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March 21, 2016

New Jersey is the Garden State, at least that’s what it says on our license plate, but what does that rubric mean exactly? One way to gauge is by tallying up the number of farms we’re home to -- some 9,071 spread over 717,057 acres, according to the most recent figures from the state Department of Agriculture.

And those farms yield a veritable cornucopia of produce, accounting for more than $1.1 billion each year.

Jersey agriculture grows more than 100 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs -- as well as grains, plants, trees, shrubs and flowers.

In fact, New Jersey ranks nationally in the top 10 in the production of cranberries, blueberries, bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, cucumbers, squash, snap beans, and cut Christmas tree farms.

And while you’ve just missed National Agriculture Day (March 15), the second day of spring is a perfect time to take a second helping of veggies (your mother would be glad).

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