NJ's BEST source for Heirloom tomatoes, hot peppers

hunt4carlApril 6, 2007

A number of posts here in past years (including one that

got bumped up below) prompted me to share this info. . .

Hidden in the darker reaches of Hunterdon County, not far

from Flemington, is a little-known (apparently) outfit

called Cross Country Nurseries (mail order and retail), that specializes in Chile (and Sweet) Peppers and Tomatoes of every color, shape, stripe and temperature - over 700 varieties !!!

Now, I stumbled on this place quite inadvertantly last Fall, and haven't visited in person yet (they open up for

retail on Sat., April 15th) but I plan on being there on

Monday, the 17th - one person I located who DID know about them, cautioned that some of the more unique varieties tend

to disappear quickly. . .and remember, their mail order

and/or reservation system has been in full swing since New Year's. I'll report back if this really is a "keeper". . .

Carl

Here is a link that might be useful: Cross Country Nurseries

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njtea(NJ Z6)

WOW!!!! Why did I even bother to start my tomatoes this week?

I won't normally travel to buy anything but this trip will be a MUST for me.

The Rosemont-Locktown area is nice country and well worth the journey.

Thank you, Carl.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 7:27AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Well, no Japanese Trifle Black. I haven't started any tomatoes. Should I? How big are these I wonder.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 12:19PM
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evan1(z6nj)

I paid them a visit later in May last year- found many varieties gone already, but still a great selection. If you're a pepper head- they had a great selection of hots, not so much on the sweets.

Reminded me of NJ Botanical's but on a smaller scale.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 6:04AM
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diane_nj 6b/7a

Ooooooohhh! This looks terrific! Time to plan out road trips! Thanks carl!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 6:07PM
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jillylam(6)

Carl,
Thanks for the tip. This place is 3 miles from my house and I never knew they were there. I can't wait to check them out.
Thanks,
Jill

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 8:10PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Anybody go yet this year? I might go on Tues since we didn't start any tomatoes.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 2:30PM
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hunt4carl

Yes, I finally hopped in the chariot and took a roll through the countryside to scope out this "find" today. . .
BE FOREWARNED!! This is NOT some kind of upscale nursery
designed to woo the retail crowd - it is a no-nonsense
operation consisting of ten (10) hoop houses (only two of
which are open to the public), one port-A-potty (that's the
end of the public amenities!) and it caters primarily to
mail-order. The public does show up on weekends, but many
of those folks are tomato/pepper afficianados who have
PRE-ORDERED on-line, for pick-up within one week - this
extra service (pre-ordering) costs you an additional .75
per plant, but may be the only way to guarantee you'll be
able to get a hard-to-find tomato and/or pepper. Straight
retail off-the-street price: $1.75 per plant, which is
definitely competitive - but here's the REAL reason you might want to go and/or order: the selection of tomatoes
is remarkable, the peppers astounding, and there's even a
few eggplants for sale. The only other items for sale that
I noticed were some fish and seaweed fertilizers, which can
be hard to come by other than expensive mailorder.

They have been open to the public only two weekends now,
but already many varieties are gone - the lady who runs
the operation (a one-woman show, been at it for 20 years!)
suggests that you go on-line BEFORE you go (like the Sat.
or Sun. morning before pulling out the drive) to see what's
sold-out. With your up-to-date list clutched in hand (and
second and third choices noted!) hit the greenhouses, where peppers and tomatoes are neatly lined up in alphabetical order. . .if you're not dead set
on a rare or hard-to-find variety, you WILL find plants in the next couple of weeks. . .as of my visit today, they had
about 30 varieties of tomatoes available, and maybe 50
different peppers, both hot and sweet. If you can, go during the week - no crowds (I was the only customer). . .

Follow their directions (download from the website) very
carefully - pay particular close attention for the Kingwood-Locktown Road off of Rte. 519, as its a common
weathered street sign, easy to miss. Most of all, enjoy
the drive - it's a perfectly beautiful part of New Jersey
that many of us in the densely populated central and eastern parts of the state rarely get to see. . .

Carl

Here is a link that might be useful: Cross Country Nurseries

    Bookmark   April 23, 2007 at 6:16PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Thanks Carl,
I didn't get to go today but still intend to try. How large were the plants?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 10:45PM
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hunt4carl

Two-and-a-half-inch square pots, with full, leafy
development, and very healthy root systems. . .my tomatoes
were all about 8" tall (peppers a bit shorter), some with
flowers (which, of course, you keep pinching out until we can plant them out in mid-May). Sure, it's a little bit of
a hassle to move them in and out each day, but such a treat
to actually have terrific seedlings of some uncommon varieties. . .hope you get a kick out of this little hole-
in-the-wall !

Carl

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Thanks, I'll let you know how I do.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I went today. Very nice drive and the selection is great. The plants really aren't bigger than if I grew them myself - they only have 1 or two sets of leaves but they look like they are just the right size to take off.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 6:19PM
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