Spice Things Up: Well-Sweep Farm’s Herb Sale

The Crystal Springs Beer Fest and a Jockey Hollow wine tasting also are just around the corner.


For both home cooks and professional cooks, there are few places in the Garden State that generate more pride than the landmark Well-Sweep Herb Farm, in the Port Murray section of Mansfield Township in Warren County.

With almost 2,000 different varieties of herbs on sale and on display, Well-Sweep has notched a secure spot on any culinarian’s list of best sources for top-quality herb plants. The farm, founded in 1966 when Louise and Cyrus Hyde purchased a rundown house and property in the mountains of Western New Jersey as a homesteading project, today is run by the founding couple along with their son, Davd, and grandson, Patrick.

Throughout the year, the Hydes stage myriad educational events. The annual open house, the first Saturday of June, is one of the most popular.

And despite this year’s winter, which ended with four nor’easters in March, and a persistently cold and rainy spring that set back the schedules of many farms and farmers in New Jersey, Well-Sweep’s Open House will take place from 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, June 2, with lectures and tours all day and periodic herbal refreshments.

Stroll the display gardens, which include butterfly, medicinal, perennial, rock and, of course, herb. The herb display garden includes a knot garden, and has dozens of basils, rosemarys, lavenders, thymes and scented-leaf geraniums alone. There are exotic herbs rarely found in the United States and, as well, new herbs Cyrus Hyde has managed to procure and propagate.

If you cook with herbs, if you enjoy gardening, if you keep a few pots of herbs on a window sill, the Well-Sweep Open House is a must for your spring calendar. Well-Sweep is located at 205 Mount Bethel Road in Port Murray. 908-852-5390; wellsweep.com.


The New Jersey Beer & Food Festival will take place Friday, June 15 through Sunday, June 17 at Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County.

The three-day festival, which coincides with Father’s Day, includes pop-up beer tastings, a Father’s Day brunch, golf tournament, and the grand beer tasting with more than 200 different brews offered.

The complete schedule of events and information on tickets can be found at crystalgolfresort.com.


Who is headlining at this year’s Sourland Music Festival?

A prominent chef and his restaurant.

Performing” his food—not music at the fund-raising festival for the Sourland Conservancy.

Chris Albrecht, chef at the Ryland Inn, Whitehouse Station in Readington Township, will provide the fare for VIPs at the annual music festival taking place from 3 to 10 pm Saturday, June 23 at Hillsborough Country Club, 146 Wertsville Road in Hillsborough.

Locally sourced ingredients include those from Cherry Grove Farm, Martenette Farms, Stonybrook Meadows, Morganics Family Farm and Cherry Valley Cooperative Farm. Beverages from Sourland Mountain Spirits, Unionville Winery and Flounder Brewery of Hillsborough will be served.

Visit sourlandmusicfest.org for tickets and more information.


If you’re a true wine lover, and you haven’t made set-in-stone plans for tomorrow evening, Wednesday, May 23, call the folks at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen right now and reserve a spot at a wine-and-food dinner guided by Master Sommelier Larry Stone and featuring wines from his Oregon estate, Lingua Franca.

Located in the Eola-Amity Hills, Lingua Franca Vineyard is a coveted site in a coveted region planted by Stone with pinot noir—and a little chardonnay.

Stone engaged the serves of winemakers Dominique Lafon, of Domaine des Comte Lafon, and Thomas Savre, who has worked at Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Domaine Dujac and Maison Nicolas Potel.

Cost of the dinner, which starts at 6:30 pm, is $145 per person, not including tax and tip. Jockey Hollow is located at 110 South Street in Morristown; reservations may be made by calling 973-644-3180 or visiting jockeyhollowbarandkitchen.com.


Speaking of wine-tastings, Piccola Italia is presenting its June Wine Portfolio Tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Friday, June 1 at the restaurant located at 837 Park Avenue in Ocean Township. The event is sponsored by, and features wines from, Angels’ Share. Snacks will be provided during the tasting. For information and reservations, call 732-493-3090.

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