Johnson’s farmers market in Medford, New Jersey is hoping to keep up the summer weather and business as long as possible. Nearing the end of September the weather is starting to move away from sunny summer days and more towards chilly winter days. Over the past years Johnson’s farmers market has come up with different events coinciding with the weather not necessarily surrounding just crops and food. “Apple picking and Pumpkin picking tend to wrap up around the end of October and we switch to the more of the cold weather products,” said employee Jessica Deihm. Johnson’s turns away from apple and pumpkin picking to switch to products like popcorn, sweet potatoes, Broccoli, and Cauliflower.
Besides the crops, Johnson’s continues to have hayrides through the end of November which is extremely successful around the time of Halloween. “I bring my kids here every chance I can approaching Halloween to pick pumpkins and carve them for decoration,” said Bernadette Pastore. Johnson’s faces the tough winters of Southern New Jersey which have recently been much more harsh than normal. The events at the end of October begin to be geared towards Holiday motivated events such as the correlation of pumpkins to Halloween as well as haunted hay rides. In December, kids have a chance to meet with Santa, gingerbread man and cookie decorating as well as marshmallow roasting and a Christmas Light Show Hayride.
Johnson’s looks to sidestep the issue of weather and damaging profit by focusing less on crops being the major focal point in the winter and move to an eventful family experience. “We think that we should be able to provide a good time for families while also being able to receive the necessities for Holidays in the winter,” said Jessica Deihm. Johnson’s provides a family experience but also is available to have birthday parties as well as field trips. The birthday parties and field trips are more geared to the younger kids and Johnson’s tries to work with local school’s to set up a full day of activities for the kids to learn about all that goes on at the farm. With the weather changing from hot to cold and rain to snow, Johnson’s isn’t always able to have the picnics or parties outside which is why the activities are based around the conditions.
As we move through the months from September through December, Johnson’s is prepared as they know winters in New Jersey are sometimes unpredictable seeing snowfall on a few occasions the last two Octobers. Certain crops aren’t available after a certain point in November which has showed increased sales when the deadline is approaching. Apples are certainly one of the most popular items at the farm and toward the end of the month of November sales increase. “I know whenever I come back into South Jersey, I go to Johnson’s to get apples and some apple pies,” said former Cherry Hill resident Sean Cohen. “As we start entering the winter in New Jersey, my Johnson’s experience is less and less because I can’t get the food that I want,” Cohen continued. Johnson’s tries to continue to apple picking as long as possible but the last few years the winters have been more harsh than normal.
Johnson’s is aware of the issue that the weather provides, but it is entirely out of the control of them and they do a good job of changing up the different types of crops to go along with the weather. Johnson’s has been extremely successful in the community around South Jersey and for now is looking to hold on to this beautiful fall weather.