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Latest News in Chester Township, NJ

South Jersey Times field hockey season preview, 2022

FEATURE STORYIn her three previous seasons, Olivia Wisor has never experienced a winning campaign.The senior back on the Washington Township High field hockey team is positive that perhaps it will come this time.“I think we are going to progress,” Wisor said after her squad’s scrimmage with Collingswood in Washington Township. “I think all of these girls love to work hard and make themselves better. We make each other better. I think this season is going to be good for us. We have te...

FEATURE STORY

In her three previous seasons, Olivia Wisor has never experienced a winning campaign.

The senior back on the Washington Township High field hockey team is positive that perhaps it will come this time.

“I think we are going to progress,” Wisor said after her squad’s scrimmage with Collingswood in Washington Township. “I think all of these girls love to work hard and make themselves better. We make each other better. I think this season is going to be good for us. We have team chemistry on the field and off the field. I think that is going to help us go far this year.”

And it also helps that Eastern and Shawnee are no longer on the schedule.

“Definitely,” Wisor said with a smile and then a laugh.

The Minutemaids will embark on the 2022 campaign as rookie members of the Tri-County Conference after sliding over from the Olympic Conference. In addition to a new conference to call home, they are moving forward with a new coach.

Ashley Johnson takes over for Jeannine O’Connor who stepped down after 20 seasons on the job. Johnson coached the middle school team last season. Prior to that, she coached cross-country and track and field at Pennsville. Johnson was a field hockey standout under Linda Decker at West Deptford. “At the very, very last minute,” she decided to run at Rowan University. Now she has returned to field hockey.

“I just believe everything happens for a reason,” Johnson said. “I have the experience in both field hockey and cross-country and track and field. My field hockey coach in high school was excellent. I feel like (the coaching experience) benefits each other. Field hockey got me going with the running. I always wanted to train to my potential. I have playing experience. I could have played in college, but you can’t do two sports in one season.”

The Minutemaids demonstrated potential in their scrimmage vs. Collingswood which always produces solid teams.

“I love it so far,” said Johnson who guided the Eagles to the Salem County Championships title in cross-country in 2018. “I had some of the girls in middle school already, so I was already familiar with them. The (assistant) coaches (Jordan Colna and Ariel Comer) are wonderful. All of us together have been a wonderful team.”

Over the last three seasons, Washington Township went 8-12, 5-6 and 9-11. While the Minutemaids got rid of powerhouses like the Vikings and the Renegades, the Tri-County Conference Royal Division is no slouch. Kingsway is one of the best teams in the state, and Washington Township will have to face the Dragons twice a year. Clearview and Williamstown will be tough foes. Cross-divisional matchups vs. Delsea and Cumberland will also present a test.

“Things are going well; she’s a really good coach,” sophomore back Simone Johnson said. “She has been working hard with the team. I like that she is super optimistic and she’s very helpful. I like how welcoming we are to the new girls and how well we work together and lift everyone up. I am expecting us to do well this year.”

The defense headed by Wisor, Simone Johnson and senior Emily Wechter is expected to be the strength of the team. Sophomore Ryli Zee (two goals last season) and junior Brooke Alessandrini (three goals) will see time in the midfield.

Sophomore forward/midfielder Karley DuCoin (eight goals) and sophomore forward Emma-Rose Phillips (five goals) will be scoring threats up front. Freshmen Brooke Van Duyne, Hannah Saleh and Gabrielle Dasilva are expected to see varsity minutes.

“I am really excited that we are in the Tri-County Conference now,” Ashley Johnson said. “I am familiar with it. That’s where I came from. It’s nice to have local rivals. I would just love for us to take over Tri-County. We have great competition in the Tri-County Conference.”

TEAMS TO WATCH

Clearview

Clearview won 10 games and reach the sectional semifinals last season. Britney Ewan’s squad lost three to graduation. Senior Darian DeLeo posted 26 goals and 12 assists last season. Senior midfielder Gabby Andres was an All-Area all-star selection last season with nine goals and three assists. Senior Christina Unger recorded 165 saves in goal last year.

