Monday, March 30, 2020

Meet Debra who works on Saturdays starting again in Strawberry season...

Debra Freeman
I come by way of the bridge over the Delaware River for my sixth season this year!  Born and raised in Summit, NJ, our family then moved to Bridgewater, NJ in my mid-teens.  I excelled in school, softball and enjoyed playing on the field hockey and basketball teams.  Upon graduation, I attended Temple University and eventually earned my BA in Communications.
I had a daughter at the age of 26 and raised her as a single mother.  Her name is Brittany Rae and wildly enough is 26 herself now.  Where does the time go?  She now lives and thrives in California.
So, how did I get here?  Over six years ago I had a thought that I wanted to start a farm of my own.  Not working at the time I was in touch with career coach who lived in the Bucks county area.  She had some strawberries and asked me if I’d like one.  They looked amazing, so of course I said yes.  It was juicy, sweet and melted in my mouth!  I wanted more!  As we got to talking about my job search I told her about my farming aspirations.  That’s when she shared with me that Amy was looking for some help.  Once we were done with my appointment, I jumped in my car and made my way to Manoff Market Gardens to meet with Amy.  She took me on a walk to see the scope of the farm.  I remember that I was wearing a pair of sandals and could feel the energy of the farm surging into the soles of my feet.  Right then and there I knew I wanted to be a part of this magical place.  Oh, and about having a farm of my own, I’ve been cured of that notion.
I am constantly in awe of the love and care that the Manoff family puts into their diverse products and the cidery is no exception.  I feel so honored to have watched that dream come to fruition in such a successful way! Amy and Gary have made me feel like part of their family here on the farm where I am able to enjoy real fruits and vegetables!  I am so spoiled that I don’t buy the fruits at the grocery stores in the off-seasons.
I got married last May to my wonderful husband John! We met at a company we both worked for over 10 years ago and though we weren’t anything other than friends, a love blossomed between us that we were finally able to recognize.   Amy and Gary were kind enough to take time away from the farm to party with us! And for that I am truly grateful, because I know how important their work is on a daily basis to provide us all with a little something sweet, tart, and always tasty.
On the Saturdays that I’m not here, I can be found hiking in the mountains of Essex County, NJ.

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