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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Kendall Park, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Kendall Park, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Kendall Park, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Kendall Park, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Kendall Park, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Kendall Park, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Kendall Park, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Kendall Park, NJ

33 Andover Dr, Kendall Park, NJ 08824

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Weird NJ: The bowling ball house upsets neighbors

It was a few years back and we were traveling along Cohawkin Road in the Gloucester County town of Clarksboro when first caught our first glimpse of what has come to be known as the “Bowling Ball House.”We pulled into the driveway of Stanley Szymansky, who’s property is lined from front yard to back with shiny multicolored bowling balls mounted on metal stakes.This is not the first bowling ball house we’ve come across here at Weird NJ over the past 25 years. The property has a similar appe...

It was a few years back and we were traveling along Cohawkin Road in the Gloucester County town of Clarksboro when first caught our first glimpse of what has come to be known as the “Bowling Ball House.”

We pulled into the driveway of Stanley Szymansky, who’s property is lined from front yard to back with shiny multicolored bowling balls mounted on metal stakes.

This is not the first bowling ball house we’ve come across here at Weird NJ over the past 25 years. The property has a similar appearance the former home of the late Richie Zorzi in Kendall Park, as both houses are not only adorned with bowling balls, but also rocking horses. We fear this rocking horse/bowling ball combination may be a trend, or maybe just a coincidence. It’s time to find out.

“I’ve been wondering when Weird NJ was going to show up!” Szymansky told us. It was about 10 years ago that Szymansky, then a spry 80-year-old, started his display with about a dozen bowling balls he had in his collection, placing them outside on his property.

“The neighbors didn’t like them,” Szymansky remembers, “so they called the township on me. The township came down and told me I had to get rid of them, and I told them I ain’t getting rid of them, and if you want to talk to me again, you can talk to me through my lawyer!”

The town never called on Szymansky again, but soon more and more bowling balls started showing up on his property. (A similar story was related to us by Zorzi, as bowling balls were mysteriously deposited on his property in the middle of the night.)

“One morning I looked out, and there was a pile of four over there, three over in that direction, and 27 of them in my driveway!” said Szymansky. “And it has just continued since then. The last dropoff was three days ago.”

We asked Szymansky if he had heard about the Bowling Ball House of Kendall Park, but he said he didn’t recall anyone ever telling him about it. We asked if the rocking horses were dropoffs also, but he said no, they were all bought at garage sales and flea markets. A strange similarity, we thought.

“I have a little over 300 bowling balls on the property. I used to have about 400, but a lot of them split or got cracked, so I’m slowly replacing them. I like them. If I see one at a garage sale, I pick it up. If I see a rocking horse in the trash, I’ll take that also.”

Szymansky has no plans to stop his bowling ball fetish. We asked him if he plans on making a bowling ball tombstone when his time comes and he gave us a surprising reply.

“I bought a grave around the corner here at the cemetery," he said. "I had the stone made up and had them put a bowling ball on it. If you take a ride through you can see my stone with a bowling ball.”

Szymansky also tells us he has no connection to bowling as a sport.

“Why do bowling balls have three holes and I have five fingers?” he asked.

Since more and more bowling balls keep showing up on Szymansky’s property, we asked him if the neighbors gets more angry about Szymansky’s mounting collection of the spheres.

“No. We’re fine now. They’re both dead.”

The preceding article is an excerpt from Weird NJ magazine, “Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets,” which is available on newsstands throughout the state and on the web at www.WeirdNJ.com.

85-year-old man and mystery jogger help save family from house fire

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (WABC) – A father is thanking two heroes for waking up his family when their house was on fire.A New Jersey fire chief is also praising the 85-year-old neighbor and unknown passerby.Kendall Park resident Santo Livio said he discovered the fire when he noticed a puff of smoke over one of the neighboring houses.Before first responders arrived at the home, Livio said he saw a woman walking by.“We both stopped, and she looks, and I look,” he said. “I said, ‘Is that a...

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (WABC) – A father is thanking two heroes for waking up his family when their house was on fire.

A New Jersey fire chief is also praising the 85-year-old neighbor and unknown passerby.

Kendall Park resident Santo Livio said he discovered the fire when he noticed a puff of smoke over one of the neighboring houses.

Before first responders arrived at the home, Livio said he saw a woman walking by.

