EAST AMWELL, N.J . -- The 2017 Farmer-Businessmen’s Picnic will be hosted by Candlelight Farm Alpacas, 101 Manners Road here on Wednesday, July 26.
The county Board of Agriculture had held a summer picnic each year since 1936. It’s open to anybody buying a ticket. Candlelight Farm is on 136 acres of preserved farmland - formerly owned by the Kanach family - now the property of Robert and Helen Ribbans.
They raise and breed the alpacas for show and sale. The animals are shorn once a year for their luxurious fiber which is converted to yarn and clothing products.
The farm was established in 2003 on Amwell Road in Reaville and moved to its present location in 2007 to accommodate the expanding herd. At the current location, 40 acres are dedicated to pasture for the 90 alpacas and two llamas, 15 acres to hay production and the remaining acres are organically farmed.
Self-guided tours begin at 4:30 p.m. The picnic dinner will be served at 6 p.m. sharp. Dan’s Backyard Barbecue will provide a full course “all-you-can-eat” dinner including roast beef, BBQ chicken, pulled pork, potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans. Drinks are offered and assorted cookies. Ice cream will be provided by Thee Ice Cream Parlor.
Cost is $30 per person. Make checks payable to Hunterdon County Board of Agriculture and mail with a list of people attending to the board at PO Box 2327, Flemington 08822. Reservation deadline is Tuesday, July 18. Tickets must be paid for with reservation and will be held to pick up at the picnic. Call board Treasurer Judy Conard at 908-782 5473 with questions.
The ag board each year holds a picnic at some farm or farm-related business. People will be able to walk around Candlelight Farm and see the operation and surrounding property. In addition, the evening will feature the county Dairy Princess and showcase dairy products, highlight the importance of NRCS projects in protecting the land and provide information about the county's Farmland Preservation program.