Like Georgia, New Jersey is another one of those states that people think have or at least ought to have an Amish population. However, the Garden State does not. And not just that, I don’t believe it has ever in history had an Amish community…which is kind of surprising when you think about it being right next-door to Amish-loaded states Pennsylvania and New York.
However, there are a number of Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch markets in New Jersey. Some of these have been around for quite some time. We’ve got our own directory of New Jersey Amish markets here on the site, but a website called Jersey’s Best has put together a list of six of them. I’m quite sure whoever did that article just slightly re-wrote at least portions of my own guide – without a mention. But it happens 🙂 You can find their article here: https://www.jerseysbest.com/community/taste-homemade-goods-from-the-heart-of-amish-country-at-n-j-markets/.
In any case it’s a good excuse to call attention to these markets again, especially since I’ve seen the Amish-in-New-Jersey topic popping up again some lately. The Jersey’s Best guide does include what I assume are updated market hours. Here’s the ones on their list. Since I did my own guide, two on that list have since closed. But I’ve updated it with three new ones which I add below – for a total of nine Amish market/food locations in New Jersey (there may be more):
Columbus Farmers Market
2919 Route 206, Columbus
Dutch Country Farmer’s Market
19 Commerce St., Flemington
Greater Bridgeton Amish Market
2 Cassidy Court, Bridgeton
Mullica Hill Amish Market
108 Swedesboro Road, Mullica Hill
Pennsylvania Dutch Farmers Market
4437 Route 27, Princeton
Williamstown Farmers Market
701 North Blackhorse Pike, Williamstown
In addition to these, here are three missing from the Jersey’s Best article:
Covered Wagon Amish Farmer’s Market
Medford, NJ 08055
A small but highly-reviewed market east of Philadelphia.
Berlin Farmer’s Market
41 Clementon Rd, Berlin, NJ 08009
Home of the Country Hill Amish Bakery featuring cakes, breads, donuts, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, rice cakes, chicken & beef pot pies, and more.
Trenton Farmers’ Market
960 Spruce St
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
Amish-run King Foods “comfort food” establishment offers breakfast sandwiches, fried chicken, ribs, and more.
These places are typically open three days per week – Thursday, Friday, Saturday – though some might be open only two. As with any Amish business, don’t expect to find anyone Amish there on Sunday. So if you’re in Jersey, even though you don’t have Amish there full-time, you can at least visit an Amish vendor without having to leave the state.
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Why the Amish don't live here.
The property taxes in NJ are the second highest in the land and to that, there would’t be any communities I can think of that would welcome them as residents.
On a map it does look strange but NJ is a thin State and the only farming that has gone on in the past century really have been chinese vegetables for the NYC market. Just not enough land that isn’t preserved by one group or another for one bird or a few.
Kind of sad but it will never change and because the Amish don’t waste money they aren’t about to move here. Many who live here now are thinking of leaving because of those same ludicrous property taxes provide nothing special.
Thanks for the local take and interesting details. This fits with my impression. I would certainly choose a number of other Amish-less states to see settlement before NJ. What surprised me though is that I can find no accounts of Amish settlement at any time in their history. I would have thought that at some point – even say 100+ years back – someone would have tried.
Amish in NJ
Yea the property taxes and cost of living is ridiculous here. Can’t blame them for not being here.
Garden State grows
Mr. Holmes, I am uncertain of your resources relative to the comment:
“the only farming that has gone on in the past century really have been chinese vegetables for the NYC market.”
Please review this link and report what you see. I grew up in NJ and loved the agrarian parts of the state. ‘Garden State’ still lives out its name. You could not beat the fare of any of the small booths on the section of the 206 between Newton and Milford. I’ve had the peaches, the corn, and who could forget the tomato? Salt and teeth is all needed for the latter.
Farms in NJ
There used to be in the 1800’s and probably the early 1900’s farms scattered around and I even have a print of a farm in the county next to us.
NJ sort blossomed and the farms that were here, much like Lancaster County, swiftly turned into tract housing to accommodate people who worked often in NY City. Now when you see empty land you often find it is owned by one government or another and is being held to remain in it’s almost pristine state.
