It’s hard to think of New Jersey as anything even more than highways and factories. Between the Turnpike and also the Parkmeans, it have the right to occasionally feel like the entire state of New Jersey is simply a lengthy drivemeans to New York City. But despite being a hotbed of sector and also being the nation’s most densely occupied state behind Washington D.C., New Jersey has the nerve to officially declare itself “The Garden State.”

Perhaps this is part of the factor why New Jersey finds itself at the finish of so many jokes. The audacity of New Jersey to call itself The Garden State as soon as all you deserve to view on your means to New York City are rows and rows of smokestacks. Tright here are many kind of factors this state is so misinterpreted, and also the juxtaplace between what New Jersey looks choose from the side of the highmethod and also the official state nickname is among the significant ones, bereason the truth is, New Jersey is an farming juggernaut. According to the New Jersey Department of Agrisociety, the state is just one of the peak ten producers of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash, and asparagus. Impressive when you take into consideration New Jersey’s modest dimension compared to its output of fresh develop.

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If you look past the smokestacks and also industrial parks, previous the shopping malls and city centers, tbelow are farms (over 720,000 acres worth) scattered throughout the state. But the first time New Jersey was called The Garden State wasn’t at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia favor neighborhood legends had actually as soon as told, and it wasn’t a recommendation to the whole state. It was quite a nickname given to one region of New Jersey: The Pine Barrens.


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It took identified farmers to learn exactly how to cultivate the temperamental Pine Barrens, and several generations of farmers who came after to learn exactly how to grow commercially viable crops in this ecologically distinct landscape. Stefanie Haines of Pine Island also Cranberry in Chatsworth, New Jersey is just one of many kind of examples. She’s a fifth-generation Pine Barren cranberry grower.

Her great-excellent grandpa got the household farm in 1890, and it has been in procedure ever since. “We have 1,400 acres of cranberry creating land,” says Haines, “and also for eextremely acre of land also we have actually around 10 acres of sustaining woodland also to aid defend the water supply.” Both cranberries and also blueberries prosper in sandy, acidic soil, however part of why cranberries are specifically successful in the Pine Barrens is the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer, an underground water device that has around 17 trillion gallons of water. It’s an essential part of the Pine Barrens ecodevice, and a vital component of the cranberry thriving process.


Cranberries are perennial plants grvery own in bogs. Once the cranberries are all set for harvest, farmers fill these bogs via water causing the ripe cranberries to float. For cranberry farmers in the Pine Barrens, that water is pumped right up from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer and also recycled throughout the seaboy. “You will certainly never before discover a more passionate environmentalist than the cranberry grower,” claims Haines. “The essential to growing cranberries is where’s the water coming from and wbelow carry out you desire it to go. And protecting that water is our height priority.”


Haines is committed to land also stewardship. In reality, because of Pine Island Cranberry’s foresattempt efforts, they were called New Jersey’s Outstanding Forest Steward of 2011 by the State Department of Environmental Protection.

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But it’s not just about creating deliciously tart and perfectly firm cranberries, it’s around taking treatment of the location she’s really proud of. “I think it’s a small misunderstood. But that’s fine,” says Hains. “For all the misunderstandings around the Pine Barrens, a lot of civilization want to come dvery own and also watch what we’re doing. Can’t sheight the tourists.” Haines says a lot of travellers pertained to the Pines not simply for hiking, kayaking, camping, and other well-known outdoor tasks, yet likewise to affix via the background and the area’s rural farming heritage. 

Farmers like Haines assist this state live up to its seemingly contradictory nickname. “I never before thought New Jersey was anypoint but The Garden State,” states Haines. What renders the Pine Barrens “barren” to some is what renders it a place of abundance for others.