The Fourth of July long holiday weekend is upon us, which means many Garden State families will be enjoying outdoor picnics, cookouts and barbecues.

According to state Agriculture Secretary Doug Fisher, there will be plenty of Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables available to enjoy for the holiday.

He said the Jersey corn crop has been planted by farmers in such a way that it reaches maturity at different points during the summer, and the first wave is just starting to show up at local produce stands and supermarkets.

“They’re growing it a field at a time. It’s really amazing how they’re able to dance through the patterns of weather to be able to have a steady crop,” said Fisher.

He pointed out several crops got off to a slow start with a cooler than normal spring, but “because it’s warmed up as of late, they’ve really developed, so I don’t think you’re going to see anything but top quality product."

So how’s the Jersey tomato doing, you might be wondering?

Fisher said “a lot of them are grown under cover, and some of them in greenhouses, so you’re seeing them now. And field grown tomatoes will come on much stronger in about a week to 10 days.”

As for the Jersey blueberry crop he said “blueberries are in full summer array right now so the summer crop is here.”

The agriculture secretary also stressed the Garden State has plenty of other fruits and vegetable crops that will also begin to come to market in the coming days.

“We grow a hundred varieties of crops in this state, so you can add eggplant, you can add peppers, there’s really an amazing number of big producers,” he said

He says New Jersey’s agri-food industry is very big and important to the state economy, amounting to billions of dollars a yar.

“It is a really big deal,” he said.

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