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Phillips Farms
City: Milford, NJ,
Email Address: farmer@phillipsfarms.com
About Us
Tucked away in a little-known corner of New Jersey bordering the Delaware River and across from Bucks County and Northampton County PA, this picturesque farm has been home to 6 generations of Phillips family. Marc and Holly Phillips both grew up in Milford and they became high school sweethearts. They started farming straight out of college with the vision of raising their family on the farm. They started with, and still believe in, the unlimited possibilities of growing great tasting seasonal fresh produce and offering it directly to customers. While Marc spent almost every waking hour on the farm full-time, Holly juggled the nearly impossible: working as a registered nurse for over 20 years in addition to caring for their children and performing her many farm responsibilities. With a considerable amount of family help and support, along with a small group of dedicated employees and many loyal customers, the farm has grown tremendously over the years. Phillips Farms participates in as many as 13 farmers markets per week. Many local and New York city restaurants buy directly from the farm and rely on its fresh produce for their seasonal menus. Thousands of visitors come to the farm every year to enjoy the memorable experience of picking their own fruit on a real working farm. This farm is Marc and Holly’s life’s work. They are proud of it and take personal satisfaction in selling quality products to customers making it possible for them to experience healthy flavorful food that will improve their quality of life.
Practices
Soil and Soil Fertility

Taking proper care of the soil is key to any sustainable farming operation. Phillips Farms makes their own compost from vegetable and fruit waste and municipal leaves. They also bring in Spent Mushroom Substrate as a compost material, which helps add natural nutrients to the soil. Compost is added to vegetable fields to build organic matter, enhance soil fertility, and increase the microbial activity within the soil. Winter and summer cover crops are grown extensively to further add organic matter back into the soil. Additional farm acreage has been purchased in recent years to give some of the fields a rest to reduce recurring pests and to help re-generate the soil’s natural health. Pasteurized pelletized chicken manure is frequently used as a natural fertilizer.

Pest Control

Pest control is a complicated process. Phillips Farms uses an integrated approach to pest control. This is referred to as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The farm has embraced many organic farming techniques but does not profess to be an organic farm. Many of the pest control techniques used are endorsed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Beneficial insects such as predatory mites and parasites are used. Pest mating disruption and pheromone lures are used to keep pest numbers low. Beneficial bacteria, fungi, plant activators and Bio Stimulants are used to increase the resistance of plants to disease. Phillips Farms works closely with Rutgers University Extension to monitor crops. All of the farm fields are professionally scouted for insects and diseases. There are thresholds of population or damage that are used to determine the proper time of treatment. The farm has its own weather station which uploads real-time weather to computer models, which are then used to predict disease outbreaks and can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.

Phillips Farms does use synthetically produced chemicals when this solution is the best option. Chemicals today are much softer and pest-specific then they were 10 years ago. Specific pests are targeted with materials that are used at very low rates and that are safe in the environment. Chemicals are used responsibly by licensed applicators who follow the law regarding worker safety and days until harvest. All chemicals used are strictly regulated by the federal government to ensure a safe food supply and a clean environment. New invasive species in the last 10 years such as the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug, Spotted Lanternfly and Spotted Wing Drosophila all can devastate crops. All of the certified pesticide applicators at Phillips Farms spend hours of continuing education per year to learn the most up-to-date techniques of pest control. You the consumer should educate yourself with sound science-based information about pesticide use in agriculture and always wash your fruit and vegetables with water before eating.

Environmental Stewardship

Phillips Farms has been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Environmental Stewardship Initiative “for its voluntary and proactive measures taken to go beyond compliance in an effort to improve the environment and ensure a sustainable future” Phillips Farms was named as conservation farm of the year by the Hunterdon County Soil Conservation District.

Water Use and Conservation

Phillips Farms uses drip irrigation extensively on all crops. Drip irrigation reduces runoff and uses less water and energy than many other forms of irrigation. The on-farm weather station along with soil moisture meters help to give plants the correct amount of water and fertilizer.

Our Future

Phillips Farms recently purchased property on the corner of Route 614 and 519 in Holland Township two miles north of Milford. This will be the future home of the new Farm Market. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and is expected to open sometime in 2020. Three acres of seedless table grapes and one acre of wine grapes have been planted on that property. This will also be the location for strawberry picking in 2019.