UNION – Liberty Hall Museum’s new weekly Community Farmers Market will open on Thursday, June 20, from noon – 6 p.m. Featuring fresh local produce from Liberty Hall Farm, as well as local meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, seafood, baked goods and other items for sale, the Farmers Market will also offer cooking demonstrations, a designated “Story Time” for children, recipes utilizing the market’s own fresh produce, and other special events.
Official Opening Day festivities kick off June 20 at 3:15 p.m. with live music by The Grickens Music Group, featuring the talents of honors students from Union County Magnet School and Roselle Catholic High School. Kean University President Dr. Dawood Farahi and Liberty Hall Museum President John Kean will be on hand for a Welcome Ceremony at 3:30 p.m., to be followed by an interactive food demonstration with Mark D’Abundo, Executive Chef of Gourmet Dining at Kean. Tours of Liberty Hall Farm will commence at 4 p.m.; a “Veggiecation” demo, arts and crafts station sponsored by the NJ Moms Guide, and additional live music are also planned. A children’s “Story Time” will be offered at 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., with the last farm tour departing at 5:30 p.m.
Access to all Liberty Hall grounds will be free of charge during market hours (every Thursday, noon to 6 p.m.) so that guests may take advantage of the museum’s excellent picnic facilities; no smoking or dogs will be allowed. Confirmed vendors include: Martz Farm, a fourth-generation family farm in Old Bridge offering pies, apple cider donuts, local honey, and heirloom tomatoes; Lizzmonade, “lemonade like you’ve never tasted before”; Amanda Bananas, fresh frozen fruit desserts; Pizza Vita, fresh wood-fired pizza; Hoboken Farms, known for their variety of prepared meals, fresh breads, mozzarella cheese, and signature “Big Red” marinara sauce; Paolo’s Kitchen, home-cooked Italian specialties (including gluten-free options); and Carlos the Empanada Guy, specializing in empanadas made from fresh, high quality ingredients. Martz Farm will accept WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks (SFMNP).
In addition to providing fresh, healthy, local foods for purchase, the market will also feature a strong education and advocacy component. Market Manager Susan De Pauw is currently in the process of developing an urban gardening program for area schools, which will experiment with different urban farming techniques to create “a model for the community of what is possible, and how an urban community can empower themselves and improve their access to quality fresh food.” The market has also partnered with the Community Food Bank of NJ, headquartered in nearby Hillside, to facilitate food demonstrations and information sessions on nutrition. “They will be doing a ‘harvest rescue’ at the end of each market day,” De Pauw explained, “where they collect the unsold produce that we and the other farmers wish to donate to them, and redistribute it to local food pantries in the area.”
In addition to the market, Liberty Hall Museum will continue to offer its signature Afternoon Tea Service throughout the summer, on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Although both June dates are currently sold out, Liberty Hall is accepting reservations for Independence Day Tea on July 10, as well as a tea celebrating the advent of the summer beach season on July 26. The cost is $40 per person, and includes a tour of Liberty Hall’s illuminating ongoing exhibit, Ring for Service: The Role of Servants in a Country House, which offers a rare glimpse into the real lives of the museum’s own servants at the turn of the twentieth century.
Limited reservations are also still available for Storybooks & Scones: A Children’s Afternoon Tea (June 22), a late addition to Liberty Hall’s summer calendar. After the overwhelming response to The Girls of Liberty Hall Tea & Fashion Show earlier this spring, Liberty Hall has designed another one-of-a-kind children’s tea, celebrating popular children’s books. This unique afternoon will feature games, prizes, the opportunity to dress up as your favorite storybook character in our play tent, delectable treats served on real china, and – of course – tea. Admission is $25 per person, and reservations are required. Call 908-527-0400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve.
Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University chronicles more than 240 years of American history. The museum also houses extensive collections of furniture, ceramics, textiles, toys and tools owned by seven generations of the Livingston and Kean families. The Firehouse Museum, built in 2004, houses three antique fire engines, including a rare 1911 American LaFrance Metropolitan Steam Engine. Tours of Liberty Hall run Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the hour; the last tour departs at 3 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $8 for Kean alumni, and $6 for children and seniors. Kean students and faculty are free.
For reservations and further information, please call 908-527-0400, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.kean.edu/libertyhall. Please follow Liberty Hall Museum on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/libertyhallmuseum, or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LibertyHallKean. For more information on Liberty Hall Museum’s Community Farmers Market, please contact Susan De Pauw at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit https://www.facebook.com/libertyhallfarmersmarket.
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