New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher and local officials kicked off the Jersey Fresh season by visiting Muth Family Farm, a USDA certified organic operation in Gloucester County.
“Muth Family Farm has set a standard for how organic growing can be a highly successful venture,” Fisher said. “The ability to use organic practices has allowed the farm to keep a rich and vibrant soil base to grow an outstanding variety of crops. We encourage consumers to support our farmers by purchasing locally grown produce wherever it is sold.”
New Jersey ranks in the top 10 in the U.S. in the production of several crops, including fourth in asparagus and spinach. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2022 the New Jersey asparagus crop was valued at $10.5 million, and spinach was valued at nearly $5 million. The overall production of fruits and vegetables in New Jersey was valued at approximately $350 million.
“The early crops have come in really nice, and we are anticipating a good year,” said farm owner and operator Bob Muth, who runs his operation along with his wife Leda. “These crops have been selling well in our market and we are pleased that so many are supporting local agriculture.”
Muth Family Farm has been a certified organic grower since 2001 and grows produce throughout the season, which includes tomatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, radishes, broccoli, melons, among the approximately 30 crops they grow. Originally started as a Community Supported Agriculture operation that eventually grew to more than 400 customers, the Muths decided to switch to an on-farm stand to serve more customers in the area, and also sells some crops wholesale.
As part of their organic practice, the Muths use leaves from the municipality to spread over the fields for organic matter. This has resulted in soil that has a dark rich color, and full of organic matter. They also use a crop rotation system by dividing plots of land into a half-acre or one acre, allowing the unused land to replenish itself during years it is not in use.
Bob Muth, president of the Gloucester County Board of Agriculture, is considered an expert in vegetable growing and soil husbandry and has given several presentations on those subjects. He originally graduated from Rutgers University and took a job as an extension agent in South Carolina. After three years he returned home to help his dad on the farm and eventually decided to go into farming full-time.
You can find out more about the farm and check the daily market hours on Facebook at Muth Family Farm or go to the farm’s website at muthfamilyfarm.com
Other crops with an early harvest becoming available daily throughout the state include beets, kale, lettuce, and radishes. Consumers can find what Jersey Fresh produce is in season and where it is being sold by going to FindJerseyFresh.com.