CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. — Rutgers Cooperative Extension is continuing its Ultra-Niche Crop Series with the upcoming workshop “Farming Basil.” This workshop, the fifth class in the Ultra-Niche educational series for farmers seeking new crop opportunities, will be held on Sept. 26 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., simultaneously in Cape May Court House, Bordentown and Bridgewater, N.J.
Ultra-Niche Crops are defined as exceptionally high-value crops that can provide a significant source of income to the farmer while using a minimal amount of land. In this session, farmers will learn how to grow, market and sell basil and how to make practical decisions on marketing and crop production.
“Basil is an excellent fresh market herb to grow on small-acreages for direct sales to restaurants, farmer’s markets, and specialty grocery stores. This tender annual is appealing to growers because of the constant demand from consumers,” said Jenny Carleo, the County Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County and the Ultra-Niche Series Project Director.
The workshop will feature a 20-minute “Virtual Field Trip” video on the production and marketing of basil, as well as a speakers’ panel that includes basil farmer, Taylor James of Flipside Farms, a community-supported agriculture operation in Somerset County and basil buyer, Mikey Azzara, Founder of Zone 7, a New Jersey-based farm fresh distribution service that connects farmers with restaurants, grocers, schools and more throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.
There is a diverse market for basil. Fresh market basil can be sold at roadside markets, community supported agriculture operations, farmer’s markets, grocery stores, or restaurants. “But, it is important to consider the customer you are selling to when deciding on which varieties or basil types to grow as this will be a major factor in your success,” said Carleo.
Participants will be led through worksheets to guide them in determining whether or not growing basil is right for them, their acreage, and their situation. The cost for this workshop is $20 and includes a dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m.
For more information, contact Jenny Carleo at 609-465-5115 or email Jennifer Matthews at JLM479@njaes.rutgers.edu. To register, go to Eventbrite: https://rutgerscmcag.eventbrite.com/. The deadline to register is Sept. 22.
To find out more about the Rutgers Ultra-Niche Crops Project, please go to https://njaes.rutgers.edu/ultra-niche-crops/.
The Rutgers Ultra-Niche Crops Project is sponsored by a grant from the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program with the purpose of giving new and beginning farmers an introduction to crops that can help them make more money on less land.
— Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cumberland County