Episode 42: Jeff Tober


by Rodney Wilson

New Jersey farmer Jeff Tober talks farming for ecological and community health, pasture-raised pigs, farm planning and more with host Lisa Munniksma in this episode of Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good.

Hear about how a potato growing in a compost pile in the Philadelphia suburbs sparked a curiosity in Jeff as a young person that put him on a winding path to farming and eventually to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance’s Rancocas Creek Farm. Learn about the Pinelands Preservation Alliance’s work to preserve the 1.1-million-acre, ecologically important Pinelands National Reserve, including how they came into the 72 acres that is now their Rancocas Creek Farm. 

Jeff talks about developing this farm from essentially a blank slate into a thriving natural space in a way that is chemical-free, involves diverse communities, restores soil health, mitigates stormwater flow, supports pollinators and wildlife, is economically sustainable, and brings in constituents new to PPA. Learn about getting federal Natural Resources Conservation Service and New Jersey’s State Agriculture Development Committee funds for your farm projects and other ideas to “chase every dollar,” as farmers often have to do.

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Have your pastured-pig curiosity piqued and consider the ways they can fit into farm ecosystems. Dive deeper into farm planning, from observation to implementation. Get a great idea for engaging the community and getting more organic material for your farm with Rancocas Creek Farm’s Project Pizza Box. Hear also about the New Jersey Agricultural Society, the Farmers Against Hunger program (and how to get your farm involved), and the role of County Agricultural Development Boards in New Jersey. 

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