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GrowingDirt.com, a farm at Agrestic Acres is a sustainable 12 acre farm in Great Meadows, NJ, just off Shades of Death Road. Susan & Jeff live on and operate the farm themselves along with some help from friends and an occassional Wwoofer/intern. We believe in using an all natural, sustainable, pasture based system that results in better quality food, a better life for the animals, better soils and great vegetables. We use non-GMO feed locally sourced and milled and in 2018 we will grind feed on-sight in small batches providing super fresh non-gmo feed to our animals.
Our farm protocol is to operate a pasture based , rotational grazing system that firstly provides the animals a healthy, natural, stress-free life, unlike that of factory farming. Secondly our pasture based system provides healthier, more nutrient dense food to our local consumers and lastly reduces environmental impact. The sum total of our pasture based system is a natural and symbiotic relationship between the animals, soils and farmer and results in sustainable system that provides a quality product to our local community.
Our farm exists because of inspiration received from other farmers that have come before us, namely Joel Salatin , and so we also believe in working with our other farmer neighbors and butchers to provide a network that acts like a Farmers Grange, providing a stronger farm economy , and better food shed for our local area. Our customers have chosen to buy local and have a relationship with their farmer....their food source and we thank them for this and thank them for caring enough to know where their food comes from.
GrowingDirt.com manages the farm and our wholesale/retail operation.
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Our farm is within The Bear Creek Preserve Allamuchy and Frelinghuysen Townships, Warren County
Draining headwater areas of the Pequest River, Bear Creek passes through the fertile Allamuchy Valley before it enters the ancient glacial basin of Great Meadows. A clear running stream, Bear Creek flows though some of Warren County's most productive farmland areas. A testament to this agricultural heritage, three old silos still stand where old dairy farms had been. Today, the Trust leases several agricultural fields to local farmers, who continue to grow corn, wheat, soybeans and hay.
The Bear Creek Preserve encompasses portions of several Natural Heritage Priority Sites which delineate important areas for the state's biodiversity. In order to detect the hidden resources at Bear Creek, the Trust contracted for a biodiversity inventory of plants, reptiles and amphibians. The inventory resulted in new discoveries that have helped in the preparation of a management plan for this preserve. The preserve supports habitat for a variety of endangered and rare plants and animals, including the state-endangered few flower spike rush and large water plantain. The emergent wetlands along the streamside support bog turtles and wood turtles, and unique plants occur on the Franklinite marble and limestone rock outcrops that edge the west side of the valley.
Public Access and Uses:
The public can best enjoy the preserve from areas of Shades of Death Road and Southtown Road. No maintained trails are available at this time and road side parking opportunities are limited. The Trust allows registration for deer hunting in Bear Creek Preserve. Please do not enter into farm fields or crop lands. Note: Glovers Pond is private property.
Click Map to get directions
MOMENTS AT THE FARM
Our History & Folklore
Our farm is located on Lenape Lane in Great MEadows, NJ , just off Shades of Death Road. The area has a long tradition of farming and hauntings! Thats right. Weird NJ lists SHaDES OF dEATH rOAD, leNAPE lANE AND EVEN A STRUCTURE ON OUR FARM as being charged with spirit activity. See the folklore stories below (credit Wikipedia/Weird NJ)
Legends and folkloreWeird New Jersey suggests several theories for the road's macabre name.
Ghost LakeGhost Lake (unnamed on U.S. Geological Survey maps) is just off the road, in the state forest south of the I-80 overpass. It was created in the early 20th century when two wealthy local men dammed a creek that ran through the narrow valley between houses they had just built. They gave it its name from the wraithlike vapor formations they often saw rising off it on cooler mornings. They further named the pass Haunted Hollow.
Weird NJ writes that visitors have told them that no matter what time of night they visit the lake at, the sky above it always seems as bright as if it were still twilight and several have reported ghosts in the area, especially in a deserted old cabinacross the lake from the road, supposedly victims of the murders once believed to have given the road its name.
The Fairy HoleTo the right of Ghost lake, there is a small cave, once used by Lenape Indians. Weird NJ says that though the cave is now easily accessible, and also covered in graffiti, archaeologists who surveyed the area in 1918 found pottery shards, flint, and broken arrow heads. From their findings, the archaeologists concluded that "The Fairy Hole" was not often visited. It may have been used as a simple resting point for traveling or hunting Lenape, but with its close proximity to several known burial sites, it is said to be a sacred or religiously important site. This survey was conducted before the creation of Ghost Lake.
Lenape Lane (haha... this is our farm !) Lenape Lane is an unpaved one-lane dead-end street about three-quarter mile (1.1 km) in length running eastward off Shades just north of I-80. It ends at a farmhouse for which it is little more than a driveway, but halfway down there is space to park or turn around next to a wooden structure described as looking like an abandoned stable. (our horse Rocket uses this run in shed when the wind is a bit too much for him) 
Weird New Jersey writes that visitors to this stable site at night have reported extremely local fogs surrounding it and seeing apparitions in it, or sometimes even in clear weather, and also claimed the air is sometimes unusually chilly, and feeling general unease in the area for no immediately apparent reason. An additional legend claims that sometimes nocturnal visitors to Lenape see an orb of white light appear near the end of the road which chases vehicles back out to Shades Of Death, and if it turns red in the process, those who see it will die. This may be due to an old tree near the end of Lenape that was never cut down when the road was built. As a result, the road forks right before the tree, and a big red reflector has been nailed to the tree to warn drivers. Another legend says that if one circles around the tree and drives down the road again at midnight, a red light will shine and the driver will never survive.
I don't know about that, but I know we have great soil and pastures for our crops and animals
Save The Farm link. Please see our GoFundMe site and see what it is all about CLICK HERE