Farmers’ markets pop up all around New Jersey each year — and we love them. There’s something so inspiring about seeing the fresh seasonal produce lined up, creating a rainbow of colors at the market. Perhaps even better is dining out at a farm-to-table experience in New Jersey. The Hoboken Girl did a little research about where you can go to enjoy farm-fresh goodness right at the source. There are several farms and vineyards in New Jersey offering farm-to-table meals, classes, and other special events where guests can learn more about how their food is made. From a picnic with goats to a flower-arranging class with freshly picked blooms, there is an unforgettable outing to be had. Read on to plan your outing to one of these New Jersey farms with farm-to-table meals + events.
Alba Vineyard | 269 County Road 627, Milford
(Photo credit: @albavineyard)
This 93-acre property has been in operation since 1982, and tastings are available Monday through Thursday from 11AM to 4PM, Friday and Saturday from 11AM to 9PM, and Sunday from 11AM to 5PM. Live music is performed on weekends. Some of the special events hosted at Alba include Grill Night and Seasonal Wine Dinners, which feature produce grown on the property paired with wines from the vineyard.
Alstede Farms | 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
(Photo credit: @alstedefarms)
Alstede Farms may be known for its fall offerings like hayrides and apple cider, but the calendar remains full over the summer with many on-the-farm offerings. In particular, the Farm to Table Strawberry Brunch. This ticketed event gives guests the opportunity to pick their own strawberries, enjoy a visit around the farm property, and then indulge in a delicious brunch in the farm’s Christmas Barn. For Father’s Day, the farm will have a special Father’s Day BBQ on-site as well. Since so much of what the farm offers is based on what’s in season, check back often for updated events.
Blue Moon Acres | 11 Willow Creek Drive, Pennington
(Photo credit: @bluemoonacres)
Blue Moon Acres is a 63-acre organic farm that grows rice in addition to vegetables. This year, the farm is also the site of two Outstanding in the Field farm dinners. Outstanding in the Field is an international effort to create dining experiences directly on-site where food is grown (think of it as a pop-up dining experience at the farm). The dinners, which are ticketed events, will take place on September 10th and 11th, where farmers Jim and Kathy Lyons team up with local chefs to create a seasonal feast.
Cherry Grove Farms | 3200 Lawrenceville Road (Rt. 206 N.), Lawrenceville
(Photo credit: @cherrygrovefarm)
The Hamill family has owned the property that makes up the farm since 1902. Now, the farm is 480 acres, and the farmers organically raise dairy cows using sustainable methods to create happy cows and delicious dairy products. In particular, the cheeses produced at Cherry Grove are made using classic European recipes and have won awards — as well as fans — across the state. The Farm hosts both scheduled and private farm dinners. Each farm dinner has a theme, features meats and cheeses from Cherry Grove, and invites other local farmers and producers to contribute to the meal. For a private farm dinner, guests can work directly with the Farm to create a menu. Some of the dinners are what the Farm calls BYOTS: bring your own table setting. The end result is a creative, festive mishmosh of tablescapes.
For those who want to get their hands directly involved in some of the farm’s goings-on, there are frequent classes on-site. Guests can learn more about homemade cheese, growing a medicinal herb garden, baking sourdough bread (the perfect vehicle for cheese, of course), and even mozzarella making and pulling.
City Green Eco-Center | 171 Grove Street, Clifton
(Photo credit: @citygreennj)
Neighbors near and far are invited to attend the City Green Eco-Center’s Farm Fest on June 23rd, July 28th, and August 25th. This is a free event where guests can bring a picnic, explore the farm, visit with the farm animals, and learn more about City Green’s mission. There will be live music, food trucks, and beer from local breweries Montclair Brewery and Ghost Hawk Brewery. The farm stand will be open so guests can shop for fresh produce as well.
Closter Farm | 681 Closter Dock Road, Closter
(Photo credit: @closter_farm)
Farm manager Jared Krawitz started Closter Farm in 2020 with a desire to bring people close to their food and grow the highest quality food possible — starting with the soil. Jared, a chef, says that the team practices what is called regenerative or biodynamic agricultural traditions. The produce is certified organic, but Jared says it’s more than that.
