Roxy’s Best Of…Chester, NJ

The Best of Chester, NJ, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to shopping


Maddie’s First Grade Class Trip to Stony Hill Farm in Chester, New Jersey

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Last week, I had the good fortune to chaperone Maddie’s first grade class trip to Stony Hill Farm in Chester, New Jersey. The first graders, teachers, and a handful of moms and dads boarded the school buses in front of Mendham Township Elementary School at 9:00am on Tuesday, October 21st and made the quick trip to Chester. Our group was escorted into the barn for an educational session about farming that I found fascinating. We learned a great deal about growing corn, feeding livestock and the difference between straw and hay, raising and protecting bees (honey bees and other native bees), and the importance of supporting our local farmers. As many of the first graders seemed distracted, kicking the straw and stirring up dust (aaaahchooo!), I worried that our farm guide’s expertise had been lost on the kids, but I was thrilled later that night when Maddie put all of the information into her own words to share it with Rex and London at the dinner table that night.

At last it was time for pumpkin picking! Our class boarded the hay ride and headed out into the Stony Hill fields to pick our own pumpkins from a great-looking crop. Each first grader and chaperone found a unique pumpkin (some classics, some greenish, some hard and gourd-like, etc.), and Maddie picked out a nice one for me to bring home for London. My girls brought their pumpkins along on their Friday night “late-over” at Susan and Mike’s, and transformed them into painted creations while Rex and I rocked out with Joan Jett at the Mayo Center of the Performing Arts in Morristown, NJ.

While we made it back onto the school bus just before the rain started and our class didn’t have time to check out the corn mazes, Rex and I may try to get the girls back there before the end of the Fall season. “VOTE ‘08″ is the theme for Stony Hill Farm’s eighth annual Maize Quest corn maze, a 10-acre cornfield maze adventure exploring 10,000 feet of pathways cut through 300,000 living cornstalks in a life-sized maze of maize (the Native American word for corn). Visitors explore the pathways in the shape of an elephant, a donkey, and the words “VOTE ‘08.” With younger kids, I’d recommend exploring the corn maze during daylight hours, but for the more adventuresome, Stony Hill Farm offers Flashlight Nights in the Maze on Fridays and Saturdays. Afterwards, you can shop for local farm fresh produce at the Stony Hill Farm Market.

Stony Hill Farm Market, 15 North Road, Chester, NJ 07930. West of I-287, between I-78 and I-80, just east of Route 206. Phone: (908) 879-2908. Open daily. Please don’t forget to tell ‘em Roxy sent you!

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