“We both stopped, and she looks, and I look,” he said. “I said, ‘Is that a fire coming out of that house?’ She says, ‘It’s smoke,’ but she says, ‘It’s got to be a fire.’”

The smoke was coming from the home’s garage. Inside, a father and his four children were asleep, oblivious to the danger.

The mother, who works overnight, was not there.

Kendall Park Fire Chief Chris Perez said the smoke had not yet made it to the house, but was pouring out of the garage where it started.

Livio and the mystery walker jumped into action.

“She starts to run to the door and starts banging,” Livio said. “I run here, and I start hitting on the side of the house, the window, I said, ‘I’m going to go back and call 911. Police and fire engines start coming. At that point … the smoke turned to be a blaze.”

Fortunately, the homeowner and his children got out safely.

Perez said the home had smoke detectors, but they were not working.

The fire was eventually put out through the efforts of crews from three fire departments.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause.

The father, who did not want to be interviewed on camera, said his family is safe, and he is grateful for the first responders as well as Livio and the unknown woman who banged on his door.

“Well, I was happy to do that only in the sense that we are neighbors,” Livio said. “You know, we all say ‘hello’ to each other, good morning. I wish everybody would do that, honestly.”

Police said 50 firefighters responded to the blaze.

The mystery woman slipped away unnoticed in all the commotion.

Copyright 2023 WABC via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.

He's big. He's bold. And he's N.J.'s own giant Buddha

FRANKLIN — There's a big Buddha on my way home from work.Perhaps you've caught a glimpse? Just off Route 27, between Kendall Park and Kingston. It's sitting there, in a backyard at the end of a driveway. Easy to miss if you're looking away.And by big, I mean huge. From top to bottom, he's 30 feet of bright white Buddha, sitting on a pink lotus.To get up close, you have to park behind The Venerable Hungampola Sirirathana Nayaka Thera'...

FRANKLIN — There's a big Buddha on my way home from work.

Perhaps you've caught a glimpse? Just off Route 27, between Kendall Park and Kingston. It's sitting there, in a backyard at the end of a driveway. Easy to miss if you're looking away.

And by big, I mean huge. From top to bottom, he's 30 feet of bright white Buddha, sitting on a pink lotus.

To get up close, you have to park behind The Venerable Hungampola Sirirathana Nayaka Thera's house and visit his meditation center. And that's exactly what I did once my curiosity got the best of me. But first, the back story.

I moved recently and have been trying different routes to get home from work. On one of my "new route" nights, I was struck by a bright light illuminating the woods as I headed south.

My jaw dropped when I saw the glowing Buddha. The last time I had seen one so large was during my study abroad in Tokyo.

Soon, I was asking friends and co-workers if they knew about it. I didn't get much help, but I had to know the rest of the story.

A few days later, on a Friday, I made my way back to Buddha.

After turning off Route 27, the first thing I noticed were the signs outside the house for the New Jersey Buddhist Vihara Meditation Center. I knocked on the door and Sirirathana opened promptly.

"When I moved here, it was just a tiny house -- just a little house and people would come and share dharma in front of this little statue," Sirirathana said, as we headed toward the back of his house. His words were translated from Sinhalese by Bhante Maithree, a monk visiting from Virginia.

Sirirathana brought us to the center's meditation room. It was filled with fresh flowers. Lanterns hung from the ceiling. He pointed to a gold Buddha in the corner. This was the statue he had when he bought the house and its 10 acres of land in 2002 to fulfill the religious, cultural and social needs of local Sri Lankan families.

But three years after opening his doors, he realized he needed more than a meditation room and the little golden Buddha.

"I wasn't happy to restrict this peaceful teaching to this small place, so I widened it and opened it up to the world," Sirirathana said. "Normally, you see buildings, building, buildings, but it's quite different to see Buddha."

And not just any Buddha.

It took two years, with six months of actual construction, before the cement, brick and steel Buddha with bright blue eyes was completed in 2009.

As we sat inside the meditation room, I glanced at the original golden Buddha. There was simply no comparison.

Sirirathana said his super-sized Buddha has created a real life "Field of Dreams" scenario - he built it and people came. Hundreds of them.

In just a few years, he said, the center has gone from serving 70 Sri Lankan families to over 300 families of all nationalities.

