Friday, March 7, 2008

Food Finds: Winter Farmers Market

By Pat Tanner

It seems like a wacky idea: a farmers market in the dead of winter in frosty New Jersey. But three years ago when organizers of two market organizers approached Jim Weaver, head of the Central NJ chapter of Slow Food, to turn over his restaurant, Tre Piani, to the venture, he agreed to open up all three floors (“tre piani” in Italian) on a blustery March Sunday.

To everyone’s delight, about 400 people -- obviously hungry for fresh Garden State produce; eggs, dairy, and meat from pastured animals; artisanal cheeses, breads, ice creams; and other local goodies -- came out that first year. More attended the second and, the organizers now expect, even more will show up this Sunday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Participating farms include Terhune Orchards, Cherry Grove Farm, Valley Shepherd Creamery, and ARC Greenhouses, the producers of Mr. McGregor’s herbs, among other wonders. Also on hand: Farmer Steve Organic Popcorn, Cape May Salt Oysters, Jersey Clams, and Bent Spoon Ice Cream. Prepared foods by Chef/owner Weaver and Tre Piani’s staff, and NJ wines and beers will be available for dining in or taking out. The restaurant’s first floor will resonate with live jazz and will feature cooking demos by Jersey Fresh chefs every hour beginning at 11:15.

Tre Piani Restaurant
Forrestal Village (Route 1)
120 Rockingham Road

For directions, visit

For more information, phone 609.577.5113

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