Exclusive: The trailblazing sustainable farming advocacy organization, Foodshed Alliance has celebrated its 10th Anniversary Gala event at Perona Farm, Sussex, New Jersey. It works to strengthen sustainable farming, increase
access to local, healthy food, and protect the environment for the communities. The Foodshed Alliance works in Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties. It owns preserved farmland in Sussex County where it leases 66 acres to nine sustainable farm businesses under Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise (SAgE) land-access program that provides affordable long-term access to preserved farmland.
New Jersey has the second most expensive farmland in the country, yet has preserved more of its farmland than any state in the country, about 33%.
According to the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee, the state's total of preserved farmland had risen to 232,500 acres by the June 30, 2018 and Sussex County’s total preserved acres was 15,811 acres. (NJ.Com)
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “New Jersey is quite significant with more than 100 crops being produced. Despite legislative and public pressures, high input costs, and the second highest per-acre market value of farmland in the nation, 16% of New Jersey land is dedicated to agriculture production and the ag industry contributes $987 million to the state’s economy.
The Garden State is 3rd in the nation for producing Cranberries, Peaches and Spinach; 4th in Bell Pepper production; 6th in Blueberries, Cucumbers, and Squash; and 7th in Tomatoes. Other major commodities are nursery, berries, equine and aquaculture.”