Department of Agriculture | NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HIGHLIGHTS JERSEY FRESH BLUEBERRIES skip to main content skip to main navigation
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June 17, 2024
 PO Box 330
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0330                      

Jeff Wolfe
P: (609) 913-6559
C: (609) 433-1785



Stops at Macrie Brothers, Walkingbird Farms point to start of season

(HAMMONTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Ed Wengryn highlighted the beginning of blueberry season in the Garden State with a visit to Macrie Brothers Blueberry Farm during an Atlantic County farm tour that took place late last week. Secretary Wengryn and several state and local officials viewed the packing of Jersey Fresh blueberries to emphasize that locally grown produce and farm products are readily available now at farmers markets and stores around the state.

“Blueberries are one of the signature crops of the Garden State and a highlight of the New Jersey growing season,” Secretary Wengryn said. “The Macrie Brothers are among the growers who continue to build on the well-earned reputation that makes our blueberries internationally known. The dedication and commitment by our growers results in the highest quality fruit each year.”

Blueberries in New Jersey for 2023 had a production value of $92.1 million, making it New Jersey’s highest selling crop. New Jersey annually ranks in the top six in the U.S. in the production of blueberries. Farmers in the Garden State harvested 50 million pounds of blueberries on 10,800 acres last year.

“With the weather cooperating, we are off to a good start, and we think it will be an excellent season,” said Paul Macrie, who owns and operates Macrie Brothers Blueberry Farms with his brothers Nick, Mike and son Matt and nephews Nick Jr. and Mike Jr. “We expect good volume for our harvest and should have the larger-sized juicy blueberries that help define New Jersey’s crop. We should be in full production mode within the next couple of weeks.”

The Macrie Brothers have been growing blueberries in New Jersey since 1953. What started as a 26-acre farm has now blossomed into an 800-acre operation. The Macrie Brothers are also active members of the New Jersey Blueberry Industry Advisory Council, along with local county boards and the federal United State Highbush Blueberry Council.

“We make efforts to put forth a lot of our time to help our industry by volunteering on our local and state boards,” Matt Macrie said. “We always want to be on the leading edge of technology and research to bring the biggest and best berries to our customers.”

The blueberry season for New Jersey lasts through the end of July, which is National Blueberry Month. At the peak of blueberry season, production can be as high as 250,000-300,000 crates per day. Eating blueberries is beneficial to health as they are known as the “King of Antioxidants.”  Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients.

The tour also included a stop at Walking Bird Farm in Galloway Township, a family owned and operated farm, raising 40 acres of vegetables, berries, flowers and herbs. The farm offers u-pick crops (strawberries, blueberries and flowers), and a CSA membership program.

The tour included a stop at Walkingbird Farm in Galloway Township, a family owned and operated farm, raising 40 acres of vegetables, berries, flowers and herbs. The farm offers u-pick crops (strawberries, blueberries and flowers), and a CSA membership program.

Walkingbird is owned by Jen and Ryan LaMonaca, who after 10 years of leasing the land working alongside Ryan’s uncle, former New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Art Brown, took ownership of the former B&B Farms in 2020. The farm was renamed Walkingbird Farm as a dual homage to Jen’s background as an environmental researcher and a commitment to protecting the wildlife that regularly nests in their fields. In its 15th growing season, Walkingbird also has a seasonal farm market that is open Thursday and Friday from 12 to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October.

“Agriculture and working outdoors has always been a big part of our lives and being able to develop the business and relationships through our market and farm have been very rewarding,” said Jen LaMonaca, who is also president of the Atlantic County Board of Agriculture. “We strive to connect local farmers, artisans and foodies, while providing customers high quality, healthy produce and creating a meaningful on-farm experience.”

Go to to see where Jersey Fresh blueberries and produce are available locally and to find recipes that include great tasting Jersey Fresh items.


To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at and or Twitter @NJDA and @JerseyFreshNJDA.