The Regenerative Farm Network (RFN-NJ) held its first two Farmer Network Tours in May and July 2023. John Lima of Lima Family Farms kicked off the tours in May. John started farming in 2007 and currently manages 600 acres in Hillsborough, NJ where he raises beef cattle, pigs, poultry, and vegetables.
He took time to discuss how poultry and beef cows work together in a pasture rotation and how the poultry have eliminated synthetic fertilizer needs on the pasture. Along the tour, we made stops at his high tunnels for vegetables, brooder, pigs, and pastured cows and poultry.
After the tour, we went into his farm store where he handed out budgets on his enterprises and discussed the economics of the various enterprises. John is always happy to share his knowledge with budding farmers, thanks John!
Danielle Szepi of Kittatinny Mountain Farm in Wantage, NJ held the second RFN-NJ Farmer Network Tour this past Tuesday on July 11th, along with her husband, Dave Zelov. Since 2011, Danielle and Dave have run a Certified USDA Organic vegetable farm on 2 acres that has U-pick and CSA shares and they attend two farmers markets. They discussed rotating crops to manage pests and weeds, move successions of crops to different fields around the farm to create distance barriers for pests, have grassed walkways and utilize cover crops to manage erosion on the rocky slopes of their farm. They’ve been utilizing bird netting they had on the farm in innovative ways to manage the intense deer pressure, which recently included a deer walking into their high tunnel to nibble on seedlings!
Danielle and Dave started Kittatinny Mountain Farm on 2-acres of leased land with one piece of farm equipment, a BCS rototiller, purchased with a loan, and are currently transitioning to a 10-acre farm they purchased last year. Participants of the tour were lucky to visit both farms and participate in discussions of the different soils and conditions between the two farms and learn how Danielle and Dave are working with cover crops to prepare and build soil health on the new farm. Thanks to Danielle and Dave for warmly welcoming RFN-NJ onto your farm and discussing all things from crops to pests to equipment and finances.
Join us for the upcoming RFN-NJ Farmer Network Tours! Learn more and sign up here.
Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming events:
Nov. 2nd, Soils Field Day in Stockton, NJ (9:30am-3pm)
Dec. 5th, Annual Networking Event in Hillsborough, NJ (3-6pm)