Hot off the press:

Farm Living Is The Life: Jess Niederer
by Michele Alperin

Throughout the United States, about 30 percent of farmers were women in 2007, a 19 percent increase in just five years. They make much less than their male counterparts — $36,000 a year versus $150,671, and farm less than half the acreage per capita, yet the women are more likely to own their own land, according to Jenny Carleo of Rutgers Cooperative Extension

In New Jersey there are about 2,261 women-operated farms, about one-fifth of the total number of farms in the state. Their farms average 29 acres in size and produce, on average, $22,170 a year in products, way below the state average of $95,584.

Carleo says that a growing number of women are eager to start on the journey.“A lot of new farmers are women,” she finds.

Two local woman farmers — both Ivy League educated — who are currently treading that path are Jess Niederer, profiled below, and and Tannwen Mount, see story on following page…

Giving Thanks for a great 2012

We are sincerely thankful for our members and customers who saw us through a great 2012 growing season. We will be at the Stangl Factory Farmers Market through December, and otherwise we’ll see you at the 2013 markets! CSA sign-ups for 2013 are now open.

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In the NJ Spotlight

Check out Chickadee Creek Farm in this NJSpotlight article!

Jess in the spotlight
(NJSpotlight/Photo by Amanda Brown)

After graduating from Cornell University with an ecology degree, Jess Niederer ditched the research lab in favor of a new workspace: New Jersey farmland.

“I wanted to do something that had an instantaneous connection to people,” she said, “and feeding them seemed like a straight line.”

And, she said, she missed the family farm she grew up on in Pennington.

That was 2006. Now, as the head of Chickadee Creek Farm, she grows organic produce and flowers on land her family has tilled for generations.                                                         

Read the complete article by Annie Knox here.

Late Spring on Chickadee Creek

We’ve gotten through all danger of frost, so it’s time to plant our hearts out. Just before the rain we got in a second seeding of beans, more tatsoi and arugula, herbs, salad mix and lettuce. Then we spend a nice drizzly day yesterday planting flowers, squash, and cucumbers. We’ll see you at market this later this week!

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Spring pics!

Spring came early this year! We’ve been busy. More pics will be up shortly to introduce this years fantastic farm apprentices Helen and Beverly!

Below, see our lovable pup Tiller, huge sweet turnips, tillage operations, the new (used) equipment purchases from this winter, our fantastic cover crop growth (check out the nitrogen fixation on those roots!), a delicious looking garlic patch, and scenes from the greenhouse. More to come soon…back to work!

The Chicks have arrived!

Our shipment of Black Australorp chicks hatched on Friday March 9th and arrived on the farm on the evening of the 11th. Here they are in action in their brooder:

Their job on the farm is to control insect populations in the vegetable blocks after we are finished with all harvests in an area. They are learning vicious bug eating behavior very quickly.

Jess & Chickadee Creek in the Post

For local organic farmer, there’s no place like home

By R. Kurt Osenlund                                                                                                                       With her new business, Chickadee Creek Farm, Pennington farmer Jess Niederer is growing fruits, flowers and vegetables on her old stomping grounds.

Jess Niederer - Chickadee Creek Farm
Jess Niederer – Chickadee Creek Farm

When Jess Niederer decided to take the natural resource management and ecology education she received from Cornell University and redirect it into “something with a more tangible benefit,” where she could “interact with people” and “provide them with something,” she didn’t need to look very far. Born and raised in Hopewell Township, Jess grew up on an 80-acre farm on Titus Mill Road, where her father, Steve, still grows crops to this day. Six acres of it is now Chickadee Creek Farm, the independent, organic farming business Jess founded in March.  Read the complete article here.