“Everything we do goes way beyond the standard. Our baseline standards are many people’s goals for quality,” he said. The farm is frequently open to visitors for events, not limited to farm dinners. “We partner with local businesses and organizations to host events like an art class or a yoga class,” Jared mentioned. The farm also offers education for both children and adults in agrarian topics like beekeeping, composting, and basic gardening skills. Closter Farm offers cocktail infusion events using ingredients grown on the farm, wine and cheese tastings, and of course, farm dinners. Jared said that because the farm is so new, they are still working on getting a regular calendar going, so interested guests should check Closter Farm’s website for the latest information.
If a day spent on the farm isn’t enough, Closter Farm also has a rental property on-site so you can really soak it in. The home is located on the farm property, so guests have access to the sights, sounds, and smells of the farm experience. Jared says that he will work with guests who want a curated experience, whether that be a catered meal or an educational event on the farm.
Cecil Creek Farms | 73 Democrat Road, Mickleton
(Photo credit: @cecil_creek_farm)
Farm dinners at Cecil Creek take place after hours in the market on the 42-acre property. The menu is seasonally-focused, and with only 14 seats at the table, it is an intimate and informal evening. The five to eight course meal is prepared using produce grown on the farm and from other local producers. During the meal, guests will learn about the growing practices of the Farm and the other producers and be able to chat freely with the chef. The meal is BYOB and the evening ends around the firepit with a mug-style dessert. While most of the Farm dinners are private events, there is a community-style dinner once a month where individual seats can be reserved.
The Farm at Glenwood Mountain | 1801 County Road 565, Sussex
(Photo credit: @thenjfarm)
Farm dinners at Glenwood Mountain take place year-round. The meals use ingredients grown on the farm and the meal is prepared by Chef and Farmer Steve Maclean. The dinner is served in either the newly renovated 1930s dairy barn or the Chef’s Table kitchen space. Guests can enjoy the views of the farm while they dine, including watching the farm animals.
Gorgeous Goat Creamery | 71 Featherbed Lane, Stockton
(Photo credit: @gorgeous_goat)
During a Goat Picnic at the Gorgeous Goat Creamery, guests can enjoy their meal at a picnic table while goats visit and explore the woodland setting. In fact, the Creamery gives visitors a heads up about friendly goats: “Our goats love people. If you choose to be up close and personal with them, they will share their love with you by nibbling on your zipper or rubbing their head on your leg.” The Creamery is tucked into the woods in Hunterdon County, and guests are invited for tours and private events. Farmer Maria Stewart is a Quality Dairy Producer via Langston University in Oklahoma. The goats’ milk is used to create cheeses, soaps, and other products available in the Creamery’s market.
The Creamery also offers hikes with goats, where guests can enjoy a walk throughout the 17-acre property with the goats. In springtime, guests are invited to help bottle feed and socialize the baby goats.
Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm | 2691 Monmouth Road, Jobstown
(Photo credit: @locusthall)
There are plenty of options at Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm to explore everything the property has to offer. Eric and Peter Johnson acquired the 315-acre property in 2013 with an eye toward preserving the property’s historical legacy as well as making a space where people could enjoy the farm’s elegance and beauty. The farm was originally owned by the Black family starting in the early 1700s, so there were several generations of history to keep in mind as the property was updated and a wedding and special events venue was added.
Throughout the summer, this Farm offers a variety of events including flower-focused events, evening music events with light bites, and farm dinners with wine pairings. Bunches and Brunches is a brunch event where guests enjoy a five-course meal and can pick and arrange their own flowers from the farm’s gardens. There are also Flower Workshops where guests can enjoy light bites and golden hour on the farm while picking flowers and learning about growing their own. Local Nights on the Farm are evenings where guests can enjoy hayrides, live music, food, and beverages on the farm. Farm-to-Table dinner events are hosted in the Farm’s Breezeway Barn where guests will enjoy a five course farm-to-table dinner, live music, and a beautiful vista of the farm.