Meet our Farmers

John Krueger of Circle Brook Farms (formally Starbrite Farm)

My name is John Krueger and I am the owner/operator of Circle Brook Farm. I have been interested in organic gardening for over 25 years, as an avid gardener, and as co-founder and an officer of the Cook Organic Gardening Club. I earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1989.

In 1996 I was hired as Farm Manager of Heirloom Harvest Farm in Blairstown NJ. During my six years at Heirloom Harvest I was able to draw on my experience as an organic gardener and to gain experience in the techniques and equipment for larger scale vegetable production. I was given the opportunity to attend numerous conferences and workshops related to organic farming.

In 2002 the owner of the farm decided to discontinue operations in NJ. I was determined to continue my involvement with organic farming and that year I began working with Richard Moran at Starbrite Farm in Hardwick Twp. NJ. Dick had been farming organically on his property for 10 years since retiring. In 2003 Dick allowed me to take over operation of the farm and I began working with the Bloomfield-Montclair CSA and selling at the Montclair and Morristown farmers markets.

For the 2006 season I was chosen to be the farmer for the Downtown Harvest CSA in Jersey City. During the 2007 season a new CSA group in Westfield was added and Starbrite Farm supplied produce for 200 members among the 4 groups.

In 2007 I began leasing an additional 7 acres from Good Hand Farm in Andover Twp. In 2008 I began leasing a part of Circle Brook Farm which is adjacent to my fields at Good Hand Farm. The property includes a large house where I now live and house workers, and a large barn.      The barn is the center of our operations; it houses 2 walk-in coolers and serves as packing house, mechanic shop and lunch room, among other functions. The entire Circle Brook Farm encompasses 80 acres and includes a second small house and barn. It has been my hope and dream since 2008 to one day purchase the property.

In 2010 the farm served approximately 400 members through 7 pick-up sites. In 2011 planting in Hardwick Twp., at the original Starbrite Farm property was suspended. For the 2012 season I began renting a 10 acre parcel in Allamuchy, about 5 miles from Andover. The property features deer fence and a well/water system. In 2012 we served 650 members and sold at 3 farmer’s markets- Montclair, Teaneck, and Denville. There are currently distribution sites in Montclair (3 locations), Westfield, Jersey City, Morristown, Newark, Metuchen, Staten Island, Caldwell, and Millburn.

For the 2013 season I hoped to add at least one new group and increase membership to about 700 members. I expected that this would also be the year that the dream of farm ownership becomes a reality. I have tried to set aside money over the past 4 years and have almost what is needed for a down payment. I have been in negotiations with the owner and in conversation with several banks that may be willing to make the loan. I am anxious to begin planting fruit trees and bushes, and slowly begin expanding into production of eggs, and other grass fed animal products. I have a grand vision of a diversified and integrated farm, something akin to the typical small farm of 100 years ago, except with the cutting edge techniques and materials available in the 21st century. It will be a sustainable operation producing nutritious food for as many folks as possible with a minimum of external inputs; one of many emerging “model farms” that are leading the way as we learn to farm for the future.

John is now the proud owner of Starbrite Farm! He purchased the farm thanks to the support of our wonderful members, and renamed the farm Circle Brook Farm. A huge congrats to John! We are so happy for you!

 

Bee My Honey Apiary

Bee My Honey Apiary, owned my Jeff and Michelle Sager, is located in Stillwater, New Jersey.  Their girls, (most bees in a hive are girls) have the opportunity to forage in a very natural environment between Swartswood State Forest, Stokes State Forest and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  The area where they gather nectar and pollen is primarily forest and field.  By living here, their girls are not exposed to harmful pesticides and lawn care herbicides.

Honey bees have many benefits to both humans and the environment they live in.  They pollinate fruits, vegetables, nuts, flowers, berries and produce beeswax, pollen, and of course honey. Local honey contains small amounts of pollen from seasonal plants and can help you build up a resistance to seasonal allergies.

Bee My Honey’s honey is wildflower honey, raw, pure and delicious.  We hope you enjoy all the benefits that honey can bring you.

For the current menu of items you can order from Bee My Honey, click here:  Bee My Honey 2019 Order Form

Wrong Direction Farm 

Wrong Direction Farms in Canajoharie, NY started working with with the Caldwell CSA in 2016.  Dave and Rachel Perozzi own the farm and raise grass fed beef and pastured, organic grain fed pork and chicken. They have fantastic farming practices and Dave maintains a great blog about their farm and organic farming, in general.  2016 was the first year that Caldwell was a drop off point for them during the CSA months, in 2017 they are expanding to allow customers to subscribe for meat deliveries every two weeks.  The option to place irregular orders online and select the Caldwell CSA as a delivery option will remain; for those orders you do not have to sign up in advance.  You create a username and login through their website and select “Caldwell CSA” as your site.  You can order whatever you like on their website and pay via credit card (it will be an approximation) through the site.  Once your order is put together you will be charged for the final amount (with the exact weights of the meat etc).  Deliveries will be made twice per month at Jess’s house on a Tuesday.  Please check them out at wrongdirectionfarm.com.

 

Tree-licious

The Kesler Family started Tree-Licious Orchards 35 years ago to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for the benefit of the community and their family. The Keslers follow a low pesticide “integrated pest management” model. Today, Tree-Licious Orchards grows 9 types of fruit, 73 varieties of apples and many varieties of vegetables over the growing season – following this same practice – minimal pesticide so the fruits and vegetables may be picked and enjoyed immediately – without scrubbing and peeling. Our produce has no wax, residue, or commercial packaging. It is not shipped across the country to a commercial market. Just reach for a berry,, apple or peach on the way home and enjoy yummy goodness straight from the farm!  Tree-Licious Orchards is proud to introduce its local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share for weekly pick up at 139 Forest Ave, West Caldwell, NJ 07006 for the Caldwell CSA membership every Tuesday afternoon in time for the afternoon pickup from June 11th to November 19th (24 weeks).  For the 2019 registration information, click here: 2019 Tree-licious Registration Information