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Comeback Farm

Mark Canright next to his antique potato planter.

Today the public’s concerns about social distancing have generated considerable interest in avoiding supermarkets and instead shopping at local farms. Comeback Farm, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) establishment, located in the fertile Musconetcong Valley, has seen substantial greater demand for their fresh, organic farm produce. The farm, owned by Mark Canright and Amy Hansen, encompasses 42 acres just outside of Asbury in Hunterdon County. Mark and Amy purchased the farm in 2003 and gradually established a successful farm enterprise in this bucolic location.

To reduce labor costs, Mark and Amy have joined forces with three other business partners. Dean Buttacavoli and Emily Stocker, are young farmers who focus mostly on fresh greens planted on a one acre, well-manicured area. They grow lettuce, spinach, arugula, fennel, radishes, and turnips. All while battling, without chemicals, that pesky flea beetle that backyard gardeners know well.

Dean and Emily in the lettuce area.

Mark also partners with Farmer Pete on their organic orchard. According to Mark, they manage the largest organic orchard in New Jersey! Fruit trees include peach, apple, cherry, and Asian pear. Maintaining an organic orchard in a humid environment is quite an undertaking.

Mark also cultivates white potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, and melons. He recently plowed a 1.5 acre potato field and started planting.

As an organic farm, the farmers manage the land in a sustainable manner. Using natural methods of pest and weed control helps facilitate beneficial insects and spiders who prey on insect pests. These methods also protect the Valley’s surface and groundwater resources. A seasonal stream meanders through the farm, flowing into the Musconetcong River. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) assisted the farmers with planting a buffer strip of native plants along the stream to further protect it. NRCS also provided cover crop seed to cover fallow, winter fields with rye grass which prevents soil erosion and provides valuable, organic matter for the spring planting.

For more information about their farm and their CSA go to their websites:

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