Skip the Supermarket Lines and Support Local Farms
When Governor Phil Murphy announced the closing of most retail businesses in his “stay-at-home” order in March to fight the coronavirus pandemic, he exempted “grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and farms that sell directly to customers.”
That’s great news because Montgomery area folks have access to numerous farmer markets, which are a valuable resource during a crisis. Local farms are set up and ready to provide nourishing fresh, healthy food and beverages, but also a respite from distressing television news through scenic drives and fresh-air farm visits.
For those uncomfortable with the notion of “social distancing,”some farms deliver. The Discover Central New Jersey agritourism initiative is helping to spread the word to remind locals to “remember the farmers.”
One of the best known local farms, Terhune’s has served the area for four decades. Owner Pam Mount says the farm meets the state’s highest food handling safety requirements and has “doubled-down on cleaning and removing all health hazards.”
Their store sells their own apples, cider, lettuce, herbs, Terhune wine, and baked goods, plus a full line of fruits, vegetable, eggs, and milk sourced from other farms.
Amid the pandemic, they accept online and phone orders with on-farm pick-up or deliver within 10 miles. They are open seven days per week. Visit Terhune Orchards for more information.
Brick Farm Market
A leader in the local-food movement, this market sells locally-pastured meats and eggs from their own farm, Double Brook Farm, in Hopewell. It also has a large selection of produce, sundries, cheese, juices, milk, butter, and cream from area farms and purveyors.
An in-house bakery makes breads and sweets.
They report an explosion of demand since the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced. Locals are taking using curbside pickup and the free delivery within 15 miles on orders of $50 or more. Check their website for updates, order forms, menus, and safety rules. Shoppers are no longer allowed in the store for safety reasons, and must order in advance online for curbside pickup. They have modified hours to 10-6 pm Wednesday through Saturday.
Cherry Grove Farm
Best known for cheeses, grass-fed beef, and whey-fed pork this farm has a wide variety of locally made food products in a store open seven days per week, 10-5 pm, off Route 206 in Lawrenceville.
Because of the health crisis, they are closing the store daily from 1-2 pm for a thorough cleaning, and no more than five people are allowed in the store at once, to maintain social distances.
Due to the crisis, Cherry Grove Farm is offering free delivery (orders of $60+) on Wednesdays and Fridays (orders by noon the day prior) within a 30-minute drive of the farm.
Griggstown Farm Market
Best known for their own poultry, the also sell prepared foods, including their savory Griggstown Farm chicken and turkey pot pies. Almost any visit to the store involves a drive along the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway and the D&R Canal State Park, where towpath strolls are permitted during the shutdown. In addition to farm-made fruit pies, pot pies, chicken sausages, chicken salad, stuffed ravioli, and breads, they also carry produce and dairy from nearby farms. They are open seven days per week.
Hidden Spring Lavender
This on-farm market in Skillman offers culinary lavender, tea, and honey, plus a wide range of lavender lotions, creams, perfumes, and plush toys. The store is expanding hours early this year to every Saturday and Sunday, 10-4 pm, in order to spread out customer visits. No more than five people are allowed in the store at one time, and they offer a curb-side pickup if you call ahead. Visit the alpacas while there. Hidden Spring Lavender Website.
The 1,200-acre farm in Hillsborough, which has been family-run since the 1920s, has a giant outdoor tent where people can safely get groceries. The farm has expanded its offerings through local suppliers: including milk and butter, carrots, beets, beans, meat, eggs, milk, ice cream, and Easter flowers. It also offers baked goods, and fresh produce from Aquasprout, a hydroponic farm in Branchburg. The farm also has a 24/7 “egg shed” with an honor system. Since the crisis, they have expanded off-season hours to meet community needs. Norz-Hill raised beef and pork are now available for purchase five days per week: 2-6 pm Mon. & Fri; 10-2pm Weds. & Sat.; noon-4pm Sundays. Norz-Hill’s beef and pork animals are raised humanely, without artificial growth hormones and all-natural feed, hay, and okra. They also offer a CSA (community-supported agriculture) program. Norz-Hill Farm Website.
Skillman Farm Market & Butcher Shop
This butcher shop in Skillman sells organic, pasture-raised beef, pork, and poultry. During the health crisis, they have closed the store itself to the public and converted to phone orders and driveway pick-ups only.
Pick ups are available during our normal business hours; Wednesday - Sunday. The store is closed on Easter, Sunday, April 12.
Customers may call 609.300.3350 (leave a message) to place your order. ■
Because circumstances can change quickly, you may wish to call ahead before heading out to the farm stores.