VEG-E Systems, a hydroponic farm located right here in Bucks County, has introduced a new program to bring fresh, local lettuce directly to businesses in the Doylestown community. Employees of participating businesses can receive Doylestown Fresh lettuce delivered right to their offices each week through the new Business CSA program.

“We’ve already been delivering our lettuce to some businesses in Doylestown, and the feedback we’ve received is excellent,” says Dennis Riling, VEG-E Systems’ CEO. “People like the convenience of receiving our lettuce at the office, and they can take it
home and share it with their families.”

Through Doylestown Fresh’s new Business CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, local businesses order cases of fresh, delicious lettuce up to two times a week. The lettuce, which is pesticide-free, herbicide-free, and non-GMO, is then delivered during the business day. Cases consist of 12 5-ounce packs of Fresh Mix, a combination of Green Sweet Crisp and Red Butter Lettuces.

Fresh Mix clam shell
Doylestown Fresh’s Business CSA program is an easy and powerful way local businesses can support their employees’ healthy eating habits, the local Doylestown economy, and the local foodshed. It makes a great addition to an existing employee health and wellness program since businesses can have convenient access to fresh, nutritious lettuce year round.

Doylestown Fresh is the local brand of VEG-E Systems, an indoor hydroponic farm based in Doylestown. VEG-E Systems is dedicated to giving local communities access to fresh, healthy produce. The company has local roots, founded by Delaware Valley College alumni Dennis Riling and Tim Sulzer.

For more information or to sign up for the program, visit or email

You can also buy Doylestown Fresh produce at these retail locations.

To learn more about Doylestown Fresh, click here and read our article.

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When I first heard that there was a new poultry farm in Chalfont, I was a bit puzzled. Chalfont? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely community, but there isn’t a lot of farmland left in Chalfont, and I was hard pressed to picture it. As it turns out, Hershberger Heritage Farm, Bucks County’s newest poultry farm, is nestled in one of Bucks County’s oldest family farms, Meadow Breeze Farm, on Walter Road in Chalfont.

Meadow Breeze Farm sunset_photo credit Shelah Layton

Walter Detweiler owns Meadow Breeze Farm (and farm market), a 60 acre property that’s been in his family for generations. It used to be a full-time dairy, but now he raises beef and grows hay. Unfortunately, his children are not taking over the farm, and at 69 years old, Detweiler is ready to retire. But he is interested in leasing out his assets. And that’s good for Nathan and Shelah Layton.

The cost of land being what it is in Bucks County, it’s near impossible for young farmers starting out to own land. That’s why it’s so exciting to see an older farmer extending a hand to a new farmer, and finding new ways to keep our local farmland producing food.

The Laytons are leasing six acres on Meadow Breeze Farm to pasture-raise chickens for eggs and meat. Detweiler generously includes use of his tractors, electricity, barn space and water in the agreement, and is encouraging the Laytons to lease more next year. You couldn’t ask for a better landlord.

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Hershberger Heritage Farm came into being just this past March (named after Nathan’s maternal grandfather, Richard Hershberger). “We got started because we wanted eggs and poultry that was non-GMO, and we were having a hard time finding them,” says Nathan. Most people, faced with this problem, would not start a poultry farm. Luckily for us, the Laytons decided they would. And they decided to raise their chickens using “beyond organic” farming practices. But what does mean?

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Just when I think things are slowing down for the summer, I look at Bucks County Taste’s Food Events Calendar and find a whole bunch of fun things going on locally.

Sticky buns_serious eats_Photo credit Elizabeth Bomze

Homemade cinnamon buns made by your (surrogate) grandmother. On the last week of every month, the Central Bucks Senior Center holds a cinnamon bun bake sale. Fresh, gooey, chewy buns, made that morning, are sold by the dozen in three flavors: plain ($5), raisin ($5.50) and raisin and nuts ($6.50). This week the sale begins on Tuesday, July 29 and continues through Saturday, August 2, every day from 9 am to 3 pm.

Volunteers from the center start the process at midnight the day of the sale, mixing the dough and rolling it out. As the morning progresses, they are joined by the “goopers,” “bakers,” “dumpers,” and “wrappers,” who all perform their essential function so that you can bite into a lovely sticky bun with your coffee. They make between 120 to 150 dozen buns a day! Stop by the center at 700 Shady Retreat Road in Doylestown (near intersection of Shady Retreat and Broad St.). For more information, call 215.348.0565.

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You may think the summer is a quiet time but get a look at what’s happening on the local restaurant scene.

