Farm History

  • 1915 Edward “Bus” Simonson born at Etra, NJ.  Dad rented a farm in Sharon, NJ for one year – 100 acres of potatoes.
  • 1916 Farmed with the Gordon’s in Windsor, NJ on a shared type basis, potatoes
  • 1917 Ray Simonson born at Windsor, NJ (on the Gordon Farm)
  • 1920 Family bought Dey Road “Home Farm”; first barn fire.
  • 1921 Edward Simonson, Sr. dies
  • 1924 Family moves to Absecon, NJ.  Uncle Ted Bamman and Great Grandmother and Grandfather Bamman remain to work farm,;boys return for summers to help on the farm.
  • 1932 Moved back to Dey Road Home Farm in Plainsboro.  Farm had 8 years back taxes due and 2 mortgages.
  • 1933 First crops planted by the Simonson Brothers (Bus & Ray).  50 acres sweet corn – 60-75 cents per 100 ears.  50 acres rye – 1.5tons per acre at $7.00/ton.
  • 1935 First potatoes planted.  1 acre as a second crop used as seed the following year.
  • 1937 Grew 11 acres of potatoes, then consecutively increased to 33, 55, 125, 275, 300 acres all without irrigation
  • 1948 Started irrigation of potatoes; began packaging potatoes in small packages.
  • 1952 5 acres of Christmas Trees planted – increased over the years to 125 acres; Anderson Farm purchased.
  • 1954 Mason Farm purchased
  • 1955 Rue Grover Farm purchased
  • 1957 Dam built to increase irrigation possibilities along George Davison Rd (note, dam was removed in 2010)
  • 1961 Scott Farm purchased (including additional dam for irrigation)
  • 1963 2nd barn fire
  • 1966 Harvester purchased
  • 1981 Raymond Gordon Simonson (Gordy) enters partnership with Ray and Bus, name changes from Simonson Brothers to Simonson Farms.  Bus primarily cares for Christmas Trees.  Ray & Gordy primarily handle potatoes and grain.  3rd barn fire
  • 1982 Sold 100 acres to Linpro for housing. Additional land sold through 1980’s as potato market collapses
  • 1987 Last year of potatoes.
  • 1988 Farm auction; sale of all potato and grain equipment.
  • 1991 Ray Simonson dies; Martha Simonson Jany, Carol Simonson Applegate, Gordy Simonson and Jacki Simonson inherit half of Christmas Tree operation and remaining land
  • 1998 Sale of development rights for Anderson Farm to New Jersey Farmland Preservation program.  Gordy and Jacki bought out.
  • 2001 Bus Simonson dies.  Son Buster Simonson inherits Bus’s share of business.  Buster continues day to day operations.
  • 2004 Sale of development rights for Scott Farm to New Jersey Farmland Preservation program.
  • 2006 Buster Simonson retires, Rodger Jany (son of Martha Simonson Jany) purchases Busters share of business.
  • 2007 Jeff Applegate inherits Carol Applegates share of business.
  • 2008 Katie Applegate Bobowski & Benny Bobowski inherit Jeff Applegates share of business.
  • 2009 Center Pivot erected on Scott Farm; irrigates both grain and Christmas Trees
  • 2011 Rodger Jany purchases Bobowski share of business. 
  • 2013 Brown Dog Produce (started in 2009 by Samantha Jany) merges with Simonson Farms.

Currently, the farm resides on 200 acres, with 4.5acres left of the original “Home Farm”; Steve Jany (Rustin Farms), farms the balance of the land not in Christmas Trees on the Scott Farm.