Race Farm is a fourth generation family farm started in 1938 with a commitment to sustainable agriculture and community giving. Located in Blairstown, N.J., Race Farm has been an avid supporter of Franciscan Charities, as well as many other charitable organizations, through the Give it Fresh Today (G.I.F.T.) program at the Summit Farmer’s Market, various fundraising events, and their participation in the Food Shed Alliance. Throughout the growing season, our soup kitchen receives fresh, donated produce from Race Farm and each year they host a Farm to Fork dinner with Summit’s Brownie Points Bakery, donating ten percent of the proceeds to our organization.

Last weekend, the 2016 Farm to Fork dinner featured Jesse Jones, Celebrity Chef, Inside Jersey Top Chefs 2014; Bob Conway, Pastry Chef/Owner, Brownie Points Bakery; and Jeanny Race, Chef, Race’s “Farm Fresh.” The magical evening featured a local wine tasting with Brook Hollow Winery, live music, six delicious courses of locally produced and lovingly prepared dishes, and an informative tour of the farm on a wagon hayride. Later that evening, Franciscan Charities received a generous check in the amount of $770 for the soup kitchen.

For this blog feature, we were delighted to speak with Jeanny Race, a certified nutrition therapist and a culinary nutritionist. Since Jeanny joined the Race family approximately three years ago, the farm has expanded its operations to include a Harvest Kitchen. They sell their own hummus, soups, cold pressed juices, apple cider, apple cider donuts, and ice cream. Race Farm is operated with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and they use organic practices.

Speaking of IPM, Jeanny said, “Integrated Pest Management is a four step process developed by Rutgers University to help farmers reduce or eliminate pesticide use and farm in a sustainable manner. The first step is in using organic practices, such as soil conservation, monitoring soil nutrition levels and planting on plastic sheets. Monitoring crops visually is the second step, and if there are threats in the field, organic approved spraying will be applied. Lastly, if a farmer is faced with total crop failure, Rutgers develops the lowest possible spray schedule, to keep from total loss. IPM helps us to farm naturally, and keep the ground healthy and sustainable for years to come.”

Race Farm also participates in the NJ Tour de Farm — a bike tour that stops at farms in New Jersey. At the most recent Tour, Race Farm provided a sit-down, gourmet breakfast for 350 cyclists.

Thank you, Race Farm! Your charitable support and sustainable farming practices make a meaningful difference in many lives throughout the Garden State. Franciscan Charities and our clients are grateful for the fresh, healthy food you help bring to our tables at the soup kitchen.

To learn more about Race Farm, please visit their website www.racefarmllc.com