alstede Farm, Chester; Ort Farms, Long Valley; Vacchiano Farm,Washington
July 31: Jamesburg Farmers Market, 9am – 2pm, 732-723-1863
Activities: peach samples from growers, raffle for basket of peaches, free recipes, kids peach quiz activity
Farmer Al’s, Von Thuns Farm
August 1: Nutley Farmers Market, 8am – 2pm, 973-284-4978
August 4: Toms River Farmers Market, 11am – 5pm, 732-946-2711
August 5: Salem Farmers Market, 11am-2pm, 367- 679-7589
August 6: Highland Park Farmers Market, 11am – 5:30pm, 732- 828-8444
Activities: peach tastings, recipes, raffle for basket of peaches, kids quiz & games stories at Nighthawk Books (next to the Market), specials at Peachepot Boutique and much more!
Peach Growers: Joseph Skeba Farms, Hightstown; Melick’s Town Farm, Oldwick; Donaldson Farms, Hackettstown; R&K Farms, Jamesburg; Von Thun’s Farm, Dayton; Suydam Farm, East Brunswick
August 6: Woodbury Farmers Market, 3pm – 7pm, 856- 845-1300, ext. 123
Activities: grilled peach samples and peach a-la-mode samples
August 7: Chatham Borough Farmers Market, 8am – 1pm, 973- 635-0674, ext. 588,
Activities: peach tastings, recipes, raffle for basket of peaches, kids quiz & games
Melick’s Town Farm, Oldwick
August 7: Collingswood Farmers Market, 8am – 12noon, 856-559-0234
Activities: Peach samplings, cooking demonstrations, kids’ quiz, face painting ??????
Schober Orchards, Moneroeville, NJ ; AT Buzby Farm, Bridgeton; DanLynn Organic Farm; Formisano Farms, Vineland; Fruitwood Farm, Moneroeville; Hymer Farms, Moneroeville; Viereck Farms, Woolwich Twp.; Eckert’s Farm, Tabernacle; Mind Your Own (beekeeping), Wrightstown; Holly Acres Nursery, Bridgeton
August 7: Community Presbyterian Church, Chester, 10am – 4pm, 908-879-5859
Activities: 16,000 peaches peeled for pies, peach ice cream, kuchens, and desserts for sale, kids toys and games, country auction, thousands of items for sale at the White Elephant Tent.
August 8; Morristown Farmers Market, 8:30am – 2pm, 973-455-1133
Activities: Peach Queen appearance, kids activities
August 12: West End Long Branch Farmers Market, 11am – 6pm, 732-229-6999
Activities: Peach pie contest, prizes, gift certificates, peach basket raffle
August 14: Acme Market, Logan, 856-467-8936
Activities: Peach Queen appearance, $25 gift certificate raffle with purchase of peaches
August 15: Denville Farmers Market, 8:30am – 1pm, 201-317-2335,
August 15: Hunterdon Land Trust Farmers Market, Flemington, 9am- 1pm, 908-237-4582
August 15: Ramsey Farmers Market, 9am-2pm, 201-675-6866
Activities: Kids’ Quiz & games, peach smoothies, raffle for basket of peaches, other activities
Peach Growers: Matarazzo farms, North Caldwell & Belvidere
August 21: Burlington Co Farmers Market, Moorestown, 8:30am – 1pm, 856-642-3850
August 21: Acme Market, Medford, 609-953-0006
Activities: Peach Queen appearance, $25 gift certificate raffle with purchase of peaches
August 30: Kings Supermarket, Short Hills store Beyond the Peach Pie Bake-Off, 800.325.4647
Peach Party Restaurants
Restaurants celebrating Jersey Fresh peaches will be serving one or more fresh peach dishes during August. Below are the restaurants and, where possible, their peach dishes.
Restaurants here will offer “Just Peachy” special menus in August, spotlighting Jersey Fresh peaches. Dining comes with a friendly peach farmer talking about what makes Jersey Fresh peaches so special and how to store and use them.
The Tortilla Press (856-869-3345), Collingswood www.thetortillapress.com
Blackbird Dining Establishment, Oaklyn (856-854-3444) www.blackbirdnj.com
Joe Palombo’s Mirabella Café, Cherry Hill ( 856-354-1888) www.mirabellacafe.com
Andreotti’s Viennese Café, Cherry Hill (856-795-0172) www.mirabellacafe.com
Blueplate, Mullica Hill (856-478-2112) www.blueplatenj.com
The Brothers Moon (609-333-1330) www.brothersmoon.com
Boulevard Five 72 (908-709-1200) www.boulevardfive72.com
LONG BRANCH – WEST END VILLAGE www.westendvillage.com
Jesse’s Cafe & Catering (732-229-6999)
Osteria Mediterrania (973-467-0010)
Milford Oyster House (908-995-9411) www.milfordoysterhouse.com
Frog and the Peach (732-846-3216) www.frogandpeach.com
4-Course (plus Chef’s Amuse) Peach Tasting Menu for $59 (also available with wine pairings for $105)
Sweet Station, (201-818-8561) www.sweetstationcafe.com
Brady’s at the Station (201-327-9748) bradysatthestation.net
Bon Giovanni (201-934-0030)
Barnesboro Inn (856-468-3557) www.barnsboroinn.com
Woodbury Station Café (856-384-6700)
The Spot ((856-848-5600)
For further information, contact the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council information office, 973-744-6090, firstname.lastname@example.org