We got a kind of late start to our day, but headed north anyway to Stockton, which is about 20 minutes north of Trenton on Route 29. I love the drive along the river, through Washington’s Crossing, past Belle Bump and through Lambertville. On our last wander through this part of the state, we’d stopped at a lovely little grocery and picked up some nice grapes, olives and portabello mushrooms.
So when I found an article in New Jersey Monthly listing a bunch of NJ Farmer’s Markets included one in Stockton, we decided that we had to check it out.
When we arrived at the Stockton Farm Market, parking was somewhat difficult to find, but it wasn’t too bad. Walking in, we were immediately taken with the table of fresh, interesting vegetables (including garlic scapes and a few interesting greens, and fresh raw milk!). We didn’t buy anything right away, because we’d already done our market shopping for the week and wanted to see what inspiration might strike.
Unfortunately, that proved to be the only real fresh food stand. Everything else was baked goods, or cheeses, or artisan foods like balsamic jellies and other interesting carbs. It all looked mighty tasty, but way outside of our current carbohydrate tolerance.
Wandering through the building, we did see one or two other stands with a small amount of produce, but nothing particularly robust. Mostly it was artisan stuff, and mostly kinda pretentious. $10 for a bunch of fresh lavender? $7.99 a pound for garlic scapes (that were picked too late, being mostly woody and tough)?
Ultimately, we were in and out of the market in about twenty minutes, as the level of pretentiousness really started to grate on both of us. At one point, Jenn stood in front of a cheese table with no one else around her, and the proprietor stood there and ignored her for a full three minutes. I’m not sure what this marketing approach is supposed to prove, but all it did was chase us and our dollars out the door.
Since we were in the Mercer County area, we decided to head over to Honey Brook Organic Farms, one of the oldest and most successful CSA farms in the area. Their outlet in Pennington includes the pick-your-own option, where CSA members can come out with their family and go pull their produce as part of their CSA membership. There’s also a lot of veggies that have already been picked that members can just collect as part of their weekly allotment. They seemed very busy for being so isolated, and the vibe was cool. We weren’t members (and aren’t really thinking of joining this late in the season), so there wasn’t much for us there, but we were glad we visited anyway.
On the way out to Honey Brook, we passed by signs for Blue Moon Acres, another farm with a nice little shop. Seeing as we still needed rosemary and few other things, we decided to pop in for a quick visit. As we pulled in the driveway, it looked like they were setting up for a wedding or other banquet — as the signs all around eventually told us, they were hosting a Farm-to-Table meal featuring Chef Scott Anderson of Elements restaurant in Princeton. If we’d done a little better planning, we definitely would have hung in for the event. They have others coming up, including a Farm-to-Grill event that I think we’re definitely going to have to check out!