Deptford Township is now one of the only municipalities in the State to own their own working farm. To longtime residents, the name “Andaloro” has been synonymous with vegetable farming in the Gloucester County area. As is the case with most farmers in this North West end of Gloucester County, pressure from developers and weak profits have caused them to cease operations and sell their properties. Deptford Council approached the Andaloro family about purchasing their farm, the largest active farm in the Township. Council recognized a unique opportunity to purchase a working farm and implement its vision for this property. Preserving valuable farm land and open space is a priority for this Council. The site could have seen as many as 75 homes if purchased by a developer. Teaching the value of fresh grown vegetables to our residents is another priority. The Township plans to operate individual family garden plots in which residents can actually grow their own vegetables and implement their very own farm to table routine. We are in the process of soliciting volunteers to help coordinate and teach residents how to farm a small plot.
We have already held one outstanding event at the farm, which will become our Fall Family Fun Day. Over one thousand residents participated in the fantastic fall festival. The farm also has frontage on Timber Creek, which we will take advantage of in the future with activities such as nature walks, canoeing and kayaking on the Timber Creek waterway.
The property boasts a wonderful farm house. The farm house will be opening soon as the Deptford South Jersey History Museum. A dedicated group of volunteers operates the museum. You will be hearing more about this very soon.
Preserving the farm and creating open space is a fantastic plus for Deptford’s residents. With farmland preservation funding help from the Gloucester County Freeholders and Director Bob Damminger, residents can now rest assured that this farm is preserved forever. Senate President Steve Sweeney has been a proponent of land preservation ever since his term on the freeholder board, and we have now continued his legacy.