We Went Sunflower Picking At Happy Day Farms In Manalapan, New Jersey
On a beautiful Summer Sunday, my wife Donnel and I got the crazy notion in our heads to go to a farm in Monmouth County and pick Sunflowers!
I had heard a lot about Happy Day Farms, located at 106 Iron Ore Road in Manalapan Township. Then I realized we had actually been there years earlier, when our children were small, for pumpkin picking.
Now, ‘m pretty sure I can get a 22-year-old and a 15-year-old to still come pumpkin picking later this fall. However, driving 45 minutes to pick flowers we could just easily get at Home Depot. Nah, that was all me and the wife! Boy, I am glad we did!
I’m an adventurous sort, so driving the long way from Toms River, and avoiding the Sunday Parkway traffic was the way to go.
I enjoy the country scenery of northern Monmouth County. It reminds me of where I grew up in Bergen County in the 70s and 80s before all of the land was overdeveloped.
Finally, we arrived at Happy Day Farms and parked on the makeshift grass parking lot. A short stroll up a hill brought us to the entrance kiosk. 18 dollars a person to enter the farm. $2.50 per Sunflower stem, 50 cents per Zinnia stem. Moreover, there were multiple containers you could purchase for Blueberry picking.
We got a 16 oz container for 6 dollars. If you go, know this: it’s CASH ONLY. For everything. However, they do have an ATM on site. Don’t know the surcharge, as we read online that we needed to bring cash, as well as our own sheers. They do let you borrow sheers for a 10-dollar deposit.
Eventually, we made our way to the makeshift transportation. It was an open-air bench seat trailer pulled by a real farm tractor, COOL! The rides to the flower fields and the blueberry patch were short but fun. Big place, lotta land, and a LOT of flowers. It was a great day date, and as you can see, the Happy Day folks make it fun with photo props and ops in the Sunflower fields.
We walked out with 4 or 5 nice sized Sunflowers, half a dozen Zinnias, and a pound of blueberries. Oh and some kooky photos. I highly recommend this day trip. Blueberry picking goes until next weekend 8/12.
Flower picking continues into September. Happy Day Farms also currently has Lavender Picking, plus a petting zoo, food stand, and General Store!