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Archive for December, 2009

Nice summaries from two key sources for tracking local markets agriculture and sustainable food trends:

From Environmental Working Group’s AgMag:

2009’s Top Ten Ag/Climate Stories

From La Vida Locavore:

Tales from the Larder — Best & Worst Food Trends of the Past Decade

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Hat tip to NJBiz.com:

Growing jobs in the agricultural sector is a jobs creation forum at 1PM on January 5th at the Rutgers University Ecoplex in Bordentown.

Based on the format of the December jobs forum hosted by President Obama in Washington D.C., Tuesday’s forum will have a roundtable format in which New Jersey residents, community leaders and business leaders can share ideas about ways in which to stimulate growth in rural NJ and the Garden State’s agricultural sector.

Minnesota’s Main Street Project may offer some interesting ideas about agricultural entrepreneurship and community building that can be applied to New Jersey’s rural areas. They are currently working on a very interesting small-scale poultry farming project that provides a path to ownership, community cooperation and a living annual income to familes in southeastern Minnestoa.

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Via the Allentown Examiner.

Plans for the Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway were reviewed earlier this month by Upper Freehold Township Officials. A great concept, the plan ensures that one of the hearts of the Garden State’s agricultural heritage is preserved.

One of my earliest memories of Monmouth County is driving to Asbury Park with my grandparents and passing acres of farms, fields, forest, woodlots and waterways on our way in from the Parkway. Very little of this historic and cultural heritage is left either countywide or statewide. The Upper Freehold byway would be a great opportunity to help preserve NJ’s equine industry and to potentially provide a hub for local markets agriculture that could provide tables in NY, Philly and NJ with sustainable and organic foods.

The byway area could even become a key source for potential organic and sustainable food processors in the Neptune and Asbury Park areas that provide Jersey Fresh foods to groceries and eateries all along New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast.

Imagine using agricultural, cultural and historic preservation to drive business formation, job creation and urban development. What a concept!

An overview of the Upper Freehold Historic Farmland Byway:

the 24-mile route through Upper Freehold and Allentown will highlight scenic vistas and continuous views from the road, capturing the unique agricultural, historical, environmental and cultural traditions in both communities. Upper Freehold, with nearly 7,000 acres of preserved farms, is one of few places between New York and Philadelphia that still has unbroken views of pastoral landscapes

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A good 15 inches on the ground, backdoor drifts may well be over 30 inches. It feels like I’m back in Minnesota. And to think just 14 days ago I was in New Orleans — but truth be told temps there have only been in the low 50s lately.

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Wednesday night we had a great Prix Fixe dinner at Langosta Lounge which included two tickets to see Sicko at The Showroom on Cookman Avenue.

We had a fantastic vegetarian chili as an appetizer, a very well done blackened organic chicken over smashed potatoes with a mango and grilled onion salsa on top of it all, and a great chicken enchilada which made a very tasty lunch the next day as well. Baked on the premises pumpkin pie and carrot cake rounded out the meal.

Yesterday I did some shopping on Cookman Avenue and the Boardwalk. Bought some cards and great little gifts at the local shops there.

So come out (after the snowstorm is over of course!) and spend some of your holiday cheer in Asbury Park! A great place to mellow after all the Christmas craziness is through and over the long holiday weekends too.

Follow local happenings in Asbury on Twitter @AsburyParkTweet.

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