The Jersey Fresh season is off to a fantastic start in the Garden State as fruits and vegetables are now appearing in farmers markets and stores around New Jersey.

"Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables provide delicious and nutritious offerings to everyone here in the Garden State as well as other places around the country," said Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher.

Locally grown asparagus and other leafy greens are already available across New Jersey. Sweet strawberries in many varieties are also available. Other favorites such as cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, sweet corn and blueberries will soon follow in the next month or so.

Fisher said the overall production of fruits and vegetables in New Jersey was valued at approximately $350 million. As far as specific crops, blueberries is a $75 million crop in New Jersey. Tomatoes, $72 million and peppers valued at $60 million. He added that Jersey's asparagus crop was valued at $15 million in 2020 as well.

New Jersey also ranks in the top 10 in the U-S in the production of several crops, including first in eggplant, third in tomatoes, third in spinach, fourth in asparagus, fourth in cranberries, and sixth in blueberries. Peaches fluctuate between third and fourth from year to year, he said.

The Garden State also ranked 7th in all of nursery production in the country, said Fisher.

He encouraged all residents to support the local economy by purchasing Jersey Fresh wherever it is sold. Many of these farms in New Jersey are family-owned. The best way to support their business is to buy their products.

Fisher also said pick-your-own farms are back this year, better than ever after taking a a pause last season during the pandemic. He called these places "an experience." It's a great vibe to bring the family and experience that fresh air just being on a farm or even visiting a farm market. These markets are open and mainly back to normal times. People will find not only fresh fruits and veggies, but local artists will be on hand as well wine and distillery tastings, cooking demos and much more.

To learn more about Jersey Fresh produce and where and when they can be found around the state, be sure to visit www.findjerseyfresh.com.

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