More about the farm TheGardenLady grew up on

Bell pepper, with both green and red colors, natural color by Martin LaBar

My parents’ farm was small. They raised the usual crops that everyone in the area who wasn’t a chicken farmer raised. And some of the chicken farmers also had small farms that raised the usual crops – tomatoes and strawberries were the basics for sale. These were called truck farms because farmers could truck the produce to the big cities- in our case it was Manhattan or Philadelphia- to try to sell. Or we would truck the produce to the canneries that were in our county. Ritters and Seabrook Farms were the two big tomato purchasers. These companies made ketchup and canned tomatoes.

Canned tomatoes by Unhindered by Talent

There were a lot of truck farms. That was why New Jersey was given the name The Garden State. Competition was fierce so the prices for the harvest was usually low. If everyone raised tomatoes and the season was good, the tomatoes were plentiful and the price the farmer got was low. Those years we had tomato fights. My mother canned a lot of tomatoes.

strawberries by Donald Lee Pardue

My mother started her own farm stand. Mostly she sold strawberries and flowers. Neighbors copied her. There were so few cars on the road in those early days that the farm stand did not bring in much money. What little was brought im, though, was greatly needed and appreciated. What didn’t sell became strawberry jam.

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