Glassboro/Pitman

Due to numbers, Glassboro and Pitman will form a co-op for the upcoming season. Glassboro’s Arielle Marshall will serve as the head coach. A majority of the home games will be played at Glassboro as well as all of the practices. It will be interesting to see if and how it all comes together with players from different schools. The Bulldogs won just two games last season. They return all of their top players. The Panthers were 7-7-1 under coach Tracey Pinque last year. They graduated four, including their top scorer.

Kingsway

What is there to say? Kingsway was one of the top teams in the state last year. Even though they graduated Athlete of the Year Tori Griffiths, the Dragons have a strong pipeline. Once again, Kingsway will be the area’s best squad. Midfielder Ella Stephenson (Lehigh University) and forward Colleen Finnan (Villanova University) and back Allie Patel (West Chester University) lead the senior class.

West Deptford

Is this the season where West Deptford returns to being ... well, West Deptford? Head coach Courtney Stetson has taken her lumps her first three seasons as the program retooled. She is optimistic that things come together for the Eagles. The squad features a strong senior class with midfielder Natalie McGivern, midfielder/back Kylie Dorsett (Stockton University), forward/midfielder Kelly Levengood (Hofstra University), forward Ava Mikulski (Ursinus College) and forward/midfielder Laura Wilson.

Woodstown

Woodstown captured the sectional title last season. The Wolverines only lost three seniors. Junior Victoria Bonowski backed up Ella Roberts in goal last year, so she could get the first crack at replacing the standout. Senior forwards Dana DeSiato and Alexis Lowry each finished with 13 goals last season. Head coach Susie Massara, the reigning Coach of the Year, always manages to put together a competitive, deep squad. That should be the case again this year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Darian DeLeo, Clearview, Sr.

The midfielder tallied 26 goals and 12 assists to earn a spot on the All-Area all-star team. DeLeo was a first-team all-star selection by the South Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association and has compiled 56 goals and 17 assists in her career.

Natalie McGivern, West Deptford, Sr.

McGivern has totaled five goals and eight assists in her three years, but this is the season where she and the entire team are expected to take huge strides after a couple of seasons of retooling. The midfielder was a first-team All-Colonial Conference selection last season.

Sabrina McGroarty, Kingsway, Jr.

The forward tallied 29 goals and six assists which landed her on the All-Area all-star team. McGroarty was a second-team all-star selection by the South Jersey Field Hockey Coaches Association and has 41 goals and 14 assists in her career.

Ella Stephenson, Kingsway, Sr.

The midfielder has already committed to play collegiately at Lehigh University. After finishing with five goals and 19 assists last season, Stephenson has 14 goals and 31 assists for her career. Head coach Dana Ott will be counting on Stephenson to lead the squad.

Julia Verratti, Williamstown, Sr.

Williamstown had perhaps the program’s best season last year. Many of the seniors from the squad have graduated, but Verratti remains. She had four goals and 15 assists last year. The Braves may ask more from her offensively.

DATES TO KEEP

Sept. 8: Opening day

Sept. 8: Woodstown at Schalick, 4 p.m.

Sept 12: Washington Township at Williamstown, 4 p.m.

Sept. 12: Timber Creek at Triton, 4 p.m.

Sept. 19: Vineland at Millville, 4 p.m.

Sept. 21: Haddonfield at West Deptford, 4 p.m.

Sept. 23: Gloucester City at Gateway, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 28: Kingsway at Clearview, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 28: Glassboro/Pitman at Woodstown, 4 p.m.

Sept. 28: Salem at Clayton, 4 p.m.

Oct. 4: Schalick at Woodstown, 4 p.m.

Oct. 6: Haddonfield at Kingsway, 6 p.m.

Oct. 6: Williamstown at Washington Township, 4 p.m.

Oct. 11: Clayton at Pennsville, 4 p.m.

Oct. 12: Our Lady of Mercy at Vineland, 6 p.m.

Oct. 22: Qualification deadline for the sectional tournament

Oct. 24: Clearview at Kingsway, 6 p.m.

Oct. 24: Delsea at Cumberland, 4 p.m.

Oct. 24: Woodstown at Glassboro/Pitman, 4 p.m.

Oct. 28: Cumberland at Delsea, 4 p.m.

