Pony Pony

Want to learn more about horses, their care, and riding?  As a newly recognized Pony Club Riding Center in Washington (Warren Co.) NJ, we’re offering Pony Club membership, which we’ve focused on the Western riding discipline. Although our year-round program offers National Pony Club curriculum, you don’t need to own a horse, or pony, to join!  

Pony Club is not all about ponies as the name suggests! Pony Club is a nation-wide organization for horse lovers and young equestrians that develops leadership, confidence, and a sense of community through a program that teaches the care and handling of both horses and ponies. Pony Club is a fun group for young horse lovers, allowing them to make friends while learning and assessing their equine knowledge alongside others through badge and certificate programs. Our very own PonyPals Program was designed for horse lovers, ages 5 to 10. As a basic introductory program, PonyPals follows the same principals of national Pony Club, but at a much more basic beginner level, focusing on beginner knowledge, care and handling of both horses and ponies.

 

Know a horse-loving child that would enjoy Pony Club or PonyPals rather than playing sports this spring? Consider joining us – meetings will start in February. Not sure if one of these horse based program is for you? Let us know you’re coming and we’d be happy to meet you at the barn one day to introduce you to our ponies … they always love visitors!

Although neither our Pony Club, nor Pony Pals Program formally include horseback riding or mounted lessons, riding lessons are available at the farm at an additional cost. Our programs were designed this way to keep membership costs reasonable for all, while offering additional riding activities for those who desire them. 

For more information about our Pony Club and PonyPals Programs, visit our website.

Resolutions

Although we’re knee deep in snow, winter paperwork and general farm upkeep, we’re more than ready for the promise of warmer weather and delicious, homegrown vegetables! It’s with great anticipation and excitement that we offer our 2018 Weekly Veggie Basket & CSA Program

We frequently hear about folks that make New Year resolutions to eat healthier and lose a little weight. Reality is, by the time the Jersey fresh season finally arrives, we’ve forgotten about those resolutions. We’re too busy and life gets in the way … and once again, we don’t eat healthier OR drop those pounds.

We welcome you to join us for the 2018 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) season -registration is now available. Sign up NOW for  your Weekly Veggie Basket, Homegrown Angus Beef, Jersey Fresh Fruit, and/or Farm Fresh Eggs, and you’ll be committed to eating healthy throughout the Jersey Fresh season!

Our CSA is made up of folks that pledge their support of the farm during our growing season by purchasing a crop share.  Shares are sold in advance of the growing season, allowing our farmers to invest in the year’s seeds, fertilizers, and supplies.  Shareholders then receive a weekly share of our farm fresh veggies for 20 weeks (SB shares) or 14 weeks (Washington shares), during the height of the season (June-October).  Our beef, fruit, and egg shares are offered differently – details are on the sign up page.

You’ll enjoy our CSA if you like the idea of getting to know your farmers, trying new and interesting foods, supporting local, participating in your local food economy, eating fresh, eating healthy, and receiving recipes and cooking tips.     

Got questions? Check out the details. For your convenience, we currently have CSA pick up at the farms in Washington Twp (Warren Co.) and South Brunswick (Middlesex Co), as well as in Milltown, Highland Park, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Rutgers University (Student Center on George Street). We also deliver to a few corporate host sites.

Community is the key to success in small business, and a small farm is no different.  We all rely on each other for support, whether it be monetarily, spreading word of mouth, sharing our news, or just telling each other we are appreciated.  So with that, we appreciate you reading our blog, sharing our Facebook posts, and telling your friends about our family farm.  We couldn’t do it without you!

Organic?

We are often asked if we are organic … and the short answer is no. In order to be certified organic farm fields must be free from commercial fertilizer and synthetic pesticides and farmers must keep a ton of extra records, which adds a lot of additional cost and labor. As a farm family we have decided not to be an organic farm, but instead to be responsible in being the best stewards of the land we can while providing safe, healthy, fresh and quality produce for our customers. 

We use an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Program here on the farm…we hire Cooperative Extension employees from Rutgers University to scout our fields a few times a week and make suggestions as to what (and when) we need to apply to our crops so we can be assured of quality produce to harvest. When we do use sprays on a crop, it is used at the recommendation of the Rutgers scout to keep a crop from falling victim to insects or disease. The crop protection products that we use are very expensive and using an IPM approach helps to limit our costs. Every time the scout comes out to the farm we’re hoping he says the fields are free of insects and disease!

In addition to scouting, we use many other farming practices to help limit the number of sprays we apply. We rotate the location of our crops from year to year to keep the insect and disease pressure low. We use black plastic mulch on raised beds to help keep weeds down and provide well drained soils to help prevent root issues with our crops. These practices, coupled with the Rutgers scouts allow us to grow some of our crops without any sprays at all. We cannot, however, claim these crops as organic because we do use fertilizers (similar to that used on your lawn) for our crops.

As a family, we eat all the crops we grow (except for Tim who doesn’t eat tomatoes…go figure!) and raised our children using the same growing methods we use today. We take pride in producing safe, healthy, fresh quality produce for our family and the community. We feel that knowing who grows your food and where your food comes from is MUCH more important than it being organic or not. Know your farmer … know your food!!