Sunday Supper_Vintage Grille

The Vintage Grille in Fountainville is offering a special prix fixe menu every Sunday evening throughout the summer. The Sunday Supper features three courses for $24.95. The menu this past Sunday featured a Chicken & Quinoa Chowder, House Salad with roasted tomato vinaigrette, Edamame Potstickers and a Beet & Goat Cheese Arugula Salad for appetizers. Entrées included Soba Noodles with Salmon, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Polenta Lasagna, Flat Iron Steak Salad, and Tagliatelle with Mussels. And dessert too! Call 215.348.4850 to reserve your seat.

Hamilton's Grill Room courtyard; painting by Robert Beck

In Lambertville, Hamilton’s Grill Room has updated their weekend lunch menu for the summer. In addition to favorites like Fried Oysters (with a cornmeal crust and a tabasco remoulade) and a Lobster Roll (with mascarpone, on a buttered brioche roll), they’ve added a Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad and Burrata Cheese with Prosciutto. Lunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. And with the weather we’ve been having, it would be great to sit out in the courtyard too. For the full lunch menu, click here. Call 609.397.4343 to reserve.

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In  this series, chef Rich Baringer gives great recipes, full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, just in time for the weekend.

By guest blogger, Rich Baringer,

In our house, I’m usually the one who tries out all the unique and gourmet recipes.  My wife, Mary Beth, luckily for me, is extremely skilled in making great comfort food. These are the dishes that she was raised on and that just hit the spot. This recipe is one of them.

Often, with these kinds of recipes, there really isn’t a recipe.  So we had to estimate the amounts and cooking times.  And, to be honest, a recipe like this is really more of a guide. You don’t have to follow it to the letter. A lot has to do with your personal taste. But whether you follow the recipe closely or not, this meal is worth making. It is so tasty, made with all local, in-season ingredients. The perfect dinner for a lovely summer night. It tastes even better a day or two later.

Ham and Beans_Rich Baringer

For the recipe…

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Farm-to-fork, craft beer, wine pairing, pizza on the grill, and even catching fire flies. It’s all happening this week in Bucks and nearby.

Lagunitas beerIf you are a craft beer fan, don’t miss a special beer dinner Thursday (tomorrow) night at the Yardley Inn. The five course meal will feature Lagunitas Brewing Company beers. Sous Chef Josh Noel has created a pairing menu to compliment the beers, including fried gulf oysters, potato chip crusted pork terrine, and seared big eye tuna (for the full menu, click here). 

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The parking lot is full and so is the side street adjacent to the restaurant, so hubby says, I’ll park; you go in and see if you can grab some seats at the counter. Squeezing by a dozen or more hungry people waiting for tables, I eye two empty stools. Yes! Breakfast – and more importantly coffee – is only minutes away.

Actually it’s more than just okay. I love sitting at the counter, especially at a place like Charcoal. It’s the nerve center of the restaurant. From my perch, I can see through the order window into the kitchen, where the line cooks are putting up dishes every few seconds. I can view the coffee station – certainly the nerve center during breakfast – and listen to the wait staff chat as they pass each other, moving quickly off in different directions into the dining room with a cup, or plate, or glass of milk for a crying child.

And quietly, at the center of all this, is (Anton) Tony Plescha, owner of Charcoal BYOB. He constantly scans the dining room, clearing dishes here, filling up a coffee cup there. He sees a potential problem and with a quiet word to one of the staff, it’s taken care of. He’s the one oiling this well-oiled machine.

breakfast_charcoal byob

This is Charcoal “AM.” Right on River Road, one story up (we’ll talk floods later), this neighborhood restaurant is well-known and loved in Yardley for its great food and beautiful views of the river. During the day, Charcoal serves up delicious breakfasts and lunches. But at night, the restaurant shows its other personality, serving fresh and seasonal dishes, prepared in innovative, and even surprising, ways. Like freshly-made radiatori served with pepperoni Bolognese, egg yolk, Parmigiano-Reggiano and arugula. This is Charcoal “PM.”

Radiatori with bolognese_charcoal byob_cropRadiatori with Pepperoni Bolognese

Charcoal is actually two restaurants in the same building. Like siblings from the same family – different personalities but the same underlying values: take good, quality food and make it the tastiest it can be.

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7/27/14 UPDATE: Jean-Louis, Drumm and Baudolino, regularly $24/lb, are now just $18/lb at Bobolink Dairy through August 3.

Due to an embarrassment of cheese riches, Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse is offering their grand reserve 2013 Drumm and Jean-Louis at a significant discount of 25% off.  And, to sweeten the deal, they are offering this season’s gooey Baudolino at the same price! These are three exceptional cheeses.