Many newcomers - like myself - had spotted big Buddha driving along Route 27 and were mesmerized by its grandeur.

"They sit in front of the Buddha statue and they start imitating what the Buddha is doing. They sit how the Buddha is sitting and they start meditating," said Sirirathana's friend Bante Maithree.

Maithree says the bigger the Buddha the bigger the inspiration. So this Buddha, which is possibly one of the biggest in North America, packs a lot of inspiration.

Often times, the monks said, newbies to the center will do something interesting, something that gives them away as a visitor just discovering Buddhism, the world's fourth-largest religion.

On snowy days for instance, Sirirathana said he chuckles as he watches guests cover the snow with blankets to meditate, unaware they can come inside and sit in front of the smaller golden statue in the meditation room.

No matter how they appreciate the Buddha, it all puts a smile on his face.

"I can't explain it. It's that much happiness," Sirirathana said. "I feel so happy because they are enjoying happiness. That's why I'm happy."

Sirirathana said he has had as many as 150 people on the patio at a single time. His guests have come from all over the world. A 92-year-old man visiting from India was among recent visitors.

Using donations he has received over the years, Sirirathana broke ground in 2013 on a new $2 million center in the woods behind the Buddha.

The center will have a library, rooms for meditation and community gatherings, and will be surrounded by meditation trails and gardens.

I was running out of questions, but Sirirathana suggested I come back on a Friday night to meet his neighbors Carol and George, "American people," as he called them, grinning from ear to ear. He clearly had a lot of pride in what he was about to say next.

"They are now Buddhist! When I told them of my idea to build the Buddha, they were really supportive. They removed their fences!"

When I returned, Buddha seemed even more grand at night, the light bouncing off everything around him. After I was introduced to Carol, she went right to the big Buddha and lit a candle.

The statue, she said, has changed her life.

"Meditation has really made a difference in terms of mindfulness, living in the moment, taking advantage of what's here," said Carol as we sat down. She whispered so as not to disturb the meditation underway.

About 10 people were in attendance for an hour-long session that starts with meditation and ends with a discussion of Buddhist text. The evening ends with coffee, tea, desserts and more discussion.

As they talked, Sirirathana stood to the side happily observing. Seeing him, I couldn't help but ask if he was destined to build the Buddha. Was all of this meant to be?

His answer surprised me.

He pointed to a grand Dawn Redwood tree in the front yard. He has been told it was one of the first to be planted by Chinese Buddhist monks in the 1940s. He never made a connection back to the question I had asked, he simply said the tree was there.

"Do you believe in fate?" I asked.

"No, just coincidence," he said, in one of the few times he spoke directly to me in English. "And this is a good one. It feels good."

Adya Beasley may be reached at abeasley@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @adyabeasley. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Gutsy Gourmet: The berry unusual can be found at Kendall Park backyard nursery

Michael Brown holds a pair of Mara des Bois strawberries grown at Pitspone Farm, a small farm in Kendall Park, NJ specializing in unusual berries.(Alex Remnick/The Star-Ledger)I pulled up to the address I had scribbled down and thought I had made a mistake. This typical suburban house in Kendall Park couldn’t possibly be the location for Pitspone Farm, a specialist in berries and small fruit plants. Just then a lanky, bespectacled man clad in overalls strode across the lawn to introduce himself.Mike Brown ...

Michael Brown holds a pair of Mara des Bois strawberries grown at Pitspone Farm, a small farm in Kendall Park, NJ specializing in unusual berries.

(Alex Remnick/The Star-Ledger)

I pulled up to the address I had scribbled down and thought I had made a mistake. This typical suburban house in Kendall Park couldn’t possibly be the location for Pitspone Farm, a specialist in berries and small fruit plants. Just then a lanky, bespectacled man clad in overalls strode across the lawn to introduce himself.

Mike Brown had been described to me as a gentleman farmer. After unlatching the gate to enter into his backyard farm, Brown certainly proved he is a gentleman and offered me a cup of Turkish coffee in a delicate blue and white demitasse cup. But he is no gentleman farmer.

"I am out here every day at 5:15 a.m. with my cup of coffee checking on things before I go to work," he says. "A gentleman farmer oversees things. I am out here doing it all myself."

Today he has a thriving backyard nursery, selling his hard-to-find fruits to top New Jersey restaurants and his plants to home gardeners with a taste for the unusual, but as many gardening ventures do, it started small.