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The Frenzy Five: The best games to watch in Week 3

The FOX43 High School Frenzy Game of the Week between E-town and Lower Dauphin will be streamed and televised live in a partnership with High School Sports Live.DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Week 3 of the Central Pennsylvania high school football season is upon us, and for most teams in the region, it marks the final tune-up before conference play commences.Friday night will be busy once again, with 47 games on the Central PA schedule. The FOX43 High School Football ...

The FOX43 High School Frenzy Game of the Week between E-town and Lower Dauphin will be streamed and televised live in a partnership with High School Sports Live.

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — Week 3 of the Central Pennsylvania high school football season is upon us, and for most teams in the region, it marks the final tune-up before conference play commences.

Friday night will be busy once again, with 47 games on the Central PA schedule. The FOX43 High School Football Frenzy Game of the Week is a Mid-Penn vs. L-L League battle between Lower Dauphin and Elizabethtown.

The game will be streamed live on Antenna TV and FOX43+ as part of our partnership with High School Sports Live. The Frenzy Team will preview the action Friday at 6 p.m., and wrap up all the post-game highlights in our special, extended Post-Game show at 11 p.m.

Here are five games to keep an eye on this week:

Elizabethtown (2-0) at Lower Dauphin (2-0): Two teams off to somewhat surprising stars clash Friday night in Hersheypark Stadium as the Bears take on the Falcons.

E-town improved its record to 2-0 last Friday with a 50-21 victory over McCaskey, riding great performances by QB Josh Rudy, WR Braden Cummings and RB Logan Lentz. Rudy completed 18 of 27 passes for 270 yards and hooked up with Cummings for three touchdowns. (Cummings finished with five catches for 123 yards.) Lentz racked up 268 rushing yards on 24 carries and found the end zone three times as the Bears outgained the Red Tornado 565-157 in total yardage.

After picking up a forfeit win in Week 1 due to the cancellation of Middletown's football season after a hazing incident, Lower Dauphin improved to 2-0 with a 17-14 victory at Twin Valley last Friday. Ty Millhimes rushed for 118 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns for the Falcons, but it was kicker Brandon Fritz who was the hero of the game for LD, booting a 24-yard field goal with 1:24 left to provide the winning margin.

Lower Dauphin went 6-4 and made an unexpected appearance in the District 3 playoffs in its first season under coach Josh Borelli last season, and is looking to build on that. E-town is playing its first season under coach Keith Stokes this fall, and is looking to establish itself as a program to be reckoned with. We'll see which narrative prevails on Friday.

Other Games to Watch:

Cocalico (1-1) at Manheim Central (2-0): This has been one of the Lancaster-Lebanon League's fiercest rivalries over the last decade, and the fact that Cocalico and Manheim Central are no longer Section 2 neighbors should do little to diminish its intensity. The Eagles and Barons have squared off 14 times in the last 10 years, including three straight seasons where they met in the regular season and the District 3 playoffs (2016-18). Cocalico and Central shared the L-L League Section 2 title last year and split it in 2016.

Cocalico is coming off a 21-7 loss to Solanco last week after dusting Warwick in Week 1. Central defeated Immaculata (NJ) in a wild 44-43 overtime shootout last week after opening its season with a 56-7 blowout over West Chester East.

Players to watch in this one: Brycen Arnold powers the Baron ground game, with 274 yards and five TDs in his first two games. Aaryn Longenecker leads Cocalico in rushing TDs (3) and has caught a team-high five passes for 74 yards, while Sam Steffy (33-239, two TDs) is the team's leading rusher.

Milton Hershey (2-0) at East Pennsboro (2-0): The Spartans were idle last week, picking up a forfeit win over Middletown due to the cancellation of the Blue Raiders' season. They opened the year with a 26-18 victory over Susquehanna Township.

Quarterback Kenny Emile will try to pick up where he left off in Week 1 for Milton Hershey; he threw for four touchdowns in the Spartans' 26-18 triumph over Hanna. Three of those touchdown tosses went to junior speedster Mohamed Koroma.

East Pennsboro improved to 2-0 with a 27-17 victory over Palmyra, as Dakota Campbell took over at quarterback following an injury to starter Keith Oates and rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.

