The 9,800 farms in New Jersey are primarily small, family run farms. They
grow over forty different vegetables, twenty different fruits, as well as peanuts, grains, flowers, Christmas trees, and nursery
stock. Hay farmers supply the states thousands of horse ranches with feed. Five-hundred amateur beekeepers raise thousands
of gallons of wildflower honey, and keep the state's crops pollinated. New Jersey has over 130 dairy farms. Rolling pastures,
fields of green, and pick-your-own farms dot New Jersey's landscape and keep our land open and productive. 17% of New
Jersey is farmland.
Jersey sweet corn and Jersey tomatoes along with
red and green bell peppers are favorites to NJ's residents. Developed at Rutgers University, the aptly named Rutgers
Tomato, along with other Jersey-grown tomatoes and our sweet corn gained fame. New Jersey farmers are some of the nations
leading producers for tomatoes, sweet corn, and peaches. Blueberries are the state fruit, and New Jersey is well known
as a leading producer of the nation's blueberry crop. Elizabeth White domesticated the high bush wild blueberry into
the blueberries cultivated today.
Our cranberry bogs are also well-known,
ranking third in the nation in productivity. South and Central New Jersey were home to masses of wild cranberries which were
an important food source for early American settlers and the Lene-Lenape Indians. In the 1700s picking wild cranberries before
they were fully ripened was punishable by fine.
New Jersey growers sell their produce at many urban green markets,
and directly to the residents of New Jersey at the many roadside stands, on-farm markets and farmers' markets throughout the
state. Most grocery stores feature "Jersey Fresh" foods. Do you know where your food comes from? If you're lucky,
it comes from a New Jersey farmer. Look for "Jersey Fresh" produce or "Jersey Grown" plants at a farm
or market near you. Thank a New Jersey farmer today!