A day of music, food and a true celebration of the Sourland Mountain, its beauty, importance and history is celebrated at the 15th annual Sourland Music Festival.
This year, NOFA is supporting the Festival, working with partners to raise awareness of the ecological importance of the Mountain. We applaud, in particular, the efforts of the Sourland Conservancy to protect the Sourlands and of the Ryland Inn, providers of the VIP service to the Festival and a strong supporter of our work and of the importance of sourcing food from local, responsible farms.
Farming has an interesting history in the Sourlands. Because of its ubiquitous rocks, dense forest, and clay soils, only a few hardy souls tried to create farms on the Mountain, although there were widescale peach orchards in the 19th Century. After they failed, the forest reclaimed the land.
Farming now takes place largely on the outskirts of the Mountain itself. Many of the farmers are NOFA members who appreciate the fragility of the Mountain’s ecosystem and its value to the wider community.
The region is home to the largest contiguous forest in Central New Jersey and encompasses a complex ecosystem of forest, wetlands and grasslands. Its mosaic of habitats is home to an incredibly rich diversity of animal and plant species, many rare or endangered. The forest is especially important as a breeding area for migratory songbirds.
Its mountain springs feed the headwaters of many streams and rivers. The secluded Sourlands are wonderfully rich in history, having served as a refuge for George Washington and, later, for escaped slaves and a hiding place for moon-shiners and outlaws. Truly New jersey’s own Wild West!
Our members also understand that there are real threats to the Mountain, from development, pipelines, invasive species, and an over-population of deer. With partners such as the Conservancy, the D&R Greenway Land Trust, the NJ Conservation Foundation and others, we work with these farmers to help them become good stewards of the land, preserve farmland and work together to mitigate these threats.
As Adrian Hyde, NOFA Executive Director, said; ‘The Sourland Mountain is New Jersey’s hidden jewel. We will be at the Festival as it is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of the Sourlands and to highlight the wonderful contribution that many of our members make to protecting its special character. It is also a wonderful day for families, music lovers and foodies!’.
NOFA will have a stand at the Festival, focused on educating Festival attendees about the history of farming in the area. A number of our members will also be contributing to the Ryland Inn VIP area and to a farm stand. Tickets can be bought through NOFA here. There will be many activities for children, six great bands and lots of quality food and beverages. Bring your family and friends, have a great day out and support a wonderful cause. All for $15 if tickets bought in advance!
Please note: physical tickets will not be issued, instead attendees will be checked-in at the registration table