Film on History of Local Farming: June 12 Premiere

Posted on June 11, 2018

The Millstone Valley of central New Jersey, settled by Dutch farmers three centuries ago, helped New Jersey earn its Garden State nickname, and became the breadbasket of a booming New York City metropolis.  That story, culminating in today’s farm-to-table movement, is told in a new documentary film to have its world premiere June 12 at the Princeton Garden Theater.

 Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present, is a 35-minute video documentary based on a historic account by Jessie Lynes Havens of Montgomery Township, and made by the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition of Rocky Hill, in association with the Van Harlingen Historical Society of Montgomery.

The Johnson Farmstand                                                            Photo Credit: Dale Johnson

“Locals will be delighted to learn the stories behind easily recognized local landmarks, restaurants, and farms. There’s a lot to be proud of, here in the Millstone Valley,” said MVP Coalition President Brad Fay. “We are grateful for the support we received from state, county, and private grants that made this film possible.”

Tickets are available in advance at or at the door. The premiere will be on June 12 at 7:30 pm at the Garden Theater at 160 Nassau St., Princeton. The new 35-minute film will be followed by a panel discussion by several leaders of the local farm-to-table movement that has grown out of three centuries of farming history. Confirmed panelists are:

  • Raoul Momo, co-owner of the restaurants Eno Terra in Kingston and Mediterra in Princeton
  • Lauren Nagy, manager of Cherry Valley Cooperative farm in Montgomery, NJ
  • Ryck Suydam, owner of Suydam Farm in Franklin, and President of the NJ Farm Bureau

Farming in the Millstone Valley: Past & Present is a production of Flickering Duck Productions in association with Visionary Video & Filmworks Studios, and the filmmakers Fred Frintrup of Milltown, NJ and Peter Frintrup of Los Angeles. The award-winning father-son film team have made numerous historic documentaries related to the Griggstown Village, Historic Rockingham, the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway, and the New Jersey origin of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The film is a project of the MVP Coalition in support of its mission to preserve the historic resources, farmland and natural landscapes of the Valley and to promote the Millstone Valley National Scenic Byway; the Byway roughly parallels the Millstone River and the D. & R. Canal through Montgomery, Hillsborough, Millstone, East Millstone, Franklin, Griggstown, Kingston, Princeton, and Rocky Hill.

This film was made possible, in part, by the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State through the State/County History Partnership Program Grant, and administered in Somerset County by the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Source: Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition & Van Harlingen Historic Society