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My Visit to Happy Day Farm

By Julia Mortimer

Summer is beginning to come to a close as the days get shorter and the warmth makes it slow exit. I wasn’t allowing the season to slip away without getting all of my desired summer activities in. Next on the agenda was the Happy Day Farm in Manalapan. 

Happy Day Farm is a beautiful, 130-acre farm that utilizes its land to grow blueberries, zinnias, sunflowers and pumpkins in the fall. I had my heart set on picking fresh blueberries this summer season, so I set out for Manalapan which is about a 35-minute drive from the Red Bank/Middletown area. In an effort to beat the heat, I decided to go in the morning. I picked up my coffee from Booskerdoo and set out for the Garden State Parkway. Driving through the farm-like scene of Manalapan was lovely. I imagine it is beautiful in the fall! I pulled up to the farm, full of excitement. As soon as I pulled in, I saw the rows and rows of blueberry bushes. I was ready to start picking! 

I was directed to the parking area where I parked and began my trek into the farm. I walked up the woodchip walkway that had what looked like pumpkin patches on either side. I approached the booth to pay for a container that will hold my freshly picked blueberries. To my surprise, there were also raspberries growing! They weren’t for picking, but they looked delicious. 

The attendants at the booth were welcoming as they handed me my blueberry container. I strolled over to the vast blueberry farm. Despite the suffocating heat, I was able to enjoy my picking experience. I picked the juiciest and ripest blueberries while I walked up and down the lines of bushes. I was thankful to have been able to catch the berries right before the season ended on Aug. 15. 

Once my container was full, I headed back up toward the booth when I noticed a stand that had kettle corn and lemonade – just what you’re craving when picking fresh fruit on a farm. 

I was so at peace, taking this time to do a wholesome, solo summer activity before fall began. I was able to take this quiet time to reflect on the season and the one to come. Seeing that Happy Day Farm has a pumpkin patch made me all the more excited for fall, as I certainly plan to visit the farm to find the perfect pumpkin.

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