In 2002, Morris Gbolo moved to southern New Jersey as a refugee from his home in war-torn Liberia in western Africa. He barely escaped with his family, and his life. Today, he is back doing what he loves – farming, growing his favorite vegetable crops from his native land. From Kittley and Bitter Ball eggplants to hot, hot peppers and a variety of unusual greens like sweetpotato tips, Malabar spinach, roselle and jute, Morris has found these western African crops grow well in the long, warm growing conditions found in southern New Jersey. Luckily, he is not the only recent African immigrant in the region and many of his friends are excited that he is now growing the foods that they grew up with.
Starting on less than an acre of ground in 2007, Morris moved to another farm closer to where he was living in 2009. With more equipment and resources available to him, and helpful hands from the farm owners, Morris was able to expand to almost 10 acres of his tropical vegetables. When crops are ready to harvest, from early July through October, the farm is open to the community, near and far, to let customers pick their own favorites.
Excerpted from “Liberian immigrant grows tastes of home” Maya Rao. Oct. 29, 2007. Press of Atlantic City, Atlantic City, NJ. pp. A1, A6. Read the entire story here:
Area farmers embrace global produce for South Jersey's diverse population
Press of Atlantic City
"We love our native food," said Gbolo, who immigrated to the US from Liberia in 2002 and began farming in 2007. The Garden State already is a vegetable-producing powerhouse, but an increasingly diverse country has led local farmers such as Gbolo to ...
Now, finding a farm to call our own is the ultimate goal. We are working hard at our new location in Buena Vista in the western part of Atlantic County. You can read about some of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead at our kickstarter project page. Though that didn't work as we had hoped, it gave us some great experience in reaching out to our friends to market our farm. We hope we will see you this summer at