Most of us will miss seeing friends and family this holiday season, but we can still send some Central Jersey love, straight from the family farms, wineries, and distilleries of the Garden State!
The 2020 coronavirus pandemic has led many New Jerseyans to rediscover their local food and beverage growers. Quality, freshness, and reduced chemicals are some of the most attractive aspects of local agriculture, along with supporting the local economy, creating new habits that may survive the pandemic.
By sharing gift boxes, baskets, and locally made decorations you help spread the word within your social circle, while sending a moment of joy to a neighbor or loved ones. Some of our favorite providers follow below, in reverse alphabetical order:
UNIONVILLE VINEYARDS: The beauty of Unionville Vineyards was featured this year in an entertaining music video by New Jersey’s As Is Jazz, as part of a “virtual” fundraiser for the Sourland Conservancy that was a “silver lining” for the pandemic year. What better way to toast the end of 2020 with Unionville’s Silver Lining Cabernet Franc, made with grapes of the 2019 bumper that followed a terrible 2018. Many other wonderful wines are available for online purchase and shipping by UPS.
TERHUNE ORCHARDS & WINERY: One of the most popular farm destinations in New Jersey, Terhune Orchards & Winery offers a wide variety of gift baskets for pick-up and gift boxes for delivery at prices ranging from $32 to $100. Farm fresh apples, farm-baked goods, and Terhune fruit butters are among the items lovingly packed for the enjoyment of your friends and family. They also offer wines made of grapes, peaches, and blueberries.
Suydam Farms: Now in its 12th generation, Suydam Farms in Franklin Township is one of the best places to find a Christmas tree, wreath, garlands, or grave blanket. They also offer a variety of farm-grown meats and locally-source holiday treats. Be sure to make time to visit the farmyard goats, cows, hogs, and chickens.
Sourland Spirits: New Jersey’s Farm Distillery is located in Hopewell, where handcrafted gin, vodka, rum, and bourbon is made with the clean, fresh waters of the Sourland Mountain. Purchase online for pick-up or delivery statewide and to nearby states.
OLD YORK CELLARS: Old York Cellars offers a wide range of wines, including some beautiful wood gift boxes. A particularly handsome (and delicious) choice are the charitable Preservation Wines with watercolor paintings by James Fiorentino celebrating preserved lands in Central Jersey, including the Sourlands, Goat Hill, and St. Michaels Farm Preserve. One-third of the purchase price goes to D&R Greenway Land Trust to help preserve and protect natural areas.
NORZ-HILL FARM: in Hillsborough is offering Winter hayride holiday lights with required pre-purchase tickets, masking and social distancing rules followed. Depending on weather and any late changes to health guidelines, Rides are available Fridays and Sundays 4:30 to 8pm and Saturdays 10:00 to 8pm. Be sure to check the website to confirm and order tickets before arriving. If you time it right, you can stop by the egg shack or go home with some grassfed meats!
HIDDEN SPRING LAVENDER: The online gift shop for this family-owned farm in Skillman offers a wide variety of lavender beauty and aroma products, plush toys, and alpaca wool clothing. Send holiday cheer with a $30 wooden sleigh filled with lavender soaps, Head to Toe Lotion, lip balm and lavender sachet from lavender flowers.
GRIGGSTOWN FARM MARKET: Located along the D&R Canal State Park in Franklin Township, Griggstown Farm’s kitchen makes some of the best fruit pies and breads around. They also offer farm-raised chickens and game birds. You may even find a classic Christmas Goose!
DOGWOOD FARMS: At their new location in Liberty Corner, Dogwood Farms’ online store offers delicious gift boxes for delivery or pick-up, such Pasta Night Box, Brunch in a Box, and Hot Sauce Box featuring Bloody Mary mix, pasta sauces, and salsas made with Dogwood’s organically grown tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
CHERRY GROVE FARM: If you’re still unsure of what gift to give to those nearest to your heart, Cherry Grove Farm currently offers a variety of private cheese making classes right on the farm. Give the gift of experience to someone you love and enjoy a fun (and safe) day out on farm. More information can be found on their class tab.
BRICK FARM MARKET: This farm-to-market shop in Hopewell is ready to support your holiday plans with Jersey Fresh prepared foods. Available for pick-up only, their holiday store offers an artisanal butcher with Berkshire hams and pork loins, sumptuous side dishes, and bake shop with snowflake rolls, French baguettes, and New York-style cheesecake.
BOBOLINK DIARY & BAKEHOUSE: Do you have a true gourmand on your holiday list? The online gift store for Bobolink Diary offers unique, raw milk cheeses that are popular among the finest restaurants in the New York area, rustic breads, farm-baked cookies, and much more.
We’d love to hear about your farm experience this holiday season. Drop us a line and tell us what you discovered in Central Jersey.