Shippensburg (2-0) at Spring Grove (2-0): The Greyhounds stayed unbeaten and collected the Little Brown Jug with last week's 35-21 victory over neighborhood rival Big Spring. Tucker Chamberlain and Erby Weller connected for three touchdowns in the victory. To say Weller is Chamberlain's favorite target thus far would be an understatement; he has caught all eight of Chamberlain's completed passes in the first two weeks. Meanwhile, RB Traevon Kater has powered the ground game with 176 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Spring Grove, representing Division 1 of the YAIAA, is also unbeaten so far under new coach Will Thompson after holding off Kennard-Dale 33-28 last week. The Rockets dusted Waynesboro 46-14 in Week 1. QB Andrew Osmun has been the standout so far for Spring Grove; he's got five touchdowns in his first two games this season after throwing for four last week against K-D.

South Western (2-0) at New Oxford (2-0): The visiting Mustangs opened the season with blowout wins over Susquehannock (35-3) and Dover (41-13), racking up 717 yards of total offense. Quarterback Max Winsensale and running back Cohen Bull have combined for 307 rushing yards and four touchdowns to lead the ground game, while Wisensale has also completed 12 of 23 passes for 155 yards and two scores. South Western's defense, meanwhile, ranks third in the YAIAA, allowing just 185 yards per game.

New Oxford knocked off neighborhood rival (and YAIAA defector) Gettysburg 28-14 last week after opening the season with a 41-0 rout of Bermudian Springs. The Colonials have ridden the hot hand of quarterback Jett Moore, who has completed 27 of 38 passes for 412 yards and six touchdowns to lead all YAIAA passers through the first two games. Wideout Evan Shriver is second in the conference with 13 catches for 196 yards and three TDs, while Brennan Holmes has eight receptions for 160 yards and three scores. The Colonial defense is second in the league, yielding just 183 yards per game.

Montessori Kids Universe School Location Opens In Chester

Families can take tours of the new school now, for children between the ages of six months to six years, said the location's owner. CHESTER, NJ — After Ti Patel and her husband Dipen settled into the Chester area and started a family, they began seeking a Montessori-style educational program for their daughter.They found few options, with one school they considered 45 minutes away. Many of the programs they looked at additionally were not feasible for working parents, the school day typically ending at about 2:30 p.m....

Families can take tours of the new school now, for children between the ages of six months to six years, said the location's owner.

CHESTER, NJ — After Ti Patel and her husband Dipen settled into the Chester area and started a family, they began seeking a Montessori-style educational program for their daughter.

They found few options, with one school they considered 45 minutes away. Many of the programs they looked at additionally were not feasible for working parents, the school day typically ending at about 2:30 p.m.

That was how she found and partnered with the Montessori Kids Universe franchise to open the Montessori Kids Universe Chester location. The school on 395 Route 24 in Chester celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 5. Tours and registration are happening now, with classes expected to kick off in March, Ti Patel said.

In speaking with their friends within the community, including where they live on the border of Chester and Far Hills, Patel said fellow parents faced similar challenges. Many of the two-parent households they know have both parents juggling full-time jobs, plus the demands of raising families. That included having to wrestle with childcare and educational options that might interrupt the workday. Some parents Patel knows work from home, while their small children are nearby in the house.

With a background in finance and business management before daughters Naya, 3, and Layla, 7 months, were born, Ti Patel told Patch in a phone interview that she began seeking options to open a Montessori School on her own.

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Patel said she decided to bring the business to Chester, a community that has become close to her family’s heart. She and her husband decided on the Chester area after learning about it from her former boss, she said.

“We loved the school system here,” she said.

Having lived throughout New Jersey, they appreciated the warmth of the Mendham and Chester communities, especially their close-knit neighborhood.

Starting a Montessori school in Chester was important to Patel with hours to help working parents, with the school’s hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., she said.

A Montessori-style education, created by physician Maria Montessori, is based on hands-on, independence-based and self-paced style learning for children. Montessori Kids Universe — the parent company in Florida — partnered by guiding Patel through the entire process of building the school, down to the materials and colors used in construction. Paint shades are earth tones, with wood within the building’s style, which she said helps keep students focused on their learning.

Franchise owners also receive between 60 to 90 hours of training from the company before opening their schools, Patel said.

