SHORT HILLS, N.J. – Residents in Millburn-Short Hills, Maplewood-South Orange, Union and Springfield communities can now enjoy healthy, nutritious, locally grown produce and the convenience a local pick-up locale. Squirrel & The Bee Grainless Bake Shop, located at 515 Millburn Avenue in Short Hills will receive weekly deliveries from Youth Farm Stand Program through the Greater Newark Conservancy for its members.

The Squirrel & the Bee’s owner and professional pastry chef, Michelle Retik, said as a local resident with a community-based business, it’s important for her to help raise awareness of people and organizations like the Conservancy that contribute to better health and nutrition. Serving as the pick-up location for the Youth Farm Stand Program does just that.
 
“We support local growers and producers, particularly those that follow organic methods,” Retik added, noting the Squirrel & the Bee’s commitment to better health through its grainless (gluten-free), refined-sugar-free, and no or low dairy products including muffins, granola, cookies, frozen desserts and savory items like soups and salads. She plans to source fruits and produce from the Conservancy’s urban farms and contribute coffee grounds to its extensive composting program.

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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are a great way to take positive action to improve your health, the local economy and the environment. From kale and lettuce to strawberries, tomatoes and more, Greater Newark Conservancy’s Youth Farm Stand Program will deliver produce picked fresh in season at the Conservancy’s Court Street and Hawthorne Avenue urban farms from June till November. A personal share (one bag) of fruits and veggies costs just $225.00 for twelve deliveries (every other Wednesday starting June 14th). A family share (two bags) is $375.00. There’s also a $10 fee for 2 reusable insulated bags.
 
Membership in the Youth Farm Stand Program directly supports the Conservancy’s Newark Youth Leadership Project (NYLP), a workforce readiness program for Newark high school students and college mentors from around the state, and other job training opportunities for formerly incarcerated men and women. 
 
Laura Bretzger, a Union resident, was the first person to sign up for a membership in the Youth Farm Stand Program for the 2017 season at Squirrel & the Bee. Bretzger, who serves as marketing manager for City Fire Equipment, Co., Inc. on Ridgedale Avenue in East Hanover, said she looks forward to having fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the season and appreciates the convenience of Squirrel & the Bee as the pick-up location on her way to work.  “It feels like I am the one enjoying the benefits,” Bretzger pointed out, “and the satisfaction of contributing to and supporting the Conservancy’s programs and services.”
 
“Joining the Youth Farm Stand Program is a win-win situation because members get the freshest possible ingredients from our urban farms and our urban farmers feel secure knowing the demand upfront,” concluded Robin Dougherty, the Conservancy’s Executive Director. “The Conservancy’s produce is grown using organic methods and without pesticides, so it is fresh, safe, and good for you.”
 
You can sign up for memberships online at http://citybloom.org/youth-farm-stand/membership-program. For more information about the Youth Farm Stand Program at the Squirrel & the Bee, contact Emma Mujica, Director of Special Projects, at emujica@citybloom.org. Memberships are limited and provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
 
For more information about Greater Newark Conservancy’s other programs and services, to volunteer or to make a donation call 973.642.4646 or visit www.citybloom.org. You can also follow news from the Conservancy at Facebook.com/GreaterNewarkConservancy plus Twitter and Instagram - @Citybloom87.