Organic Seeds in the Garden State, New Jersey

Sierra Club Outings Trip # 14278A, Service/ Volunteer


  • Learn organic farming principles -- potentially enough to start your own organic garden
  • Enjoy delicious organic food produced at an on-site community-supported garden
  • Explore Appalachian Trail ponds, lakes and wetlands, and the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area


  • Indoor lodging at the Genesis Farm’s Bread and Roses guest residence
  • On-the-job learning in basic organic gardening
  • Optional excursions to historic sites and nature preserves


DatesJun 22–28, 2014
StaffHerb Wolff
Photo: Genesis Farm

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Trip Overview

The Trip

Do you have an interest in organic farming?  If so, this is a special opportunity!

On our trip, we will develop small organic food gardens as part of an ongoing project (the Hillside Gardens) at Genesis Farm to create learning models for demonstration purposes.  We will receive training, guidance, and assistance from a resident distinguished ecologist and staff. 

Genesis Farm is a learning center for earth and life studies, located in the Ridge and Valley or Skylands Region of scenic northwest New Jersey. The Farm, consisting of 231 acres, was founded in 1980, and now includes a learning center, one of the first community supported gardens in our country, trails, guest housing, and many natural scenic areas.  

The Project

We’ll develop several small organic food gardens for the Hillside Gardens project at Genesis Farm. There are a few such gardens already developed on the hillside. Each garden serves a unique environment setting or need. For example, there is an existing front-yard garden, a patio garden, and a tea garden. These raised-bed gardens are made from wood milled at the Farm, and contain vegetables and herbs.

Prior organic farming knowledge or experience is unnecessary since we will learn and acquire the necessary skills in a classroom and on the job. However, basic gardening skills and interest are required.


We’ll meet on Sunday, June 22 at Genesis Farm in Blairstown, New Jersey and have our first meal together for dinner. Please plan to arrive at the site no later than 4:30 p.m.

We will work each day on Genesis Farm until mid-afternoon, after which we will form group(s) to visit local places of interest such as the Appalachian Trail on the Kittatinny Mountain Ridge, the Delaware River Water Gap, and many other nature preserves. Or, we may choose to use our free time exploring the trails and natural beauty on the Farm or browse through the Farm’s library of earth and life studies. We’ll also optionally attend several presentations in the evening on a variety of nature and conservation topics. Our trip ends shortly after our group breakfast on Saturday, June 28.



Getting There

The nearest airport is Lehigh Valley International airport in Allentown, PA, but it has fewer airport connections and flights than the larger Newark Liberty International (Newark, NJ). The latter also has a light rail service from Newark Penn Station to the Hackettstown rail station, located 20 miles from our outing site.

Accommodations and Food

The group will lodge at the Bread and Roses guest residence on Genesis Farm.

All meals are included and will be vegetarian only.

Trip Difficulty


Equipment and Clothing

Genesis Farm will supply all necessary work tools.


  • Dale, Frank, Delaware Diary: Episodes in the Life of a River. Rutgers University Press, 1996.
  • Weslager, C.A, The Delaware Indians: A History. Rutgers University Press, 1972.
  • Boysen, Robert L., Kittatinny Trails. New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, 2004.
  • Dodds, Walter K., Laws, Theories and Patterns in Ecology. California: U Presses of California, Columbia, and Princeton, 2009.


We’ll learn that organic farming practices require maintaining the balance and interconnections within nature.

In 2014 America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The Sierra Club, various other organizations with a wilderness focus, and the four federal wilderness management agencies are vigorously planning this celebration. The goal of the effort is to assure that a broader public knows about the concept and benefits of wilderness. Sierra Club Outings is a vital part of the celebrations for wilderness.

While the Act was far in the future when our outings program started, we were already promoting the principle behind it: to forever set aside from human developments certain special places, by civic agreement. This is the basic principle on which the Sierra Club was founded. The wilderness anniversary gives us an opportunity to highlight our organization’s leading role—in publicizing this principle, in passing the 1964 Act, and in achieving more designated wilderness since then.



Herb Wolff leads and participates in service outings along the eastern seaboard, and has special interest in ecosystem sustainability.


Sandra Raviv

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