Category: Gardening

Local Farm – A Hidden Gem in South Jersey

When I say “local” I mean local to most of my current readers here in Southern New Jersey – or more specifically – Gloucester County.

I’ve been busy planting flowers, vegetables, and herbs. I’ve also been trying to teach myself a little bit about gardening so that I have beautiful and abundant flowers and veggies. In addition to the internet searching and pinning gardening tips and tricks like it’s my job, I decided to search for local gardening groups on Facebook. I thought it would be helpful to get real, “live” advice from people in my area who may already be experienced and who would love to share what they know. I found two terrific groups to join¬†– no need to flood my newsfeed with more than that. It’s always about quality over quantity, right? ūüôā

Anyway… In the one group, a local bee-keeper posted about this place with tomato plants and pepper plants for $1 each. Yes, you read that correctly. ONE. DOLLAR. Now, if you’ve been to any of the big box stores around here, you’ll know that’s a steal. The same plants sell for $3.50 and up. Now if you know me, you’ll know I can’t pass up a good deal. I immediately thought, “Oh my goodness, I need to get here. Like now!” Well, it was late at night when I saw the post, so I made sure I worked it into my plans to go there the next morning.

I grabbed the address (not sure if it’s exact, but it will get you there!) 415 Breakneck Road, Sewell, NJ 08080 – I’m a visual person, so here’s a pic to help make sure you arrive at the correct place!

I picked up¬†4 tomato plants, 1 cherry tomato plant, 2 pepper plants, and an eggplant. And yes, they were $1 each! Here’s what I purchased:

I was just so dang excited over all this, that I felt the need to go back today. I wanted some more basil and the¬†wonderful people in the group mentioned that it was only 50 cents! What?! RUN!!! Did you know that basil repels mosquitos? I didn’t, but I do now, thanks to the terrific young woman who assisted me today. I picked up an entire flat of basil (the bigger pots of basil are $1 each), 2 Sunflowers, and another eggplant, because… well, I’m one of those people who can never have just one of anything. I forgot to take a pic of the sunflowers and it’s dark now, so I’ll add those tomorrow, but here’s the basil and a couple photos of the plants in the greenhouse.

So this place does actually have a name¬† – I learned that when I saw this vintage truck parked in the yard. I didn’t snap a pic of it, but one of the lovely gardeners in the Facebook group had posted this photo and very graciously allowed me to share it.

What I learned today from the young woman who helped me was that her great grandparents owned this farm and they want to keep it going. She, her brother, and their parents take care of it on their own and don’t advertise, but rely strictly on word-of-mouth for business. I told her that I had recently started a blog and would love to share if she didn’t mind. She was very grateful! She also told me that they will have some more flowers available – there were currently petunias available. In addition to the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and sunflowers, there were also squash. There will be watermelons this summer! And there will be pumpkins, gourds, and mums in the fall.

Let me tell you, this is one place that will be at the top of my list to visit as new things come into season. I am a big fan of “mom and pop” places – and this one is one you don’t want to drive by. You just can’t beat their knowledge, friendliness, and of course, their prices. Let me know if you check it out!

‚ô• Denise

P.S. As for the bee-keeper, if you’d like some local honey, you can pick some up while you are there. He said it’s also available at many other local farm stands as they open up for the season. It is $5 for a 1 pound jar and $15 for a 3 pound jar.

FREE PRINTABLE for the Beginner Gardener

I have always loved flowers and I love to plant them. I love going to¬†a¬†local greenhouse, picking out my flowers, bringing them home, digging a hole, plopping them in and watering them regularly. That’s about the extent of my gardening skills. I also enjoy growing herbs on my porch and have grown a few strawberry plants. I have had good luck with my plants most years and other years, ehh… I don’t know what happens. So while I enjoy gardening, I don’t consider myself a “gardener.” Now, my one grandmother – she was a true gardener. I wish she were still here now that I’m grown so that I could get her advice. Since that isn’t possible, I’m attempting to teach myself how to¬†truly take care of my flowers, herbs, and vegetable plants.

I can’t tell you how much time I have spent searching the internet and Pinterest for information. It becomes overwhelming, and I don’t know about you, but if you’re a momma’ like me with little ones, retaining any of what you read is just not happening. I take that back. I remember some of the information, but I just don’t know what it applies to… not very helpful! And while my Pinterest boards are filled with lovely pins and all kinds of information, I just don’t see myself standing out in the yard and pulling up info on my phone. I needed a better solution.

Since I’m the queen of¬†making printable organizers, I decided that I would make myself a very simple printable. Something that would work for me — and possibly you. I know that this isn’t anything fancy, but it looks¬†a lot better than my notes jotted on random pieces of scrap paper or list-pads.¬† I can easily slip these little cards into a 4×6 photo album to keep them all together or if I’m feeling really motivated, I could laminate them, punch a hole in the corner, and put them on a key ring.

I made a few “multiple choice” questions on the right hand side — Annual or Perennial; Sun / Shade / Part Sun;¬† Frequency of Fertilization and Watering Instructions.

And then for the blank lines I decided that the most important things to jot down were:

  • Specific planting instructions.
  • How to “deadhead” each kind of flower. They don’t all have the same “rules.”
  • How to harvest my veggies and herbs.
  • Best companion plants. (If you’re a newbie like me, this is fascinating to see what should be planted together to optimize growth and deter pests.)

It may seem like a little bit of work and again, this may seem overwhelming, but once you compile your notecards and keep them in a safe spot, you shouldn’t have to look up the information again. You’ll just reach for your handy-dandy gardening book, created by you – for you, and you’ll be all set!

Click here to get your FREE PRINTABLE: Gardening Care Card Sheet

‚ô• Denise

 

 

 

 

 

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