New Jersey Ag News
Beaver Brook Farm gets preserved in Warren County
By JANE PRIMERANO
KNOWLTON TOWNSHIP (Dec. 1, 2015) — When travelers take Exit 12 off Route 80, to take their toddlers to Land of Make Believe or to tour the Moravian Village of Hope, they pass a farm that fronts the Interstate as well as County Route 521.
Not long after the highway was built there was talk of a truck stop. But the truck stop went to Knowlton Township at Exit 4 and the land in Hope Township remained green.
Now it will remain green forever.
Beaver Brook Farm is the latest Warren County farm to become part of the state farmland preservation program.
The Manley family donated the farm to the Land Conservancy of New Jersey and the group purchased some more land for a total of 137 acres in preservation, Sandy Urgo of the Land Conservancy explained. The farm includes 55 acres of corn and 10 of hay. Much of the rest of the property is forested wetlands.
Urgo said the Land Conservancy has been working on preserving this farm for about two years. She credited the Warren County Freeholders and the Warren County Agricultural Development Board for the successful preservation of 236 farms in the county, totaling 21.7 acres.
“Huge kudos to the freeholders and the ag board,” she said. “We couldn’t be doing what we’re doing without them. This is good for farming and good for the county.”
She additionally praised the freeholders for maintaining the county open space tax. “They didn’t cut the tax when the economy was weak,” she said, noting that other counties did just that.
“It would have been short-sighted,” she added.
The Conservancy issued a press release noting farming is a $90 million per year industry in Warren County, supporting many ancillary businesses.
The release explained Beaver Brook Farm ranked high on the state Agricultural Development Committee criteria because it is above average for the size of preserved farms and the percentage of tillable land is also high. The property includes a barn that was partially renovated into a residence, fronting on Johnsonburg Road, which is also County Route 519. A wagon shed that was in the right-of-way of the existing road was torn down several years ago.
The Beaver Brook runs through the farm on its way into the village of Hope and Jenny Jump State Park. The brook served a grist mill that is now the Inn at Millrace Farm as well as a sawmill and a distillery.