The school is expected to be open year-round to accommodate working parents, she said. A typical day for children begins with their Montessori education in the morning, focusing on learning and activities in an independent and encouraging environment, said Patel. The day continues with yoga, she said. Children next take lunch, which is followed with a nap or quiet activities for kids who would prefer not to nap. The afternoon snack period happens after the quiet time. Children next participate in STEAM, which is science, technology, English, art or math, she said.

During the day, children will also learn sign language, with the school seeking a teacher as well who can teach the Mandarin Chinese language, Patel said.

The day winds down with outdoor time, which Patel called “crucial” in a child’s day. The school has an indoor gym on the days the weather is too cold or hot for outdoor activities.

The 2021-2022 school year is scheduled to last through the end of June. About a week later, the school’s summer activities begin, which is an “around the world” themed curriculum each day through August. That includes the kids learning about different countries, which the school plans to team up with local restaurants and international musicians, depending on the country, said Patel. The 2022-2023 school year begins again in September.

Looking for more information about Montessori Kids Universe? Call 908-650-1658 or click here.

Questions or comments about this story? Have a news tip? Contact me at: [email protected].

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More from Mendham-Chester

Highlands Council Names Ben Spinelli Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJuly 26, 2022Highlands Council Names Ben Spinelli Executive DirectorFormer Highlands Council Member and Chester Township Mayor to Lead Regional Planning AgencyCHESTER, N.J. —At its most recent meeting, the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) appointed Ben Spinelli to the position of Executive Director. Spinelli will lead the 23-person staff and report directly to the Chairman of the Hig...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 26, 2022

Highlands Council Names Ben Spinelli Executive Director

Former Highlands Council Member and Chester Township Mayor to Lead Regional Planning Agency

CHESTER, N.J. —At its most recent meeting, the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council (Highlands Council) appointed Ben Spinelli to the position of Executive Director. Spinelli will lead the 23-person staff and report directly to the Chairman of the Highlands Council for an annual salary $135,000. In addition to being one of the original members of the Highlands Council, Spinelli brings an exceptionally strong background in public policy and land use management to the role.

“When we began this search we were committed to finding someone with meaningful experience in the Highlands region and we were fortunate to have several very qualified candidates come forward,” said Carl Richko, Highlands Council Executive Director “Ben’s tenure on the Highlands Council certainly set him apart, but he also brings deep expertise in environmental policy, municipal land use law, sustainable local, regional and state-wide land use practices, land preservation, agricultural retention and strategic planning. His experience and ties to the region are just excellent.”

Spinelli began his career as a county prosecutor and trial attorney, later entering public service as an elected official, holding the office of Mayor in Chester Township, Morris County for three terms from 1998 until 2007. During his tenue as Mayor, Spinelli joined the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth as Chief Counsel and Director of Policy, later taking on the role of Executive Director for the agency before transitioning into the nonprofit sector and ultimately private consulting. It was also during his time serving as Mayor that Spinelli was appointed to the Highlands Council, where he served from 2004 until 2006.

“I’ve always understood the importance of protecting the natural resources of the Highlands for people living both within and outside of the region,” said Spinelli. “It’s where I’ve lived with my family for the past 32 years and where I’ve invested my time, effort, and passion for building a sustainable society. It all comes full circle with the chance to serve in a position that will draw upon all of my knowledge, talents, and experience”

In 2015, after serving as a Senior Policy Advisor on a presidential Task Force for Disaster Recovery, Spinelli co-founded a consulting partnership providing services to businesses, landowners and government entities on matters of land use, land conservation, agricultural retention, regulatory matters, strategic planning, and policy. That business merged with Greener by Design in 2017, where Spinelli has served as principal working with multi-national corporations, energy partnerships and an ever-growing portfolio of governmental entities. Spinelli is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science at NJIT, and an adjunct professor of Sustainability Studies at Kean University.

“Everything that I have worked on for the past two decades has prepared me for this position,” he said. “I’ve dedicated a significant portion of my professional career to sustainable planning issues, and in particular protection of the resources of the Highlands region. From being the mayor of a Highlands community, to advocating for the protection of the Highlands and sitting as a Highlands Council member, I have been deeply involved in the important issues facing this region. This is an incredible opportunity for me to continue to ensure that the Highlands will meet the needs of New Jersey’s residents for generations to come.”