For orders placed online before Monday, July 14, Sunday, August 3, or for purchases at the farm or any of their farmer’s market stands, Drumm and Jean-Louis, regularly $24/lb, will be just $18.00/lb. Online, you can order as little as ½ lb, and at the markets and farm store, there is no minimum order.

Bobolink creates their artisanal cheeses from 100% raw milk, drawn from their pastured cows. To learn more, go to their website. I highly recommend taking the tour of their farm just north of Frenchtown.

Click here to order the sale cheeses online.

Baudolino – gooey with a light grassiness
Jean-Louis – bold, tangy, creamy
Drumm – deep flavor, with lovely blue veining

Keep Calm and Carry OnLet’s say you don’t go away in July. As the weather gets hot and humid, and the roads seem empty, it’s easy to feel like nothing is happening.  Ah, but there is plenty going on in Bucks and nearby. Here’s some ideas of what you can get out and do this week.

Wednesday. Tonight, the United German Hungarians Club in Bensalem holds their monthly Schnitzel Night from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm (usually on the first Wednesday of the month but due to the holiday last week, they moved  it to this week.) Or check out the  Custom Tea Blending Class at the Tubby Olive in Doylestown at 6 pm tonight.

Oysters on the half shell

Thursday. There are few things I enjoy more in this kind of weather than a half-dozen oysters accompanied by a cold, dry martini. On Thursdays, Deanna’s in Lambertville fills this need with their Happy Hour Raw Bar from 4:30 to 6:30 pm; shrimp, oysters and clams a buck each (also on Friday evenings). Also on Thursdays, the Freight House in Doylestown has a Happy Hour Dollar Oysters night. And don’t miss the Clam Bake at the Logan Inn every Thursday too.

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by guest blogger, Erica Chayes,

When a landmark like the Stockton Inn begins to shift in new directions, it’s easy for us locals to push away the winds of change. After all, we’re only human.

But I must remind you, my fellow bon vivants, that change brings new flavors. Was it not a change of pace that inspired Dorothy Parker, George Kaufman and other members of the Algonquin Round Table to venture to our neck of the woods for taste making and a little R & R? Change is a wonderful thing, should you choose to embrace it.

And proprietor Mitch Millett and his nephew, executive chef Heath Millett, embrace change. In fact, they’re pros at the art of reinvention. As Bucks County locals who recently returned to their roots, they’re working to preserve the Stockton Inn’s history and make it a prominent fine dining destination.

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Blueberry boxThe word for this week? Blueberries.

The local blueberry crop is in! It looks like it will be a good season, according to Solebury Orchards—which opens tomorrow, July 3—and Terhune Orchards in Princeton. This weekend’s weather is supposed to be a little cooler and clear, so go pick some blueberries.

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Wake up and smell the lavender!

This Wednesday night, July 2, come to Peace Valley Farm, one of the most beautiful—and fragrant—farms in Bucks County for a tour and delicious potluck dinner.

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Umbrella drinkIf you don’t feel like cooking on the 4th, you’ve got some great options at local restaurants in Bucks County and nearby.

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Stockton Inn patio

The Stockton Inn’s Garden Patio. We’ve got fond memories of sitting in the Stockton Inn’s lovely garden patio behind the main building. Now it has been made even better, with a refurbished bar and a new menu. We can’t wait to try the new raw bar featuring top neck clams, a variety of oysters on the half shell, ceviche salads, octopus, and caviar. You can also dine from the restaurant’s main menu in the garden. For more information, see the Inn’s website.

sweet melissa pie

Stockton Market News. While you’re in Stockton, check out some of the great stuff happening at the Market. In May, Sweet Melissa Patisserie opened in the market, with freshly baked, seasonal pies and other baked goods. The chef and owner, Melissa Murphy, is a transplant from Brooklyn where she had the popular påtisserie for many years. Murphy recently relocated to Hunterdon County with her family to enjoy the “country life.” Aren’t we lucky?

Half Pint Kitchen summer flavors

When’s the last time you had Half Pint Kitchen? The amazing small batch ice creamery in the Stockton Market is in full “seasonal” swing using dairy and fruit from locally sourced small farms and orchards. Robin and Jim Salant make some of the most intense, fresh and incredible ice cream in the area. This should wet your appetite (see the photo above): Brown Butter Pecan, Salted Caramel, Dark Chocolate Sorbet, Roasted Strawberry, Almond Milk “Latte” Granita and Mint Chocolate Chip. [Note: the chocolate sorbet is so rich, people don't believe it doesn't have dairy in it!] Flavors change weekly so you’ll just have to stop by every week.