I live now but not always in the Shore area and yes, we have a weekly farmer’s market in just about every town. What I have noticed though is the packaging indicates this is just glorified supermarket stuff. There is a large market in Newark for stores and people who run these weekly “farmer’s” markets. Problem is it just isn’t the same as what we can get if we just get in the car and make it over to Pennsylvania where the real old fashioned non-GMO Amish vegetables and fruits are available on just about every back road in the areas they still live in
It’s almost startling to realize that now Ohio has more Amish people than Pennsylvania does. Land is a serious issue when you are looking for enough to farm.
And I have lived in NJ for over 50 years and in both the north and south. I do watch things changing and it is the Garden State because of flowers and trees much more than edible foods though again, it is here every single warm weather week and my husband likes the idea of shopping outside.
NJ Property Taxes
Veering wildly off topic here, but: There’s a reason that NJ property taxes are so high. It’s that NJ is divided into hundreds and hundreds of cities, towns, townships and the like. Each of these tiny divisions has its own full set of municipal services (police, libraries, parks, etc.) with a full set of patronage positions.
These are financed by property taxes. Obviously there’s massive duplication and the whole thing is very wasteful, but most efforts to merge jurisdictions have failed because of local pride.
To an outsider, this is all very strange.
Amish in Jersey
I’m originally from Jersey(most of my family is still there). I moved to Upstate NY. 33 yrs ago to farm. We lived surrounded in a large Groffdale Mennonite area up there. We now live in a growing Amish community in WI. We have about 100+ Amish in 3 miles from our farm. I visited NJ. last yr. I can’t imagine Amish in Jersey. It’s; busy, expensive, rushed state, with limited land. I’m not all that surprised they they never had a settlement there…
Meadows of Dan Va
Hey Eric.. I heard that the Amish have bought some land in Meadows of Dan Virgina and I was wondering if you had any information on this.
We live in Woolwine, Virginia which is close by and would love to have a community of the Amish here.Respectfully Wm
Meadows of Dan VA Amish settlement
Hey William, yes nice to hear of another VA settlement popping up. Someone actually just informed me of this new settlement on the YouTube channel. Here is his comment and our exchange – this is the only other info I’ve gotten on it so far:
Dale Thomas • 7 days ago
Hey Eric. I’m from hillsville virginia, part of the Mennonite church here. We have a new Amish community in the Meadows of Dan and Laurel fork areas. A bunch of us from the Mennonite church helped the first family unload and get started settled in this morning. Might be some folks to go visit sometime after the get settled in. I have the one guys phone number.
What I Bought at 6 Amish Stores
• 3 days ago
Sounds interesting Dale, thanks for mentioning. I stayed in Hillsville once, that’s a beautiful area. Just curious does the person you know have a store or other business maybe? Neat to hear this is a new place starting up, I’ll pass a note on to the people I know who do the settlement listings
Dale Thomas • 2 days ago
@Amish America well as far as I know he doesn’t have a store. Him and his sons do construction, and they’re hoping to do pole barns and construction here as well. Another family moved in today. There’s eight families total in this new church.
Meadows of Dan Va
Thanks Erik for responding about a new Amish community coming to Meadows of Dan VA area!
Please keep me informed on any new developments that you might here about. It would be nice if you would do an article about this.
If you would ever be in this area you are more than welcome to stay with us.
My wife was raised as a Mennonite and loves history about the Amish.
We lived in NC and retired in VA. Respectively Wm
Taxes are high in NJ so that could be one of many factors.
My guess as to why there is no record of Amish in NJ:
Back then, arriving by boat, wanting some space from the English and congestion of Philadelphia, plus NJ actually being completely surrounded by water(ocean on one side, river on the other), heading west to Lancaster might have seemed, well, easier, logical, and much more land. So why not head that way? Esp. since that area has some of the best soil for farming.
Plus William Penn being a Quaker and using Pennsylvania as part of his ‘Holy Experiment’ may have played a role in Amish moving to this side of the river.