Spinelli is expected to take over the role in August following the retirement of current Executive Director Lisa J. Plevin, who has held the role since 2018. Under her leadership, the Council advanced numerous significant regional projects, including a number of important lake, watershed, and stormwater management plans that help municipalities address the root causes of Harmful Algal Blooms; the development of an Interactive Environmental Resource Inventory application; and the completion of a trail signage and digital mapping project for the New Jersey portion of the long-distance Highlands Trail. Plevin also worked to greatly increase the Council’s outreach efforts with municipal, county, state and community partners resulting in more than 20 municipal and county planning grant awards for projects that advance the goals of the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan.

“Lisa’s contributions to the Highlands Council during the past four years have been tremendous and will have a lasting impact not only on the agency, but on the region as a whole,” said Richko. “Her engagement with municipal and county officials has resulted in greater trust and a stronger spirit of collaboration that is essential to implement of the Highlands Act and Regional Master Plan.”

Actions taken by the Council at this meeting will take effect following the Governor’s review and consideration of the meeting minutes, up to 10 business days from receipt of the minutes. Materials related to this meeting including resolutions, presentations, audio, and minutes will be posted at: www.nj.gov/njhighlands/about/calend/index.html (click on July 21 meeting).

The Highlands Council is a regional planning agency, established in 2004 with the passage of the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act and charged with implementation of the Act. More information is available at www.nj.gov/njhighlands.

Apple Picking In Chester: Riamede Farm To Open For 2022 Season

Riamede Farm, a 68-acre apple farm, will open for the 48th season on Aug. 25 for you and your family to pick the perfect apples from. CHESTER, NJ —Apple picking season is one of the best parts of late summer and early fall, and Riamede Farm is opening its fields to the public as we approach the peak of apple picking season.On Aug. 25, Riamede Farm, a 68-acre apple farm located at 122 Oakdale Road, will open for the 48th season.The apple season will kick off with early varieties including Gala, Ginger Gold, McInto...

Riamede Farm, a 68-acre apple farm, will open for the 48th season on Aug. 25 for you and your family to pick the perfect apples from.

CHESTER, NJ —Apple picking season is one of the best parts of late summer and early fall, and Riamede Farm is opening its fields to the public as we approach the peak of apple picking season.

On Aug. 25, Riamede Farm, a 68-acre apple farm located at 122 Oakdale Road, will open for the 48th season.

The apple season will kick off with early varieties including Gala, Ginger Gold, McIntosh, Mollie Delicious and Zestar, Riamede Farm owner Ashley O'Keefe said.

According to farm manager James Bourgeois, visiting Riamede during harvest should not be a one-time event.

“Not many people realize that each apple variety has its own ripening time. We grow over 35 kinds, from heirlooms to modern favorites. Our late summer apples kick off the harvest, which goes all the way through late fall with varieties that store exceptionally well over the winter. You could visit us weekly and have a different picking and flavor experience each time,” Bourgeois said.

The farm will hold its first annual "Apples and Artisans" celebration on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to commemorate the start of the harvest season and celebrate local creators.

Charcuterie boards made from Riamede's own 70-year-old apple wood, honey, small-batch ice cream, and seasonal bouquets will be on display and available for purchase.

“Working collaboratively with other local businesses and artisans is something that is very important to the team at Riamede. This farm started the pick-your-own experience in our area as a way to educate and engage with the public, and we’re excited to extend that into our own local community,” O'Keefe said.

Riamede’s Apples & Artisans event will be held from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is free during the event, but attendees are asked to RSVP by reserving their tickets. Additional details can be found at www.RiamedeFarm.com.

Confirmed vendors include:

During apple season, Riamede's farm market is packed with specialty items such as local honey, sauces, small batch ice cream, locally grown flowers, and even charcuterie boards made from Riamede's own apple wood.

“We make an effort to stock our farm market with local products. Farms used to be integral parts of communities. By working with other local creators and businesses, we’re supporting our community and getting great products in front of our customers who may not have found them otherwise,” O'Keefe said.

Riamede Farm was New Jersey's first pick-your-own apple orchard, opening its gates to the public in 1974. Half of its orchards still nurture large old seedling apple trees planted over a half-century ago, giving Riamede a distinct atmosphere.

Aside from apples, visitors can also pick tomatoes, fall vegetables, sunflowers, and pumpkins right off the vine.

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