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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Fun New Jersey Farm Facts!


New Jersey’s nickname is the Garden State because of all the wonderful
food that is grown on New Jersey farms.
Farming takes a lot of land, and New Jersey is a small state. In fact, of
the 50 states in our country, only three states - Connecticut, Delaware,
and Rhode Island - are smaller than New Jersey. Yet today, there are
9,000 farms in New Jersey where 100 different kinds of fruits and
vegetables are grown.
The value of crops grown in New Jersey each year is more than
$1 billion.
Farms are measured in acres. An acre is about the size of one football
field.New Jersey’s farms cover 720,000 acres. That’s a lot of football
fields! Truth be told, you also wouldn’t think New Jersey is a good
place for farming, because the state is very crowded. Nine million
people live here. It is the most densely populated state in the country.
What does that mean? It means that New Jersey has more people
living here per square mile than in any other state.

To understand density, picture an elevator with two people in it. The
population of the elevator is not very dense. Then picture the same elevator packed with people. The amount of space is the same,
but the population of the elevator is very dense!
If you divided New Jersey’s population equally and placed them into the
number of square miles in the state, there would be 1,210 people in
every square mile. If you did the same thing with the entire population
in the entire United States, there would be only 92 people per square
mile.
Let’s take a look at where some of the delicious crops that make New
Jersey the Garden State are grown. This is a map of New Jersey
showing 10 important fruits and vegetables grown here. You see that
New Jersey is divided into 21 counties. You can see that many
counties, but not all, have farms that grow New Jersey’s 10 most
important fruit and vegetable crops.
On the map, you will also see the names of the 10 biggest cities in New
Jersey.Look at the northeastern corner of the map. Many of these
cities are located in the northeastern part of the state, across the
Hudson River from New York City. Because there are so many cities
in this part of the state, there is not much room for farming. Point to
the northwestern corner of the map. There are fewer farms here
because this area has many mountains, land that cannot
be used for farming. This map shows the counties where there
are large farms of 100 acres or more that grow these 10 fruits and
vegetables. There may be smaller farms that this map does
not show.
Etsch Farms is located in Middlesex County in the center of the
state. Our farmstead sits on 15 acres, with many barns on the
property. We live on a different farm with 47 acres, where we grow
hay. Our parents live on another farm with 12 acres, where they
also grow hay. And we have another farm on the other side of town
with 97 acres, where we grow hay and corn. So Etsch Farms
owns 171 acres in 4 different locations. Plus we rent lots of other
acres to farm corn – about 400 more! This is common in New
Jersey where the ground is used for people to housing. We drive
our machinery on the same roads as many cars to get from
field to field.
See the map below to learn more about farming in New Jersey.

I enjoyed having Aggie here – hope you all learned a little about
agriculture in the Garden State!