Twin Pond Farms in Howell

Warm cinnamon-y goodness of fresh apple cider donuts. Mmmm…donuts.

Need I say more? If you’re lucky, you can catch a fresh apple cider donut coming out of the fryer at Twin Pond Farms in Howell as the delicious scent wafts out onto Route 9 north, pulling your car into the parking lot. Reach into the paper sack of fresh donuts, devour and lick the cinnamon sugar off your fingers. Repeat.

As a true Jersey girl (NOT the Jersey Shore kind,) I love our produce; it’s the best in the universe! Twin Pond locally grows everything they sell, so you can taste the Jersey freshness in every bite.

The tomatoes come in a flavorful rainbow of colors and varieties; the corn is sweet and crisp; and fragrant, juicy peaches are all available now. There are several varieties of zucchini, squash, peppers and melons for all culinary applications. My personal favorite is to make zucchini latkes with the abundance of squash, but that’s another blog-stay tuned! Produce is refreshed all day as it is picked from the nearby farm.

Did I mention pies? How could I forget the PIES??? In addition to all the great produce, Twin Pond turns out marvelous pies that in my opinion are the best in the county. The peach-blackberry with crumb topping is my favorite every time and never fails to delight even the toughest palates. They don’t chintz on the crumbs—I’m talking boulder-sized cinnamon-y sweet crumbs on top. The peaches and blackberries stay firm and flavorful inside the pie-not weird gloppy messes like other store-bought pies.

There is an adjacent garden center that has a huge selection of plants, shrubs and water gardening selections. My mom buys all her plants in the spring and they bloom and look gorgeous all summer and fall. Really, she takes down her hanging baskets around Thanksgiving, they last so long!

Twin Pond Country Store and Garden Center is located at 1459-1473 Route 9 North in Howell; they also have a farm stand on Route 524 in Farmingdale. Check their website for coupons

Victoria Hurley-Schubert, Regional Editor Ocean County, is a true Jersey girl. Raised in Marlboro, Vikki  has lived in the area her whole life. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and is happiest when feeding a houseful of friends and family. A journalist for 10 years, she now serves on the staff of the Princeton Packet. Vikki is happiest on the road, so it should be no Surprise she is a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations.   Follow her on Twitter @vikkihs.