Photography, Wanderlust and Roots

Duke Farms

Snookie, Jersey Shore, highways, and the “armpit of America” are a few stereotypes you’ve probably heard about New Jersey. But the New Jersey I know is very different.  A short ride to two major cities, the beach, the mountains, and farms aplenty.

Duke Farms is a plot of land in Hillsborough, NJ that quickly became one of my favorite spots at home. 2,000 acres of farm and woodland were transformed by a tobacco and electric tycoon from North Carolina named John Buchanan (JB) Duke. He left the land to his daughter, Doris Duke, who envisioned the land to be an area to protect wildlife and used for agriculture, horticulture, and research.

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Opened to the public in 2012, Duke Farms is a perfect place to spend a warm spring day. The trails are great for walking, running, and biking. (There’s a bike-share program if you don’t have a bike of your own) It is also a prime spot for photographers. My favorite area to photograph is the orchid house. A greenhouse filled with beautiful exotic flowers.

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Duke Farms is a place I can spend all day with my camera. I can grab breakfast or lunch at the Farm Barn Cafe which partners with local farms and serves local and organic foods. It’s also one of my favorite spots for a picnic.

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The thing I love most about Duke Farms is that it promotes sustainability and local living. There are classes for kids and adults as well as festivals throughout the year. One event I plan on checking out soon is their Farm to Table market which is filled with goods from local farms and artisans.

 

B.

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