It’s not just for show.
Beach Plum Farm is a real, honest-to-goodness 62-acre farm in Cape May County owned by Cape Resorts Group. The farm operates as a CSA, with the shares being purchased by Cape Resorts restaurants such as Cape May’s The Ebbitt Room and The Blue Pig as well as Chelsea Prime in Atlantic City. It is a farm that is ever-expanding, adding new possibilities to what these restaurants can present from the farm to the table. Recently we had the opportunity to take a tour of the farm to see what was really going on there.
Upon arrival, the herb and flower gardens are right there to be seen first. Surrounded by boxwood, the herb garden itself is a lovely area in which to stroll. The flowers grown are beautiful in their own right, and they are primarily used by the restaurants for decorative purposes. However, they are also growing nasturtiums, which are edible and give off a fun bit of spiciness.
Not very far away from the herbs and flowers are the 250 or so free-range chickens that Beach Plum farm raises. Eggs are the primary reason for the chickens, but some are also raised to be served for special meals. The farm also raises free-range Berkshire pigs that are fed on the scraps from the restaurants themselves.
After a healthy walk from the chicken area, along a path surrounded by trees and brush, comes the main part of the farmland. Long, wide stretches of fruit and vegetable patches and rows spread out. The cheekily-named Strawberry Field delivers just that: sweet, tender Jersey strawberries that would slap the seeds off of any grocery store fraise.
From there, rows and rows of asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, and many other vegetables follow suit.
As exciting as it was to see what was ready for harvesting, what was to come was even more intriguing. Of course, Jersey staples such as blueberries, tomatoes and corn will be ready at their proper time. There are plans in the works to have their own herbal teas ready by fall or next spring at the latest. A limited supply of honey from their own bees will be available starting in June, with more available next year. Wine grapes are a definite in their future. And when asked about growing hops for beer, even that was not out of the realm of possibility. And I think that is what I took from our visit: the realm of possibilities that Beach Plum Farm allows the restaurants to attain.
FYI – Beach Plum Farm does conduct public tours on a regular basis, and…NOW has its own farm stand so that you can buy direct from the farm!