A mostly good growing season has New Jersey vegetable shipments pretty much on track.
Among the items being transported to market are tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and all coming along and a large variety of greens.
As May came to a close and June got underway, growers were finishing up asparagus and strawberries while still harvesting leafy greens, spinach and herbs. Squash, beans and cucumbers start in June and continue into July, when growers start with volumes of sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, eggplant and peppers, among other specialty crops.
Among New Jersey’s biggest specialty crops are blueberries, peppers, peaches, asparagus, cranberries, squash and spinach.
In 2019, the state harvested:
- 9,300 acres of (not wild) blueberries, yielding 5,090 pounds per acre for a total of 47.3 million pounds and $85.3 million value;
- 3,500 acres of bell peppers, yielding 33,600 pounds per acre to produce 117.6 million pounds, worth $45.9 million;
- 3,900 acres of peaches year, yielding 10,000 pounds an acre to produce 39 million pounds and a $25.7 million value;
- 2,000 acres of asparagus, yielding 3,584 pounds per acre, for a production of 7.2 million pounds, valued at $16.3 million;
- 2,700 acres of cranberries, yielding 196 barrels per acre for a production of 529,000 barrels and $14.5 million value;
- 3,200 acres of squash, yielding 10,080 pounds per acre for a total of 32.3 million pounds and a $13.7 million value; and
- 1,900 acres of spinach, yielding 13,440 per acre for a total of 25.5 million pounds and a $6.7 million value.
In June 2019 alone, New Jersey shipped 17.8 million pounds of blueberries, compared to 16.4 million pounds in June 2018, according to USDA.
Peaches came next by weight, followed by nectarines and cranberries.
Peach loadings should start about July 1, with an excellent crop expected.
Consalo Family Farms of Egg Harbor City, N.J., which also has a farm in Hammonton, a sales company, also has farm partnerships nationwide.
The company will be shipping blueberries are through July. The company also sales company, Freshwave Fruit and Produce in Vineland, N.J.
Meanwhile, Consalo Family Farms began harvesting cooking greens and herbs May 1 and romaine and leaf lettuce May 8.
The fifth generation company, founded in 1898, also has partnerships elsewhere. It has cooling and packing facilities in Cedarville, a distribution center in Vineland, N.J., and a fleet of trucks to deliver the products to retail stores.
The Nardellis’ New Jersey season starts with asparagus in mid-April, continuing all the way through to summer dry items, such as peppers, cucumbers and squash, and then back to wet items such as lettuces and greens until Thanksgiving.
In June, the company will have a lot of wet greens, as well as romaine, red leaf, green leaf, Boston, endive, escarole, many cooking greens, parsley and cilantro.
Cabbages — green, red, savoy, napa, bok choy — have just started. In mid-June, there will be green and yellow squash, then cucumbers. By the end of June and early July, Nardelli Bros. will be shipping peppers and three flavors of corn.