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Business Profile: FAIRGROWN FARM

By Palmer White

Not many people can say they began a project growing vegetables one summer alongside their friends, though probably far fewer people can say they own a successful farm five years later. James and Alex Klett are a rarity.

The Klett brothers, both graduates of Montgomery High School, founded Fairgrown Farm in 2018. It is a produce farm located on Aunt Molly Road in Hopewell. The brothers rent the eight acres from Stalin Bedon, who is a co-owner of Nomad Pizza in downtown Hopewell.

James and Alex Klett, Montgomery High School graduates, own Fairgrown Farm.

In January of 2020, they expanded to a second location at the former Gravity Hill Farm on scenic Pleasant Valley Road in Titusville, which has allowed them to grow the scale of both their business and harvest.

Fairgrown Farm originated as a summer project for James while he attended Rutgers (eventually receiving a degree in business with a minor in agriculture).

His first farm was on a River Road farm in Montgomery Township from 2016 to 2018. He appropriately called the project “River Road Gardens.”

His brother Alex, an artist and carpenter, had been renting an old cow barn located at the same site — the Campbell-Vandevere Farm.

The following summer, James convinced Alex to give farming a try, and they founded Fairgrown Farm in Hopewell, which is where they both now live.

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In 2016, the brothers had no prior farming experience, and James is still not quite sure why he was so drawn to the idea — but they gave it a chance. “It kicked our butts, we didn’t realize how hard it would be, but for some reason I fell in love with it,” James said.

Fairgrown Farm prioritizes both the well-being of the environment and their customers before profit. They ensure their crops are grown in the most sustainable way — to protect the planet, while also considering the nutritional value of their produce. James and Alex vowed to farm in “the most ethical way [they] could,” unsustainable practices were never an option.

The Klett brothers have partnered with Rolling Harvest Food Rescue at their new location, a nonprofit organization that acts as an intermediary between farmers and consumers to deliver fresh produce to those in need.

They are donating 20 percent of the harvest from Fairgrown’s Titusville location. James and Alex have estimated a donation of 25,000 pounds of produce after just one successful season.

The Covid-19 crisis has surely had detrimental effects on Fairgrown Farm, specifically in terms of restaurant sales; however, they have seen a sharp increase in demand from consumers and markets.

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The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has been encouraging the purchase of local Jersey Fresh produce as a way “to support the local economy and local farmers,” Jeff Wolfe, public information officer, said.

Fairgrown has an existing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in which they deliver fresh produce weekly to subscribing households and a Market Share option for choosing your own produce at their participating farm markets in Montgomery & Hopewell.

Fairgrown Farm has a deeply rooted sense of devotion to their community and the environment, and they have continued to uphold these values through these trying times.

“We just love what we do,” James said, displaying the passion and ambition that fuels Fairgrown Farm.■

Look for Fairgrown Farm at the Montgomery Farmers Market (Saturdays, starting June 6, 9 am-noon) and the Hopewell Farmers Market (Sundays, opening May 31, 9 am-2 pm). For market locations and Market Share options visit:


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