What's Growing in the Garden State

New Jersey is home to some of the country's finest produce and a leading harvester of many summer favorites. From tart blueberries to sweet corn to fiery hot peppers, summers in New Jersey are made for eating fresh and local. (They don't call us the Garden State for nothing.)

With that in mind, here are some of the top-selling (and top-tasting) produce options our state is known for.

The Produce: Blueberries

Peak Period: July-August. Packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, blueberries have become one of the most popular "superfoods" out there, topping nearly every list of healthy eats. They're also at the top of New Jersey's produce list. The state ranks in the top six in the nation for blueberry production, harvesting 41 million pounds of the super fruit each year. Check out some of the pick-your-own berry patches, like DiMeo Farms in Hammonton, Haines Berry Farm in Pemberton, Emery's Blueberry Farm in New Egypt, and Phillips Farms in Milford. 


The Produce: Lavender

Peak Period: June. Explore nearly 10 rolling acres of lavender fields and cut your own fragrant bundles at New Jersey’s first lavender farm, Pleasant Valley Lavender, in Morganville. 


The Produce: Sweet Corn

Peak Period: July-September. Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor is not just for the birds. Pick sweet corn, peaches, melons, and more. 


The Produce: Cucumbers

Peak Period: July-September. Head to Hallock’s U-Pick Farm to pick your own cucumbers, pickles, and squash. On your way out, stop by the farm stand for fresh jams, jellies, and honey.


The Produce: Tomatoes

Peak Period: July-September. In 2020, New Jersey harvested almost 80 million pounds of tomatoes on 3,100 acres of farmland. That's a lot of America's favorite fruit-that's-really-a-vegetable (or is it a vegetable-that's-really-a-fruit?). You'll find plump Jersey tomatoes in farmers markets, and roadside stands across the state all summer long, or you can pick them straight from the vine at Alstede Farms in Chester.


The Produce: Hot Peppers

Peak Period: July-October. Keeping things hot during a New Jersey summer is easy with the plethora of fiery peppers grown here. Spice lovers may want to consider a pilgrimage to Cross Country Nurseries in Stockton, which grows and sells 500 varieties of chili and sweet pepper plants. Topping the list of their tongue-scorching chilis is the bhut jolokia (also known as the "ghost pepper"), which is one of the world’s hottest peppers. For those who prefer something sweeter, the nursery also sells tomato, basil, eggplant, cilantro and tomatillo plants.


The Produce: Cranberries

Peak Period: October-November. Fortunately for produce lovers, the harvest season doesn't end when summer does. The state annually ranks in the top three in the U.S. for cranberry production, which only heats up when the weather starts to cool off. Most bogs are located in the Pine Barrens, and some offer visitors a glimpse into the harvesting process. Go for a tour to see some of Whitesbog Village’s 3,000 acres of cranberry bogs in Browns Mills, or check out the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival, held the third full weekend in October.