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New Jersey kicks off 2019 fresh produce season

VINELAND, NJ -- State and local officials from New Jersey gathered Monday afternoon, May 6, here at Consalo Family Farms to kick off the Garden State's 2019 fresh produce season.

Chelsea Consalo, a vice president of Consalo Family Farms and of The Freshwave (which is the sales arm for Consalo Family Farms) and a member of its fourth generation welcomed everyone to the event by saying, "We are honored to be here today surrounded by the staff of Consalo Family Farms, The Freshwave, our sister company, growers, distinguished legislators and friends to celebrate the start of the 2019 growing season."kickoff6301New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher at the kickoff of New Jersey's 2019 fresh produce season, shown with Chelsea Consalo, Skip Consalo and A.J. Consalo of Consalo Family Farms and The Freshwave.

Noting that her family has been farming since 1927, she told the group that William Consalo Sr. "began his business with a small family farm and one truck. His family inherited his dedication to growing healthy, quality produce, and as a result, Consalo Family Farms is an important partner in the company that bears his name. Since then, fruit and produce have been passed down in the Consalo family for generations."

She concluded, "Consalo Family Farms and The Freshwave would like to thank the Vineland Produce Auction and all of the local growers that have attended today in support of the Jersey Fresh program. We are excited to be a part of this community and look forward to a great season."kickoff6288New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher spoke to guests at the kickoff of New Jersey's 2019 fresh produce season.

Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey's secretary of agriculture, told the group, "To have a member of the fourth generation at Consalo is thrilling for me to see."

New Jersey grows 100 different crops, he noted, but "this is the kickoff, and it starts with asparagus," one of the state's signature crops. Other crops with an early harvest that are becoming available daily include kale, lettuce, radishes and spinach.

Commenting on New Jersey's short distance to major markets such as New York and Philadelphia, he stated, "We can grow it and cut it and ship it [to many markets] in one day."

Tom Beaver, New Jersey's director of marketing, and Denny Doyle, chairman of the New Jersey Blueberry Industry Advisory Council, also addressed the group, as did a number of local officials.