Some Jersey Farms Go To 12 Month Operations [AUDIO]
Nationwide, it's called, "eat local." here in New Jersey it's known as, "Jersey fresh.' Whatever you call it, the growing demand for food produced right down the road is helping keep some farm businesses in the Garden State up and running year 'round. Rich Nieuwenhuis, President of the New Jersey Farm Bureau, admits the number of farming concerns operating 12 months of the year is small compared to the overall number of farmers. But he says their numbers continue to multiply as demand grows for specialties that are locally produced. Nieuwenhuis says with some of these so-called "niche markets", products like herbs and the like are produced to satisfy a gourmet clientele. Also greenhouse-grown tomatoes that are locally-grown are also in great demand. He says some New Jersey Supermarkets are now selling Basil still growing in soil that it was potted in the greenhouse.
It is all part of an effort by some segments of the Agriculture community to provide this year-round locally grown food some consumers desire. There is also the notion that if it comes from New Jersey, you know what you are eating, as opposed to a far away producer that's pretty much an unknown for the consumer.
The National Farmers Market Directory reports the number of winter farm markets across the country increased 38 percent in the past year.