As an early member of Slow Food Central Jersey, and someone who regularly works with art and artists on preservation themes at D&R Greenway- especially farms and farmland- I experienced multiple levels of bliss amongst the produce of Hopewell's Double Brook Farm. A young couple are creatively, assiduously 'keeping the GARDEN in our Garden State.'
Robin and Jon McConaughy- founders of Double Brook Farm- are energetically nourishing and teaching our region about the importance of tender care of farm animals and safe, healthy, local, sustainable foods on our tables.
Keep an eye out for Jon's and Robin's year-round farm market, to open in the red brick building under intensive restoration on the south side of Route #518. Prepare your palate the restaurant they'll open, centered on their meats and vegetables, flowers and herbs, on the north side of #518, awhile from now, to be sure.
Beauty and health coexist at Double Brook Farm, and both will expand for all of us as the year turns.
Jon's and Robin's handsome Double Brook cattle are moved on a precise schedule among leased fields at the St. Michaels Farm Preserve off Aunt Molly Road. D&R Greenway, where I work, engineered the saving of that land, to the tune of $13 million a few years back.
Robin and Jon are seeing to it that those expansive and beautiful lands are being utilized as they were meant to be- for the production of food. D&R Greenway is removing invasive and planting native species, including edible hedgrerows, for man and beast, and especially birds. Grassland birds are returning to uninterrupted swathes of warm season grasses- which nourish the cows- well you know the nursery rhymes.
Chickens are brought after the cattle depart, onto St. Michaels fields, feasting to their hearts' content, as we can and do on their healthy vibrant eggs.
Fine arts photographer, Tasha O'Neill, and I made the circuit of Double Brook's scheduled produce sale day on Friday, beginning with cameras. You can see Tasha's interpretations of local/sustainable Double Brook on NJ WILD, my nature blog for the Packet Publications. Robin herself could be a fine art photographer, with those e-mailed masterpieces.
I attach some, but by no means all, of my own. Including the hearty and heartening feast that unfolded back home, after our farm-foraging hours.
Seek out Double Brook Farm on line. Order their magnificent cured meats, prepared of their tenderly tended animals by a Slow-Food approved butcher and smoker. Utilize Contact Us so that Robin can send you her regular bulletins of what's ripest now at the farm.
The people who work for them are among the kindest and friendliest I've ever know, each and every one committed to teaching.
The proof of the purveyor, however, is in the 'pudding'- savors in the mouth at table. Can you tell how memorable it all was?