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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Fill Your Garden at Cross Country Nurseries

Husband and wife team Janie Lamson and Fernando Villegas are known for growing large numbers of plants, including 500 varieties of peppers and 180 types of tomatoes, on their farm, Cross Country Nurseries. Located in Stockton, the two pride themselves not only in their massive variety of plants, but also their amazing quality and careful shipping to consumers all over the country. Mainly a mail-order business, Janie boasts, “We replace less than one percent of what we ship.” An impressive number, especially considering during their peak season they send out tractor trailers full of their crops. Janie created Cross Country Nurseries in 1985 and even met her future husband on the job: “He came to work for me in 1990 and we were married by ’93,” she smiled.

Fueled by her love of nature, Janie muses, “I would rather be in the woods than at a party.” After taking a few horticulture classes, she “jumped right in,” growing her business and learning through experience.

The season begins April 11 and runs through May 31. During this time, locals are able to visit their farm and browse two retail greenhouses full of plants to handpick. The expansive farm is open seven days a week during the season.

As to not become overwhelmed by the vast selection offered at Cross Country Nurseries, Janie suggests visitors browse their website and the catalog they provide in order to decide which plant will work best for the individual consumer and their family.

Her joy comes from reuniting people with long lost varieties of plants and seeing the fruits of her labor produce a bounty for other families. She says, “I’m motivated by my customers. They send us pictures of their children gardening or recipes they’ve made with our plants.” She adds, “I love that the plants we grow here are sent all over the country to produce healthy and delicious fruits for our consumers.”

Location: 199 Kingwood-Locktown Road, Stockton. Walk-in hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm. For more information, visit ChilePlants.com.

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