|Peaceful Valley Orchards|
Jeremy and Meredith Compton
and Jeremy Compton took over Peaceful Valley Orchards in 2001 and held a
grand re-opening in July of that year, just in time for peach season.
At that time they began
marketing out of a tent and had a successful first season. In the
fall of 2001 Peaceful Valley Orchards invited the public into their
orchard for the first time to pick their own apples. When Meredith and
Jeremy opened for the 2002 growing season, they introduced their customers
to their new farm market. They also included pick-your-own pumpkins.
Apples, peaches and pears are the main tree fruit crops grown at Peaceful
Valley Orchards but they are also well known for the many vegetables they
grow, including their heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn. In 2004 the PVO
home farm was permanently preserved.
couple recently signed a deal to lease an additional 150 acre preserved
farm (plus farm market) in Clinton, NJ. The increase in land will allow
them to expand the diversity of commodities they grow and to increase
production. “We were simply running out of land at our main farm.
In order to diversify our crops, increase production, and spread
our risk between locations we needed more land to farm,” says Jeremy
Compton. The new farm market will allow them more room to display their
fruits and vegetables, fresh baked pies and consignment items from local
Compton’s are conscious of being good environmental stewards of the land
they utilize. The have implemented NJ Integrated Pest Management Practices
developed at Rutgers University on all their crop production to minimize
pesticide usage without sacrificing quality. They also utilize pesticide
liability insurance as part of their insurance package.
85% of their produce is marketed through their retail store and tailgate
markets. The other 15% is sold to other farm markets or restaurants.
Jeremy and Meredith’s goal is to sell everything they can retail so they
can maximize their profit while maintaining their diversity of markets to
spread risk. The Compton’s are planning to expand and focus on the
pick-your-own portion of their business. “We decided to add
pick-your-own vegetables and a cut-your-own flower patch because people
have been asking us to do so for a few years now. When they go to the
orchard to pick apples they see all the different varieties of vegetables
and they want to pick them too,” says Meredith. “Our objective is to
figure out what our customers want and then be able to offer it to them
and maintain our profitability.” Plans are also in the works to offer a
coffee service to go with the baked goods and to move more into
entertainment farming with pick your own pumpkins, hayrides, and a petting
zoo at their new location.