From beekeeping to dairy farms, our area is rich with fresh foods
FORESTS, flowers, and food are all essentials to our daily living. Whether gardening or feeding our families, these components help us in more ways than one. Farms have a huge impact on how we live our lives. A quote by Brenda Schoepp reads, “My grandfather used to say that once in your life you need a doctor, a lawyer, a policeman, and a preacher. But every day, three times a day, you need a farmer.”
Starting his business as a passion hobby, Gary Schempp switched gears from an exterminator to a beekeeper about 15 years ago.
“Did you know that every third bite of food you take is all thanks to the tireless effort of bees?” asks the Busy Bees NJ site. “Here at Busy Bees NJ, we don’t take that lightly. Our main goals are to educate the masses, save the bees and have a sweet treat now and again.”
Gary puts tireless effort into rescuing and rehoming bees across Cape May County farms. He travels all around the world not only to educate himself on proper beekeeping practices but also to inform others on how to maintain hives. No matter where Gary goes, he always seems to find something new to “buzz” about in the farming community. Busy Bees NJ is located at 80 Route 47 S Cape May Court House. Honey can be purchased at the storefront, or online at www. busybeesnj.com/shop.
South Jersey’s only Grade A dairy farm, Misty Meadow Sheep Dairy, the place for all things sheep, is owned and operated by Bill and Barbara Simmerman. Misty Meadow breeds East Friesian dairy sheep and from there creates a plethora of products such as yogurts, cheeses, soaps, wool, and more.
“Local farms put a lot into what they do,” said Bill. “They will always be there.”
Through Covid, big supply chains were slim or disappeared completely; this only brought more business to Bill. During that time, many people in the community turned to local farms for their food. People would be lined up at the farm before it opened for the day. Bill enjoys working on the farm, no matter the crowd size.
“It promotes healthy living,” he said.
Misty Meadow Sheep Farm offers educational programs to help small farmers get started, as well as tours for anyone looking to get to know the farm. Tours can be booked by contacting Bill at 609-701-0478 or reaching out online at www. mistymeadowtickets.com/about. Misty Meadow Sheep Farm is located at 100 Dennisville-Petersburg Road, Petersburg.
Also located in Petersburg, is Littleworth Farm. Janet and Karl Yunghans have been operating their farm since 1997 and have since expanded beyond seasonal Christmas trees. Wreaths can be custom ordered during the Christmas season and from May through July, they offer u-pick strawberry and blueberry sessions.
“It’s great getting to know customers. After 25 years; they become like friends”, says Janet.
Being involved with a small farm brings a great sense of community, and that is exactly what the Yunghans have seen. Their children have grown up on the farm and have seen firsthand just how one small seed can make a big impact on a community.
“It’s a labor of love,” said Janet.
Linda Rau has had a passion for flowers since age 12; Her passion has now bloomed into Sunset Flower Farm, which she owns and operates with her husband David. They both have a heavy background in horticulture, and together they created a flower farm that produces peonies, annuals, and Dahlias in various colors.
Sunset Flower Farm also hosts various events such as weddings, flower classes, craft shows, and more. No matter the occasion, anyone will be able to enjoy this beautiful farm. Hours and additional details can be found online at www.sunsetflowerfarm.com/blooms.
From flowers to food to everything in between, our needs are met by these small, yet mighty farms.
Find this and more in the August issue of Ocean City Magazine