Check in with Sheppard Farms

March 12, 2020

This time of year we reach out to our local growers to see what their harvest schedule is looking like, make sure we have their latest food safety documentation on file, and go out to visit.

This afternoon we met up with Fran Hancock at Sheppard Farms in Cedarville (they pack under their “Eastern Fresh Growers” label). They are our primary supplier for local asparagus. During the summer we source a lot of cucumbers, bell peppers, and summer squashes from them.

It’s March, so there wasn’t much action when we visited…

The first asparagus spears have not been spotted yet, but it’s expected to come early this year. Asparagus is perennial. Commercially, it takes 3 years to ramp up then you can expect good yields for 12-20 years (backyard gardeners say 30 years).


Bell peppers are in the greenhouses. Those fields are covered with their winter-over diakon radishes which will be turned into the soil. (pictured below.)

The natural areas in the backgrounds of these pictures were left unchanged as they’re home to ospreys whom have been returning to best for several generations. They are also bald eagles on the property. One year an orphaned eaglet was brought in, introduced, and successfully adopted.

Bi-colored corn is a fairly recent addition to Sheppard Farms. It sounds delicious– you’ll hear more about that from us in July!


Liz G.

Marketing Manager

The purpose of this blog to share my 9 1/2 years of produce industry insight. Enjoy more fresh produce, buy with confidence, and let’s move fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables to the center of the plate!

Tags: asparagus, august, cucumbers, farm-to-school, Jersey Fresh, july, june, know your farmer, local, locally-sourced, peppers, pre-season, Seashore Fruit & Produce


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