Current Farm Status – Updated October 2016
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON
Thank you for supporting us this year and in the past! Sadly, we had fewer apples than expected this year and simply cannot keep up with demand. Keep an eye out here for updates on asparagus coming in May! We’ll also update here for next year’s applestand.
Note about our peaches this year:
Peaches are a very fussy fruit. They don’t like a lot of things other fruits will accept. They need a “chilling” period when the tree goes dormant (winter and snow are actually good for them). But they do not like cold, freezing temperatures once they start their spring growth. This spring, in early April, we had some unseasonably warm weather followed by some very cold nights. Many peach blossoms bloomed early due to the unseasonably warm weather. This made them susceptible to freeze damage when the very cold weather returned. We lost over half of our total peach crop for this year due to this unusual weather pattern. This is very unusual for our peach crop, but illustrates the ups and downs of farming. To learn more about our peaches, click here.
Seasonal Produce Calendar
July - September
July - September
August – September
late August – late October
Click on the produce name to see more information.
Please like us on facebook to get updates on produce availability.
Ripple Hill Farm is a small family-owned and operated farm located in Basking Ridge, NJ. As second generation farmers, we are proud to be an active part of our community. We have been growing peaches, apples and tomatoes for over 50 years. The USDA suggests you get to know your food by learning about local farms and we enjoy being a part of this process. We appreciate your support as we continue to farm this property, teaching your children where food comes from and maintaining the rural aesthetic.
Throughout the spring and summer seasons, we grow a variety of produce. To take advantage of this locally grown harvest, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to order fruit and vegetables. Starting in early September, we open to the public on Sundays from 12-4pm for pick-your-own apples as well as a farmstand with fresh, picked-that-morning produce of whatever the farmer has available. See the “Apples” section below for more details on picking your own. As the peach trees are very delicate, we are unable to offer pick-your-own peaches at this time, although fresh peaches are picked by the farmer every Sunday morning to give you the best tasting fruit available.
Our peach season begins in mid-July and runs through mid-September, although every season is unique so we are unable to give exact dates of availability.
Most of our peaches are sold wholesale, but we save some for you! Peaches can be found at the farmstand when it is open, current hours are shown here.
There are many varieties of peaches. Ours include white peaches as well as yellow early peaches, mostly “cling” varieties (the pit holds onto the flesh of the fruit) and later yellow peaches, mostly “freestone” (the pit can be separated from the fruit easily).
All of our peaches are sold within 48hrs of being picked, so you know you’ll always get the freshest fruit available.
If you are interested in ordering peaches by email, please contact the farm manager at email@example.com.
On Sundays during September and October we open to the public for "pick-your-own" apples as well as the opportunity to buy fresh produce of anything still in season. The farmer picks the other produce within hours of the stand opening for the freshest taste. We grow many varieties of apples to stretch our harvesting season. In early September you can pick Macintosh and Gala, while Granny Smith and Stayman Winesaps are available later in the season. We suggest coming out every few weeks to try the different varieties. Each variety is unique but they subtly vary by the season with the differences in rainfall and temperature. Our apple varieties include Gala, McIntosh, Macoun, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap, Laura Red Delicious, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonalicious, Fuji, Candy Crisp, Empire and Jersey Mac. Note how they taste different than grocery store versions as well!
Our apple trees are arranged on a relatively-flat stretch of land, and our trees are trellised for easy picking, as you can see in the photo below. We offer only apple picking, and no hayrides or other activities. Strollers are commonly seen in the orchards; even high heels have been spotted!
Ripple Hill is not only a working farm, it is also our home. Please respect our privacy and our property by following a few simple rules:
Interesting asparagus knowledge:
- Asparagus grow in “crowns” so that we have rows of little circles of asparagus spears poking out of the ground instead of just a straight row of plants
- Asparagus epitomize how farming depends on the weather. On warm, sunny days there are many more stalks to pick than on the cold, rainy ones.
- We pick (and eat) asparagus every single night for the duration of the season. Asparagus has no off days.
We have a large area of asparagus which is harvested in mid to late May, depending on the year’s weather. While asparagus has a relatively short harvesting season, it is in abundant supply during the 2-4 weeks we pick it. The farmer picks it, cleans it and packs it in individual bags which, if you eat asparagus like our family does, are great for 2-3 people.
As part of the fun of having our own farm, we like to try out different produce different years. Some things have worked out well while others are still in the learning stages.
Of course in Jersey, tomatoes are a must. Ours are grown the old-fashioned way with just ropes to guide the plants and no tunnels or plastic mulch. If you’re interested in learning more about tomatoes, check out the Great Tomato Tasting at Snyder Research Farm that occurs in August. Several varieties of hot peppers are grown with the tomatoes. Currently we have bell and jalapeno peppers amongst others.
Sour cherries are not a well-known fruit, but if you’ve had sour cherry pie, you probably remember it! These tend to be ready sometime in June. We have only two trees and have to fight the birds for them, so if we win the battle we will let you know. Watch facebook and the website for updates and email us early if you’re interested in these tasty, tart cherries.
Concord grapes are used for grape juice, grape jelly and general sweet grape eating. We have a few vines that we’ve been cultivating and would love to share our bountiful supply with you. These are harvested in late September so you can stop by the farmstand to pick some up.
Pumpkins are ready for picking in mid-October, just in time for the Halloween season. These can be bought at the farmstand on Sundays once they are ripe.
Other things we have tried in the past include eggplant, zucchini and peppers. If you’re interested in these, please contact us by email or on facebook and we will let you know whether we have any available this year.
Farmers Against Hunger
NJ Agricultural Society runs a program called Farmers Against Hunger in which they give soup kitchens throughout the state excess farm produce. To support this program, we will have a jar at the farmstand where you can donate money for trucks and drivers. We hope you will be generous.
Our first array of solar panels was installed on the main barn roof in 2005 and in 2011 capacity was doubled. Currently, the solar energy produced compensates for all of the electricity used on the farm with a little to spare. We are happy to support green living and also think the technology is pretty neat. Feel free to stop by at the farmstand if you share our passion or just want to check out our solar installation.
We have joined the fight against invasive species. Our natural and agricultural resources are being damaged by non-native species which are transforming our resources in undesirable ways. These animals, plants and pathogens are pervasive throughout the state, are steadily increasing in abundance and numbers of species, and already are imposing a significant cost to the public and private sectors. Presently, we are working to get rid of the Russian Olive bushes which have invaded all of the hedgerows on the farm.