Peppadew Fresh Farm in Morganville received the largest agricultural grant in the nation on Monday, to expand its business with a new product, Peppadew Goldew.
The Morganville farm will begin growing Peppadew Gold with a $259,000 Value Added Producer grant from the United States Department of Agriculture.
"The product has received a tremendous amount of interest not only in NJ by nationwide," said Howard Henderson, USDA Rural Development NJ State Director.
Henderson said Peppadew Farm competed nationwide for the grant, and was backed by everyone from local to federal government, as well as the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center.
Pierre Crawley, President of Peppadew Fresh LLC., said the grant will allow wider distribution of the new product, create jobs and allow the farm to expand business by offering cooking classes and boosting agro-tourism.
Peppadew, a sweet and tangy pepper with a bit of a kick, was discovered 16 years ago in South Africa. Now, the product is one of the most popular ingredients and toppings, featured on shows such as Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart Living. The Peppadew Goldew, an orange and sweeter version, will now be grown in Morganville.
Crawley said many are using the peppers to make mustards, horseradish, seasonings, salsa, and even as a pizza topping. The farm was also recently approved as a winery, and continues to sell cut flowers locally, which is how the 15-acre farm began many years ago.
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik said the township is working with Crawley to preserve the farm as open space.
"Peppadew Farms provides that something extra," Crawley said. "It will be a quaint educational locale for both the agro-tourist and the consumer.