The Jersey shore is best known for its beaches and boardwalks, but it hasn’t been nicknamed “The Garden State” for nothing. Agriculture is NJ’s 3rd largest industry. In terms of production nationally, Jersey ranks 3rd in cranberries and bell peppers, 4th in spinach and peaches, 5th in blueberries and cucumbers, 6th in sweet corn, 7th in squash, 8th in tomatoes and snap beans, and 10th in cabbage. There’s even a “Jersey Fresh” label that produce must pass a grading program to receive.
If you’re looking to take advantage of New Jersey’s agricultural splendor, here is a guide to some of the best pick-your-own farms on the Jersey shore. Every farm has different produce to choose from or events planned, but they all have one thing in common: they’re Jersey Fresh!
The popular Alstede Farms in Chester grows peaches, strawberries, melons, and blueberries for your picking pleasure. Alternatively, you can buy food and eat it at the picnic tables outside. Make it a family trip, since the kids can ride ponies, hope around in a moon bounce, climb a hay pyramid, and take a hay ride.
This 400 acre Long Valley farm has been in the family for six generations and sells produce along with baked goods, dairy products, flowers, and hay at its farmstand. This summer, look for corn, squash, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, broccoli, beets, radishes, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, onions, eggplant, potatoes, arugula, nectarines, watermelon, strawberries, apples, peaches, cherries, cantaloupe, and blueberries! On September 20th, you can start picking your own pumpkins and search for the biggest one. Other fall children’s activities include an 8 acre corn maze, visiting animals, climbing a hay pyramid, and train, pony, and monster truck rides.
This Freehold Farm focuses on strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pumpkins for public picking. Its Country Store sells baked goods, sweet corn, and tomatoes.
Since its humble beginning in 1860, this Cream Ridge Farm has been family owned. Visitors can pick their own pumpkins, and kids can walk the corn maze and ride hayrides. Come the end of November, you can choose from 10 acres of Douglar Fir, Norway Spruce, Canadian Fir, and Blue Spruce trees for Christmas. If you’d rather not chop down your own tree, there are some Douglas and Fraser Fir trees already set to take home. In addition, the Cranberry House Crafts store sells holiday ornaments and decorations.
Lee Turkey Farm
Aside from turkeys you can throw right in the oven, you can pick peaches, sugar snap peas, nectarines, lettuce, corn, spinach, cherries, melons, and pears all summer. The farm also sells fruit and cream pies.
Snyder’ Farm in Somerset boasts 80 acres of land which holds almost 3,000 blueberry plants. Guests can also pick strawberries and buy sweet white corn and tomatoes, jams, barbeque sauce, and salsa. The farm is known for its Fall Festival.
Melick’s Town Farm
This farm has locations in Oldwick, which offers strawberry and flower picking, Califon, where guests pick peaches, and Bridgewater, where the farm stand sells produce.
Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm
With a whopping 315 acres of land, this Jobstown farm allows visitors to pick their own radishes, spinach, lettuce, sugar snap peas, pumpkins, corn, flowers, squash, apples, broccoli, popcorn, tomatoes, string beans, cantaloupes, brussel sprouts, and kale! For the kids, there are hayrides, family fun, an animal farm, and a play area. The Harvest Market sells wonderful baked goods like pies and cider donuts.
This Milford Farm specializes in berries, but you can also pick your own apples and peaches. Their farm stand sells tomato sauce, jams, jellies, and fruit preserves and butters, and apple cider. The farm’s location along the Delaware River makes it a scenic destination worth visiting.
Pine Barrens Farms
If you visit any farms in the Pine Barrens in Atlantic and Burlington Counties, specifically near Pemberton, you can pick what have been called the world’s best blueberries, plump and usually nickel-sized.
Located in Princeton, these orchards have a variety of berries available for picking as well as apples. They’re great for a family vacation because of the Read and Pick events, summer discover walks, and wagon rides.
These are only a few of the many pick-your-own farms on the Jersey shore. No matter where you decide to go, make sure you do it before the fresh fruits and vegetables are gone, or worse, rotten!