Windsong Farm is on the site of the well-known Farmer John’s Organic Produce in suburban Warren Township, New Jersey. It is the first organic vegetable operation in the state, established by Farmer John Canright in 1974. We are honored to have been entrusted with continuing this significant natural treasure. Our hope is to provide a diversity of certified organic/chemical-free vegetables, fruits (in progress), eggs (still a few years out), honey (2017), and other horticultural products (bamboo!). We utilize a solar-energy based system and are structuring our land-management practices to reduce the use of fossil-based fuels wherever we can. Our goal is to conserve the natural “integrated tapestry of beneficial relationships” of the farm and use and recycle every bit of what it creates.
We will offer our products for sale via a paid membership system, known as a CSA. Members will be entitled to a share of our produce. The annual membership fee will give us the cash flow to purchase seeds and get the plantings in. Our CSA Membership program is a work-in-progress and will undoubtedly change from year to year until we find the right balance of support for the farm and value for members.
We do not offer any on-farm sales at present, though this may change in the future. We’ll post news here and on our Facebook page.
Diane Skoss comes from a long line of Indiana corn-and-bean farmers.
She planted her first pansies in Berkeley Heights in 1964, and as an older child experienced firsthand the joys of harvesting basalt rocks each year before planting carrots. She learned her limitations with indoor plants while living in Tokyo, repeatedly killing potted basil (not an easy feat), but was able to move back to outdoor landscapes when she returned to New Jersey in 1997. Since then she has rehabilitated one suburban property, and participated in the launch of the Community Gardens at Wagner Farm Arboretum, as chair of the Organic Committee. This inspired her to even bigger horizons, and she is now Farmer-in-Chief at Windsong Farm (located on the site of the former Farmer John’s in Warren, the oldest organic farm in the state). She is a member of NOFA-NJ (Northeast Organic Farming Association-New Jersey) and has participated in their Beginning Farmer’s Program as a Journeyperson Farmer.
Soil health is key. Engendering a vital soil biology through careful management is our most important task. Water, air, minerals, and organic matter combine to support a diversity of microbes and other life, such as earthworms, who do the work of creating an environment that allows our plants to flourish and attain maximum nutrition.
Minimal inputs and using what we have on site is also extremely important to resilient and regenerative agriculture.
I’ll be adding more details about our approach to farming over the next few months, so check back if you are curious.
The property has a fascinating history, dating back to the time of the American revolution. As time allows, I’ll share some of the stories we’ve heard.