It was a gorgeous day with blue skies, fully clouds, and tolerable heat and humidity. I woke Bhavna and convinced her to come with me on my continuing adventure along the Hunterdon County 57 Trail. I decided on visiting the Ironbound Farm Market in Asbury (just north of Frenchtown) which I knew was also the home of Ironbound Hard Cider. Starting from our home in Montgomery Township, we enjoyed the hour-long drive through the rolling hills and country roads of Hunterdon County. We arrived at the Ironbound Farm Market around 11:30 AM.
I immediately fell in love with the outdoor space, with picnic tables placed between young tree scattered among a gravel floor. We washed our hands at the washing station before entering the building. Bottles of colourful liquid lined a counter near the entryway. The farmstand held flowers and fresh produce but we shopped from the freezer full of meats and sausages. We bought some Hard Selzer and Hard Cider for my sister-in-law. We will be hanging out in her backyard for Father’s Day.
After checking out, we explored more of the outdoor spaces. I noticed what appears to be large outdoor coal-fired barbecue pit to the rear of the structure covering some of the picnic tables. With the flowers and thoughts of live music, hard cider, and outdoor seating, I could imagine that before COVID-10, a visit to the Ironbound Farm was an incredible experience. We mentally bookmarked this one for when they start serving outdoors again.
Before leaving Ironbound I messaged our family group with this photo from my iPhone. While we driving on our way to our next destination, Bhavana’s brother responded that there was a winery nearby and that he would be willing to meet us there. But we had errands so I declined. Then suddenly I remembered something. I pulled over to check my email. At the end of May, I had ordered ab bottle of rose wine for curbside pickup from Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown. Beneduce Vineyards is also on the Hunterdon County 57 Trail and was just a ten-minute drive from Ironbound.
As we drove through the property Bhavana kept commenting that she felt as though she was in another country. This did not look like New Jersey. Between Ironbound Farm and Beneduce Vineyards, I think I developed a strong feeling of FOMO and regret. I know that eventually, we will have a vaccine for COVID-19, but I regret not discovering these two places before COVID-19. These are two places I would love to enjoy with my friends and family. That vaccine can’t arrive soon enough.
Earlier in the week, after exploring some “mini-patio” designs on the web, I had mentioned to Bhavna that I wanted to get some tropical plants (aka house plants in the USA) for the front patio. From Pittstown, we drove to Blooms at Belle Mead, a garden centre in the Belle Mead section of our town, Montgomery Township. After some exploration, we settled on three large leaf plants, fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata), Warneckii Lemon Lime (Dracaena deremensis), and Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa). I set them up on the small patio and created a small green oasis for outdoor relaxation.
Earlier in the week, I had purchased two jars of Sourland Mountain Spirits’ High Tea at the Rick House cocktail-to-go. I wanted to pick them up but Bhavna wanted to get the frozen meats home before they thawed. She then suggested that since Sourland Mountain Spirits had opened up an outdoor bar with social distanced seating in the rear that we could pick up our cocktails and stay for a cocktail. We went home, put the meats to thaw in the refrigerator, and head over to Sourland Mountain Spirits. It was then 3 PM so I joked with our host, Erica Disch, that we had arrived just in time for TeaTime.
The businesses in the area run by creative and enterprising owners. A friend of the Disch family created a small overhang in one of the windows to serve as a makeshift bar. We ordered two cocktails, the Aloha Kung Fu and the. I enjoyed the Aloha Kung Fu so much that I ordered two more jars of cocktail-to-go.
Thus ended our day.Submitted as part of the 100DaysToOffload project.