The headline was common, and depressing: "End of an era: Demarests enter new season as farm is for sale," read the front page banner of the August 30th edition of Pascack Press, a local hometown read.
The Demarest Farm has been around since 1886. To put that year into perspective, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated and Grover Cleveland (remember him?) was in office.
Two parcels of land are owned by the family. The 15 acres in Hillsdale, which most residents know, thankfully, is preserved as farmland. The other, 17.5 acres in Saddle River, is "deemed residential, thus allowing for development." McMansions anyone? I wouldn't be surprised in the least.
On a sunny August weekend, my mom and I paid a visit to Demarest Farm for lunch, as we have so many times before.
A charming recreation of the farm.
A perfect late summer picnic: homemade corn chowder, $4.59/lb., an onion roll, $1.10, from their on-site bakery, and fresh squeezed lemonade, $2.50. Enjoyed on the picnic benches while a small army on satisfied peach pickers walked by with their bounty. I thought what a fine activity for families do.
A source of New Jersey pride: juicy peaches every summer.
Sweet endings: watermelon Italian ice, $1.50.
Signs of fall: these cheerful scarecrow hovered over applesauce jars. Crisp fall nights will soon be here, and I'm looking forward to them.
Fragrant vegetable oil soaps. When I saw the lemon verbena one, I couldn't help think of Miss Beadle on Little House on the Prairie, a favorite childhood show.
When I made a plea to support New Jersey farms, I meant it. Please support your local farmers wherever you are, even if just to buy a bag of peaches or apples. These farms stand in defiance to the retail behemouths and housing developments that have taken over our communities. But they need to remain lucrative enough for the next generations to carry on the tradition.
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