The Land We Farm, The Land We Love
 Since 1886 Demarest Farm has been a local treasure for residents of the Pascack Valley area.

The ancestor of the Demarest family, as it is known today, was David de Marets, born 1620 at Beauchamps, in the District of Cambray, France.

He arrived in America with his family and a group of friends in 1663, settling in Harlem, near New Amsterdam, where he and his sons became very active in political and civic affairs.

On May 1, 1678, the entire family moved to its new home on the Hacksensack, then called the Herring River. David Sr. had purchased about 2,000 acres of land, lying between the Hackensack and Hudson rivers, from the Tappan Indians in 1677, “in consideration of the good following”:
  • 100 fathem of black wampum
  • 100 fathem of white wampum
  • 15 firelock guns
  • 15 kettles
  • 20 blankets
  • 20 match coates
  • 20 hatchets
  • 20 hoes
  • 30 pair stockins
  • 20 shirts
  • 100 bars of lead
  • 100 knives
  • 1 barrel of powder
  • 4 barrels of beer
  • 1 saw
  • 1 anker of rum
  • 1 pistol
  • 1 plane
  • A great knife
  • 1 carpenter axe
  • 1886

    Well, eight generations and 209 years later, in 1856, George Washington Demarest was born and in 1886 bought what today is known as Demarest Farm; a parcel of approximately 40 acres located in Hillsdale and Saddle River. He worked the land for many years as a general farm, keeping cows, pigs, and chickens and of course horses to help with the farm work.

    Demarest’s son Lincoln, at only 22 years old, had to take over when the elder Demarest passed away in 1916. It was he who started the fruit orchards. With his sister Annie running a small fruit stand along the road at the bottom of the hill, folks soon started coming from all over during peach season for the luscious fruit for which Demarest Farm has been famous for ever since.

    So well-known was “Aunt Annie’s Fruit Stand in Hillsdale, N.J.”, it was all that was needed as an address to get any mail to its destination.

    By the time Lincoln’s son George took over, all the farm animals he had helped tend since he was a little boy were gone, and in keeping up with advances in technology, trucks and tractors had taken over to make the operation more efficient. The fruit season, starting with strawberries in June, would last through cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, pears, and finally, more than 20 varieties of apples into late fall. Combined with vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh corn picked daily, peppers, eggplants and more, it kept the reputation of Demarest Farm growing.  

    The quality of the produce was always of the greatest importance to the family, as was good measure and an honest pack, topped off with friendly service.
    In 1969, George’s son Peter, the fourth farming generation of the family, returned to the farm after completing his military service following a tour of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. It was Peter who helped get an earlier start in the now well-established retail market (a vital part of a small farm) by putting more emphasis on the flower and garden center.

    “Flower time” soon became a favorite not only with the customers, but also with “the girls” in the family: George’s wife, Elisabeth, and Peter’s wife, Marsha. While the men in the family would tend to the fields, the two women were responsible for the retail business, where they would welcome customers with a warm smile and friendly service. Their dedication helped pave the way for the Demarest Farm stand to outgrow its original two-car-garage headquarters.
    Late 1970's
    In the late 1970s, Peter and Marsha introduced what would become one of the largest and most important parts of the business: pick-your-own apples and pumpkins. Peach picking came along a number of years later and is rapidly growing in popularity.
    1991 to present
    In 1991, the Demarest Family proudly watched as its legacy continued to grow as their new farm store opened across the street, where fields of corn once grew. Through the years in its new home, the farm market has continued to evolve with the times, still offering the finest quality fresh fruits and vegetables, but also evolving with the time and offering many of the conveniences and services sought today by patrons: a from-scratch salad bar, country bakery, delicatessen, ice cream parlor, and an endless selection of indulgent goodies (like homemade doughnuts and apple cider!) as well as unique gift and gourmet items.