Rancocas Creek Farm Prepares for Upcoming Season!
Meet Jeff Tober, the RCF Manager who hopes to create a farm that grows high quality and delicious food, manages stormwater, teaches others about growing food, and regenerates the land.
It is the time of year when farmers are preparing for their future harvest season. The soil is being worked, seeds are planted with loving intention into the ground, and wishes for a bountiful and successful harvest season ahead are made. There are so many different farming techniques and ways to work with the land. Here at Pinelands Preservation Alliance, we love the chemical-free and regenerative way of life, which is why Rancocas Creek Farm, the 72-acre farm located at Bishop Homestead is just that – a chemical-free, regenerative, and community-supported agriculture-based farm. People purchase a share of the farm before the farm season. Then during the season, members get a weekly distribution from the farm of fresh, chemical-free produce, fruits, flowers, and herbs.
Behind the success of RCF is Jeff Tober, the farm manager.
Jeff has over 13 years of experience working at Fernbrook Farm CSA in Chesterfield, NJ and prior to that, apprenticed at Brookfield Farm in Amherst, MA. Jeff is passionate about creating a thriving and biodiverse environment through regenerative agriculture, and it is that passion that has led him to manage RCF. But Jeff wasn’t always a farmer, he studied English at Muhlenburg College and believes that he was a dolphin in his former life (quite a big shift from a water species to a land species). Jeff loves to keep the RCF apprentices and Pinelands Preservation Alliance staff on their toes with his humor and witty jokes…
When Jeff isn’t managing the RCF farm, listening to great music (the Kinks are one of his favorites), or cracking jokes, he loves to hike the endless source of trails in the Pinelands and paddle the Mullica and Bastso River with his family. This year, he is most looking forward to working with the new farm crew, seeing returning CSA shareholders, and meeting the new ones as well! With the expanded blackberry patch on the farm, Jeff is excited to snack on the ripe blackberries while watching the trees planted in the stormwater management area grow and thrive over the coming years.
The management of the farm is important because it ties in with the surrounding ecosystem – the Pinelands. Jeff encourages people to get to know the Pinelands more intimately. When you know and love a place you will be more apt to get involved to protect it. And as far as actions, Jeff supports doing what you can to make a difference, but to do something! Write and call your elected officials, go on a Pinelands Preservation Alliance workday, pick up litter, attend a Pinelands Commission meeting and introduce others to the places you cherish.
Jeff and the team at RCF are motivated to create a farm that accomplishes many things such as growing high quality and delicious food, managing stormwater, sequestering carbon, building soil health, inviting birds and pollinating insects, and having the farm teach others about growing food and regenerating the land. It is a long-term journey and RCF thinks they are on the right path! If you see Jeff around the farm, say hello! He is always happy to share in a laugh and talk about the farm. If you are interested in joining the CSA, please visit our website here.