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Find farmers markets in New Jersey and nationwide with USDA  directory

Scotch Plains Farmers Market, open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays in the town parking lot at 430 Park Ave., has produce, flowers, cheese, prepared food and more.

Farmers markets can offer the freshest of both familiar and less familiar types of seasonal produce.

If you love your fruits and veggies as much as we do, check out the USDA's farm-market finder,  the Farmers Market Directory.

At, there are lots of statistics and farmer-centeric details like the total number of registered farm markets and the states with the highest number. But most of us will just want to find farm markets -- say, one that will have Jersey Fresh tomatoes, peaches and local honey. The nationwide database lets you search for markets by ZIP code within a specified radius.

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2014 New Jersey blueberry festivals and farms to pick your own 

Photo by Jim ClarkThe 100th birthday of New Jersey's official state fruit is two years away in 2016, but they've been celebrating since 2011 in Whitesbog Village, where the first cultivated blueberry was developed.

And during New Jersey's peak blueberry season in late June, blueberry lovers have at least two opportunities to join the celebration with blueberry festivals in Burlington and Atlantic counties, where most of the state's blueberries are grown.

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Reduced-fat cheesecake recipe: Hass avocado cheesecake bites updated 

Avocado cheesecake bites have a shortbread cookie and pistachio crust. Click on the image to get the original recipe from the Hass Avocado Board.The recipe for Avocado Cheesecake Bites with Pistachio-Shortbread Crust is an indulgent one using whipping cream, a full pound of cream cheese and full-fat yogurt.

It is easy to lighten the Hass Avocado Board recipe without losing the creamy satisfying flavor. Simply switch to non-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.  For an even lighter cheesecake treat, use traditional graham crackers in place of shortbread for the crust. We like the novelty of a cookie crust, however, and used Pepperidge Farm's Chessmen cookies. They are lower in fat and calories than the Walker's shortbread used in the original recipe. 

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