The corn won’t change.
Those are the words longtime customers of Lindeken Farms wanted to hear when they got word that owners Ken and Nancy Stanlick decided to retire. Facebook posts throughout the week indicated that Ken Stanlick will offer guidance to the new proprietors, Tom Moke and Joe Briganti.
Moke and Briganti are not leasing farmland from the Stanlicks. The partners will continue to farm the land they have leased for a few years, Golden Grains Farms in Long Valley, while another farmer works the Stanlicks’ Hackettstown land.
“I’ve known Kenny from the ag industry,” Moke said. “We’ve gone back and forth talking about taking over the stand.” The final decision was to lease the stand and property around it at the busy Route 15 and Berkshire Valley Road location.
The Stanlicks are a well-known Jefferson family, farming for generations. The Arthur Stanlick Elementary School is named after Ken’s grandfather, who was instrumental in getting Jefferson Township High School built in the 1960s.
Moke did not grow up in farming, but he married into another old farm family, the Orts of Long Valley. He worked with the Orts, producing grain alongside their fruits and vegetables. “Farming is not an industry you can just step in to,” Moke said. “If I didn’t have that connection, it would have been almost impossible to get into farming.”
Moke is planning some changes, including the start of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Noting that some Jefferson-area residents might not be familiar with CSA, he is calling it a farm share program. Members will prepay for the summer’s vegetables and pick up their shares on a weekly basis.
Since Moke raises cattle and pigs, the stand will also sell meat. In addition, they will stock ice cream from Tranquility Farms and jellies, jams, and preserves from a vendor yet to be identified. Moke plans to make a deal with a Sussex County dairy for milk products.
Moke has been on the stand property periodically, getting it ready for spring.