Last Saturday I took a day trip to visit Duke Farms in Hillsborough, New Jersey. The expansive over 2,000 acre estate of the Duke Family, including Doris Duke has become a steward for environmental conservation and a popular place to enjoy a nice walk or jog within in their vehicle-free paths. The land was once the private home of tobacco tycoon J.B. Duke and then is only heir Doris Duke. As per Miss Duke’s wishes upon her passing, Duke Farms has become an educational center for preserving the environment, land and animals.
Duke Farms offers public programs for children and adults, which relate to the environment and native animals to the land. In continuing their environmental stewardship they installed a solar array, which allows you to view their current energy stats created on the property via their website.
I wanted to share a little background about this wonderfully environmentally conscious place and will have a full review of Duke Farms in another post. This post is about the great company I came upon while visiting Duke Farms.
While making a pit stop at the Visitors Center of Duke Farms to grab a trail map I saw a sign indicating later that day there would be a Farmers Market available which featured non-GMO vegetables, hormone and antibiotic free meats both which were grown or raised directly on Duke Farms property. I had visited Duke Farms before and was aware of the community garden on the property but not of any company who created and sold goods there.
The great company behind that task is Dogwood Farms, owned by Jon Knox and his wife Kim Koziol , who live local to the Duke Farms estate and lease 35 acres of land to produce their veggies and meats. I was so grateful to have met these two and share their wonderful story of doing good of all to enjoy.
Through the Beginner Farmer Program, Jon and Kim were able to start Dogwood Farms to create products without the use of chemicals, herbicide or pesticide, as they believe it should be (and we agree too!) Though they are not currently certified yet, they do product organic foods in the true sense of the term. Which is something I’m glad they believe in too.
Dogwood Farms set out to create Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for 150-200 members and strengthen their ties with local restaurants within a 30 mile area to deliver fresh local produce every season. Every Saturday Jon and Kim can be found setting up their shop within the Duke Farms Café (or outside of it if the weather allows) from 10am to 4pm to sell their produce and meats among other locally sourced items such as cheeses, canned goods and honey.
Since I visited at the end of the season they have more of a selection of winter vegetables and greens. Which is something I really enjoy, cooking within season with what you have available. Though the vegetable season may be coming to a close their 2014-2015 CSA Meat Share is still available. You can pre-register for their 2015 Spring Veggie CSA membership as well as 2015 Summer Meat Share. Pricing details can be found on their website. Their vegetables are grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified, beef and lamb are all grass fed and pork and chicken that have been fed only organic grain. None of the animals are given any hormones or antibiotics either.
I am so very glad to have met Jon and Kim to learn about their great company and how they envision working with local community to provide healthy food items from which all can benefit. Click here to watch a short video that tells a bit more about their farming story. If you are local to Hillsborough, NJ or Somerset County, NJ I certainly recommend taking a visit to Duke Farms. If you’re not local, I also suggest taking the drive; the views and food are certainly worth the trip.