Duke Farms, a vast 2,700-acre estate in Dunellen, New Jersey, was formerly the residence of James Buchanan Duke, a well-known tobacco tycoon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Duke Farms Foundation, a nonprofit group devoted to advancing environmental conservation, sustainability, and education, now owns and manages the estate.
The Farm to Table Market at Duke Farms, which is open to the public every Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm, from May through December, is one of the attraction’s most well-known features. Numerous regional farmers, artisans, and food vendors who sell fresh, locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, and other items are represented at the market.
The Farm to Table Market is unique due to its dedication to promoting environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture. As a result of their use of sustainable farming techniques or their certification as organic farmers, many of the vendors prioritize the wellbeing of the soil, water, and ecosystem in their farming practices.
For instance, River Bend Farm is a market vendor who sells heirloom vegetables, herbs, and flowers and is a certified organic farm. To maintain healthy soil, they use crop rotation, cover crops, and compost; they never use artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Customers can be sure they are getting high-quality, nutrient-rich produce that is free of harmful chemicals by supporting local, organic farmers like River Bend.
Stone Row Acres, a family-owned farm that employs regenerative farming methods to produce pasture-raised beef, pork, and chicken, is another supplier dedicated to sustainability. Regenerative farming is a holistic method of farming that emphasizes increasing biodiversity and soil health, which in turn produces healthier animals and meat of higher quality. Customers can feel good about supporting farmers who use regenerative techniques because they will be helping to create a more sustainable food system.
The Farm to Table Market features more than just fresh produce and meat, of course. Additionally, there are lots of vendors offering mouthwatering baked goods, artisanal cheeses, and other sweets. The Flaky Tart, a nearby bakery that specializes in pastries, cakes, and other sweet treats, is one such vendor. They only use premium ingredients to make their delectable baked goods, including fruits and dairy from nearby farms.
Another well-liked vendor at the market is Jersey Girl Cheese, a family-run company that uses milk from its own herd of cows to make small-batch, artisanal cheeses. They only ever use natural colors, flavors, and preservatives when making their cheeses, which are produced using traditional techniques. Customers can be sure they are getting a fresh, high-quality product that supports neighborhood farmers and businesses when they purchase locally produced cheese.
But you can buy food at the Farm to Table Market as well. Additionally, it serves as a community hub where members can congregate to socialize, enjoy live music, and gain knowledge about sustainable farming and food production. The market frequently hosts cooking classes, workshops, and other events that support sustainable living and healthy eating.
For instance, the market offers a well-liked series of cooking classes called “Cooking with What’s in Season,” which instructs students on how to make delectable meals using seasonal produce. Local chefs and food experts who share their knowledge and enthusiasm for cooking with seasonal, regional ingredients teach these classes.
Families with young children will also enjoy the Farm to Table Market. The market hosts a weekly Kids’ Corner that provides children with entertaining and instructive activities like face painting, crafts, and games. This is a fantastic way for kids to engage in fun, interactive learning about the value of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating.