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, check out some of New Jersey’s best-selling (and tastiest) produce, featuring flavorful vegetables and seasonal fruit.

The Produce: Blueberries – Healthy and delicious, blueberries are a summertime superfood. 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 each year.

Peak Period: July-August

Where to Find It: You can find pick-your-own berry patches from central to south Jersey. Head to the beautiful New Jersey Pine Barrens to check out fourth-generation family blueberry farms like DiMeo Farms (Hammonton) and Haines Berry Farm (Pemberton). Another pick-your-own patch, Emery's Blueberry Farm in New Egypt, has its own farm bakery, where you absolutely must stop in for fresh blueberry pie. Farther north, you’ll find Phillips Farms in Milford. Family-owned for more than two centuries, this farm is known for its mouthwatering blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

The Produce: Sweet Corn – Summer just wouldn't be complete without the taste of fresh New Jersey sweet corn. Grown by family farms across the state, Jersey corn is known for its plump, juicy kernels bursting with sweetness. Picked at the peak of ripeness, it takes center stage at barbecues and picnics all summer long.

Peak Period: July-September

Where to Find It: At Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford, you can pick your own corn (blueberries and peaches, too!). But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Stick around for a hayride and some family fun on the farm’s very own splash pad. You can also check out Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor, where you can pick fresh sweet corn (and so much more!) and then take a farm tour to learn about everything there, from turkeys to honeybees.

Sweet Corn

The Produce: Tomatoes – 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?).

Peak Period: July-September

Where to Find It: You'll find plump Jersey tomatoes in farmers markets, and roadside stands all summer long, and you can pick them straight from the vine at Alstede Farms in Chester. After your harvest, make it a full-on farm day and discover everything the farm has to offer, from pony rides to live music.




The Produce: Lavender – New Jersey’s fragrant fields of lavender burst into bloom during the summer months, transforming landscapes with their soft purple hues. Several lavender farms dot the state, each offering unique experiences. You can wander through rows of lavender for breathtaking photo ops or simply to enjoy the calming aroma and immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape.

Peak Period: June

Where to Find It: Explore nearly 10 rolling acres of lavender fields, snap some gorgeous photos, and go home with your own fragrant bundles at Pleasant Valley Lavender, in Morganville. Or, head to Allaire Lavender Farm (Wall Township) or Hidden Spring Lavender Farm (Montgomery Township) for a chance not only to explore the purple fields but also to feed or walk the Alpacas that live on the farm.




The Produce: Cucumbers – Jersey may be famous for its tomatoes and blueberries, but our state is also a national leader in cucumbers, making up nearly 10% of those grown in the United States. So next time you're looking for a crisp, cool addition to your summer salad, you’ll want to choose a Jersey Fresh cucumber.

Peak Period: July-September

Where to Find It: Head to Hallock’s U-Pick Farm to pick your own fresh cucumbers, including varieties for pickling. This farm has lots of other self-pick produce available, too (try some squash or beans, which share the same growing season as cucumbers). On your way out, stop by the farm stand for fresh jams, jellies, and honey.




The Produce: Hot Peppers – Keeping things hot during a New Jersey summer is easy with the plethora of fiery peppers grown here. Farmers markets overflow with these chilies during the summer and fall, offering a range of heat levels to suit every palate.

Peak Period: July-October

Where to Find It: If you can take the heat, head to Specca Farms to pick your own hot peppers. In addition to other produce, this farm grows a wide variety of peppers, including Habanero, Jalapeno, and Chili. Spice lovers interested in growing their own peppers may want to consider a pilgrimage to Cross Country Nurseries in Stockton, which grows and sells 500 varieties of chili and sweet pepper plants.

The Produce: Apples – New Jersey’s rich history of apple cultivation dates back to colonial times. From the tart Granny Smith to the sweet and juicy Honeycrisp, there's a Jersey apple perfect for every taste, and you’ll find all kinds at farm stands and farmers markets throughout the state. A classic fall favorite, apple picking can actually begin as early as late August.

Peak Period: September–October

Where to Find It: Choose from more than 20 varieties grown at Eastmont Orchards in Colts Neck or explore more than five acres of orchards at Ort Farms, a fifth-generation family farm in North Jersey’s Long Valley. While you’re there, shoot your shot with the Apple Canon and check out the farm animals.


Apple Picking


The Produce: Cranberries – 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.

Peak Period: October–November

Where to Find It: 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.


Love the idea of supporting local farmers and getting your hands on the best produce? You can explore even more of New Jersey’s beautiful farms and orchards or visit some of the fantastic farmers markets across the state. Pro tip: Many farms have seasonal hours, so be sure to call them directly to make sure they’re open before your visit.