When Brown purchased the house, the backyard was a basic lawn. In 2007, he added some fig trees because his wife loves them and he thought he could sell the fruit. Then came heirloom tomatoes and herbs. Next he decided to grow something nobody was growing.

"I explore higher-end and less common fruits. I began expanding and fine tuning. I don’t think I’ve mown grass back here in two years," Brown tells me, with more than a hint of pride in his voice. "I promised my wife from the front it would look like a normal house. In the back I am almost maxed out."

Almost every available inch behind the tall fence is full of edible delights. Pots of alpine strawberries line up neatly near the gate and on the deck. The small, elongated fruit with a bumpy surface smells as sweet as cotton candy and tastes like Pop-Tarts, according to Brown. I quickly dubbed them "crackberries" after tasting one.

"Sometimes I do feel like a drug dealer because I sell them by the ounce instead of the pound," he says sheepishly, "because the yield is low and they take me so long to harvest."

These berries are so delicious it is understandable that Princeton's highly-acclaimed Elements is so addicted the restaurant claimed Brown's entire supply this summer. (Fortunately, he sells plants to interested home gardeners.)

Further along the narrow path we stop near Mara des Bois strawberries. Highly flavorful and fragrant, this French everbearing gourmet strawberry has a nice texture and is a chef favorite.

Brown, a school librarian, uses his research abilities in the field. "I want to help people and chefs be able to determine what tastes best and grows best in New Jersey," he says, as he stops in front of a row of 15-foot tall European elderflower trees. Each umbrel of fragrant white flowers eventually turns into a bunch of purple berries that may be made into jam, juice or wine. The berries must be cooked before consuming. Liqueur and tea can be made from the flowers. The lacy blossoms can also be dipped in a light tempura style batter and fried.

The striking chartreuse hue of gooseberries will lure you close to the bush, but beware of its treacherous thorns. Careful extraction of the fruit rewards one with a slightly tart globe the size of a seedless grape. In England it is a favorite in summer desserts. In Nigel Slater's cookbook "Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard" (Ten Speed Press, $40), the recipes for honey polenta cake with elderflower and gooseberries and for gooseberry, apple, and elderflower pie beg for me to bring home buckets of berries to merrily meld with sugar into jammy perfection. The berries freeze well, so stock up.

The currant, another British favorite, can be found here, too. Long trusses of red or white berries invite you to idle a moment and have a sample. They make a gorgeous claret jelly.

More exotic specimens such as the goumi berry, which looks like an oblong cherry and tastes a bit like a plum, and the jujube tree dot his landscape. These fruits are popular in Asia. Brown hopes to be able to tap into that market locally.

The native serviceberry has captured Brown’s attention this season. He is assessing seven varieties for taste and yields. The berries taste similar to blueberries and make wonderful pies and jams.

Aronia, or black chokeberry, intrigues Brown because it is an antioxidant powerhouse and birds don’t care for the fruit. They make an excellent juice and substitute for blueberries in baking. The jostaberry, a thornless cross between black currant and gooseberry, is also on his one-to-watch list.

Brown’s living laboratory is full of surprises. "Something is just devastating my Kokuso mulberries," he laments as he sips his coffee and speculates that a groundhog is the culprit. "But I saw a fox for the first time the other day." A few minutes later we stop to watch a rabbit hustle between rows of rugosa roses that are grown for their enormous hips, popular for teas and syrups.

"I am making a transition to an edible nursery. Some nurseries have one type of gooseberry. That is like saying I grow apples and not being specific. I'm trying to be a source of more obscure plants and be able to tell people how to grow them in New Jersey." (You can order plants through his website.

Ironically, Brown feverishly spends his summer growing his fruit and making daily deliveries to his clients but does not often cook them.

"I have to sell them," he says ruefully. "I grow kale and tomatoes to eat but I don’t have a big enough supply of berries to eat them much. But I will walk around the garden while I work and I might munch."

I hope he leaves some crackberries for the rest of us.

Rachel Weston is the chef at A Better World Café in Highland Park. "The Gutsy Gourmet" appears monthly. You can reach her at njgutsygourmet@yahoo.com or The Star-Ledger, Savor/Today, 1 Star-Ledger Plaza, Newark, N.J., 07102. Twitter: @roxydynamite

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