Celebrate Bastille Day. You don’t have to be French to celebrate July 14th especially when Slate Bleu is planning a special evening in honor of the day. The three-course menu looks amazing, and includes wine. Click here to see the full menu and contact them at 215.348.0222 for reservations.


Blueberries! Shady Brook Farm in Yardley has the season’s first Bucks County blueberries. Pick-your-own for $2.99/lb. or get them already picked in the store for $2.99/pt, 2 for $5.

Another lovely June weekend is coming up! Celebrate Sam Adams, tour a local lavender farm, pick some strawberries, shop a local farmers market, or nibble and sip overlooking the Delaware at one of the area’s oldest inns.

Happy Birthday, Sam Adams! Isaac Newton’s, Newtown’s great craft beer bar and restaurant, is celebrating Samuel Adams’ 30th birthday (the pioneer craft beer company, not the man) with an event this Saturday, 30 for 30 (plus 2!) with Samuel Adams! For the first time in the bar’s history, every tap in the house will feature a Sam Adams beer, including many rare and limited edition beers. They will be tapping a minimum of 32 Sam Adams beers throughout the day including a cask-conditioned ale.

Sam AdamsWhy 32 beers? Well, 30 is to honor Sam Adams while the ‘plus 2′ will allow Isaac Newton’s to be largest Tap Takeover in Sam Adams history. The festivities kick off at 11:30 am and continue throughout the day. There will be free giveaways and special menu items including Beer-braised Brats with Boston Lager and a Brisket Sandwich with Nitro Stout. For more information, and to see the confirmed drafts and tappings, click here.

In the category of “Has it really been that long?” the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville is culminating a month of celebrating their 5th anniversary since reopening the famous restaurant and inn. The special meal Monday evening is a $25 prix fixe and includes artisan fruit and cheese, crudités, Mediterranean antipasto and tossed salad; small plate entrees like Chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage jambalaya, Molasses and rum-painted salmon, Crispy risotto balls with gorgonzola cheese and a selection of popular Bass Sliders, finishing with a dessert buffet. Cocktails and drinks will only be $5. The fun begins at 5:30 pm. For more details see their website.

Peace Valley Farm harvestOn Wednesday, join the Bucks County Foodshed Alliance at their second summer farm tour of the season at Peace Valley Lavender Farm in Doylestown. George and Patty Lyons began growing lavender on the old farmstead in 2001. They raise several varieties of English lavender and lavandins (natural hybrids of English and spike lavender). On the day of the farm tour, they expect many of their more than 3,000 plants to be in bloom, coloring and perfuming the farm’s south-facing hillside. The potluck begins at 6 pm, with the tour following at 7 pm. You’ll also be able to purchase growing plants, bulk blossoms, dried bunches, essential oil, bath & body products, pillows and sachets, herbal products for the kitchen and more. For more information, click here.

The Berry Report. Manoff Market Gardens will be open through Saturday, June 28 from 9 am to 12 pm for pick-your-own strawberries only. Then they will reopen in mid- to late-July with their lovely peaches. This is your last chance to fill your freezer with local strawberries! See our post, Pick-your-own strawberries in Bucks, for a list of all local farms where you can pick your own.

And, finally, Solebury Orchards opens for the season on Thursday, July 3. Because of the late and cool spring, they are a little later opening than usual. The good news is the blueberry crop looks great and will last into mid-August, with peak being mid-July. Apricots are coming in nicely, available through July, and peaches are looking good, hopefully to arrive in mid- to late-July. The bad news is that their cherries are not coming in this year due to the blossoms damaged in a freeze. Watch their website for up-to-date news on crops and when to pick-your-own.

cherry tomatoes_Milk House Farm_June 21 2014

To market, to market. Here’s what you can expect to find at local farmers markets this week:  Just Arrived! Celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (slicing and pickling), green beans, red potatoes, and zucchini.

You’ll also find basil, beets, broccoli, carrots (maybe), chives, cilantro, dill, escarole, fennel, French breakfast radishes, garlic scapes, green garlic, hakurei turnips, Tuscan and curly kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, lettuce mix, mint, mushrooms, parsley, radicchio, radishes, rosemary, spinach, spring onions, strawberries (spray-free), sugar snap peas, summer squash, Swiss chard and flower bouquets. 

Most markets will also have:  eggs from free-range chickens, grass-fed and pastured meats, preserves, specialty foods, baked goods like breads, cakes, cookies and pastries, cheese and yogurt, locally roasted coffee, and interesting crafts from local artisans. For a list of all farmers’ markets in Bucks and nearby, go to our food guide here.

For more details on any of these events, please go to our full calendar, Food Events in Bucks County. Follow Bucks County Taste also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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