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26 August 2017
12:00 pm EDTSickles Market Celebrates New Jersey’s Finest - Peaches and Butterflies

Sickles Market, Little Silver, will hold its annual Peach and Butterfly Celebration, Saturday, August 26 from Noon – 3 p.m. All activities are Free.

The celebration’s mission is to create awareness about the very special, delicious New Jersey peach, its many varieties, preparations made with fresh peaches and products made from peaches such as preserves, jams and baked goods. Several activities - including a traditional favorite, a pie eating contest - are scheduled and the highly anticipated Painted Lady butterfly release. All activities are free and the times are as follows:

Everything Peaches Tastings & Demos - baked goods, jams, jellies and preserves, grilled peaches and New Jersey’s many peach varieties. Additionally Sickles Market will be offering tastings of grilled Organic Farmer Focus chicken, a new line recently introduced to the award-winning butcher department: 12-3 p.m.

Kids’ Peach Pie Eating Contest: 1 p.m. (For children 12 and under only.)

Butterfly Release: 1:45 p.m.

“Jersey Peaches are a seasonal delicacy,” explained Bob Sickles, third generation owner of Sickles Market, Little Silver. “They are picked at high maturity when they are ready to eat - which means they have more sugar, are larger and better tasting than peaches grown in other states – and delivered directly to our market. It’s the freshness and the seasonality that makes Jersey peaches so special. So eat a peach and keep our farmers farming,” he said.

New Jersey peaches are hand-picked from July – September. According to the New Jersey Peach Council, New Jersey is ranked fourth in the nation for peach production after California, South Carolina and Georgia. Since the 1600’s when the first peaches were grown from seeds, peaches have been produced in New Jersey. In 1900 there were more than four million peach trees within Hunterdon County alone, then the major peach-growing region of the state. San Jose scale wiped out the industry in the early 20th century. Today, New Jersey has less than two million peach trees with the majority of the 80 orchards located in southern New Jersey, however, the industry has for several years been recovering vigorously. New varieties of peaches and nectarines are extending the season both early and late. New Jersey soils and climate are ideal for the maximum production of quality peaches.

New Jersey is one of the nation’s top growers of peaches. In 2015, farmers grew 42.2 million pounds of peaches on 4,700 acres valued at $27.6 million. The 2017 peach crop is projected to produce between 55 and 60 million pounds of peaches on 5,500 acres, according to the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council.

The connection between peaches and butterflies are many:

First, pollinating insects such as honeybees and butterflies play a pivotal role in the maturation of most fruit trees and other fruit bearing and vegetable plants. They help to cross-pollinate pollen from one tree to another insuring that the flowers are pollinated and will produce fruit; second, both peaches and butterflies are fully developed and plentiful in August; third, it is fascinating and educational, and so much fun to watch as butterflies go through miraculous metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis, and then, emerging as a magnificent butterfly.

Painted Lady butterflies are native to the Jersey Shore and can be found in our gardens, along roadsides and in fields. Also on display in Sickles garden center are flowering plants with special identification that attract these beautiful and helpful insects to your garden or yard such as the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii) pictured above.

Sickles Market, established in 1908, is a trusted source for the highest quality produce, baked goods, gourmet grocery items, meats, hand cut-to-order artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, prepared foods, cut flowers, plants, kitchen tools and essentials and service to be found anywhere. Sickles Market is located on ancestral property that dates back to a King’s Land Grant in 1665. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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