LAFAYETTE, NJ - Sunset View Farm in Lafayette was the site for a tomato hoedown on Saturday. The event was a family oriented affair featuring fresh produce, music, arts and crafts and participating visitors got to throw tomatoes at each other.
The special day was sponsored by Sunset View Farm in conjunction with The Spirit of the Arts. The Spirit of the Arts is a non-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to support the arts and humanities. The organization is active in New York City, Sussex and Morris Counties.
Several guest artists displayed their creations. Visitors perused the available paintings, decorated glassware and handmade figurines, soaps and other items. Others went inside the barn for a lecture about canning and a soap making demonstration. Behind the barn were the chicken coops filled with hens and a rooster.
Jessica Goldman from Cranford, NJ brought along her seven year old son Jaden to experience nature and the animals at Sunset View Farm. Jaden along with the other children were excited to see the chickens.
This past June Goldman, who is a teacher in Newark, NJ visited the farm with her school children. The students hatched eggs in their classroom. The chicks were given to Sunset View Farm to finish growing.
Goldman said, "I can't believe how fast they [chicks] have grown."
She showed what the chicks looked like when they were smaller on her iPad. Jaden Goldman fed corn to the chickens that came to the edge of the fence.
But the main event was the tomato hoedown. A supply of ripe tomatoes were given to participating children and adults. They pelted each other with tomatoes for a while in a field to the amusement of onlookers.
Linda Grinthal and her husband have owned the 20 acre farm for 8 years. They moved from Hackensack, NJ almost 20 years ago to Sussex County. The land contains just about everything one would expect such as a barn, hay, vegetables, fruit and some chickens.
Through the years the Grinthals have raised a family, and turned their farm into a teaching farm catering to visiting school children and the general public.
How to identify and consume edible stems, flowers and herbs are just some of the things taught. All food is organically grown. There is even a community garden that people help grow, and can have their own plots.
The Sunset View Farm has a schedule of events. The farm staff can even visit a school or organization if requested.
More information about Sunset View Farm can be found on its website at http://www.sunsetvista.org/.