103-year-old family farm perseveres through a century of challenges

ByMiguel Amaya Localish logo
Monday, September 21, 2020
103-year-old family farm in New Jersey survives pandemic
Family-owned and operated Richfield Farms has managed to overcome it all.Throughout their 103-year history, Richfield Farms has grown fruits and vegetables amid historic events like the Great Depression, World War II, and the current global pandemic.

CLIFTON, New Jersey -- Throughout their 103-year history, Richfield Farms, a family-owned and operated farm in Clifton, New Jersey, has managed to overcome a variety of challenges; the pandemic is just another one of that list.

"This was a business started by my great grandfather. They were Dutch immigrants that came over from Holland and they traveled west from the city and started purchasing farmland because they wanted to become farmers," said William Morton, manager of Richfield Farms.

Since 1917, the Morton family has grown fruits and vegetables despite the historic events like the Great Depression and World War II, events that have certainly strengthened the resilience of the Morton family through time.

Related: Apple picking season has arrived and this farm is kicking it off with new safety rules

"A lot of change has happened. When the Garden State Parkway came through it took most of our land, we're always fighting the weather. In a way, COVID has kind of saved our family business and it has helped us pull out of a serious recession, since we never really recovered from the last recession in 2008, this really helped our family," said Deborah Morton, owner of Richfield Farms.

Through time, the original farm stand has evolved into a community staple offering customers five active acres of fields, shrubs, trees, perennials, herbs, and annuals.

In addition to their garden shop stocked with organic fertilizers, mulches, and insecticides, Richfield farms also have a seasonal gift shop with a full line of pottery, statuary, and garden art.

When asked what their key to success has been, William Morton attributes it to adaptation.

"You have to adapt. Do things differently and always be adapting and evolving, that's the main thing for us and being ahead of the curve with trends," said William Morton.

Related: New Jersey farms adjust and thrive amid global pandemic

Resilient and optimistic, Morton's look forward to continue serving their community and what the future may hold.

"Here's to another 100 years! We thank the community for all their support because without the community support we wouldn't be here," said Deborah Morton.


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