WYCKOFF, N.J. -- Bring your appetite to the upcoming Corn and Tomato Fest Saturday, July 30 at Abma's Farm in Wyckoff.
The produce and poultry farm will present recipes and cooking demos. Farm tours will be given and there's a greenhouse and petting zoo, as well as a farmers' market.
Poultry and eggs from Abma's cage-free chickens will be sold at the market, which will be open the day of the free festival, which is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 700 Lawlins Road, Wyckoff.
Abma is among a handful of working farms still in operation in Bergen County. Located about 40 minutes from New York City, it's a rarity, said Marketing Director Valerie Abma, whose farm has about 3,000 chickens on-site.
The festival is in its third year. "We introduced Corn Fest first an then decided to add tomatoes. We want to showcase our major crops which are corn and tomatoes," she said.
Food highlights will include the corn Abma cooks herself. She spilled the beans about the best way to grill it, noting that for a good outcome the corn needs to be picked and used within 48 hours, ideally on the same day.
First soak it with the husk on for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the moisture to get inside the corn. When you put it on the grill, it will steam. After 20 minutes, rotate the corn. When the husk turns black, it's ready. "That's when you peel back the husk and have the sweetest flavor," Abma said
"After 48 hours, it turns to starch and is no longer sweet. I can pick corn the same day and eat it raw it's so sweet. You don't get it that way at a supermarket."
Outside the festival, year-round events at the farm focus on education rather than "agritourism," Abma said.
"We have about 200 (parking) for events like this and we get traffic control to help with that," she said. "Otherwise, we have small events to educate people about a working farm. We want our regular customers to come without having the crowds."
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