The Garden State

Did you know that New Jersey ranks in the top 10 nationally for its production of blueberries, cranberries, peaches, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, apples, spinach, squash, and asparagus? In 1876, a New Jersey resident coined the term the Garden State and the nickname stuck. Even though times have changed and there is less land designated as farm land, we still rely on the work of devoted, hard-working farmers for Jersey Fresh produce.

As a 19th-century farmer, George Macculloch (1775-1858) was among the first to recognize the importance of a famer’s role in feeding the community. He also recognized the challenges the weather presented to growing crops.

On June 2, 1843, George Macculloch wrote in his garden journal that the “corn, beans, tomatoes much injured by Frost” and that his potatoes, bush beans, broccoli and cauliflower “were cut off by drought.” The area in his garden journal which is usually filled with his calculations of profit and loss is left blank.

New Jersey is the perfect state to find the fresh produce we love. Contact a local farmers market, like Wightman’s Farms and Alstede Farms, about curbside pickup of your favorite Jersey Fresh produce.


Would you be a good farmer? Take the Beginning Farmers quiz to find out.

Can NJ Grow More with Less? Click here to find out. Do the math to find out how land use has changed in New Jersey!

If you would like to volunteer and be a part of Macculloch Hall Historical Museum’s Garden Journal Transcription Project, contact Cynthia Winslow at

Portrait of George Perrot Macculloch

Topic: Citizen Science
Age / Level: Elementary, Middle

The Garden State Photo Gallery

Red tomatoes on the vine. Green spinach plants in the ground. Ripe blueberries on a plant.