ABOUT THE CAPE MAY COUNTY BEACH PLUM ASSOCIATION . . .

MISSION STATEMENT . . .

The Cape May County Beach Plum Association, a New Jersey non-profit business corporation, is dedicated to the promotion and cultivation of the Beach Plum. Our intention is to promote awareness, provide support and information between growers, environmentalists, horticulturalists and the general public. The Beach Plum has many uses, not only as a new food crop, but for its dune conservation as well as other horticultural applications. Our goal is to support the development of an integrated system for a sustainable Beach Plum Industry in Southern New Jersey.


ABOUT THE BEACH PLUM . . .

The Beach Plum is a native plant to the US eastern seaboard from Maine to North Carolina. It is prized in coastal communities for its beautiful blossoms in early spring and the harvest of its delicious fruit in autumn. This shrub-like tree can grow in poor sandy soil, providing dune stabilization for sensitive coastal eco-systems. The beach plum thrives in salty environments and is resistant to drought, blowing sand, and windy conditions. It grows in a tree-like form upwards of 10 feet or as a low, bushy spreading plant that can reach widths of 10 to 15 feet.

The beach plum plant is characterized by glossy green-leaves, which sprout a profusion of lightly fragranced white blossoms in mid-May. By early June, the fruits first appear as small green berries. Growing to the size of a large bing cherry, these edible fruits will ripen to a deep-purple or rarer bright yellow in early September. The fruits are harvested and can be made into variety of products including delicious jellies, jams, syrups, ice cream, honey, wines and liquors.

The Cape May County Beach Plum Association promotes awareness of the beach plum and its many uses including fruit production, ornamental planting, conservation applications, and horticultural purposes. We will provide education in the planting, maintenance, propagation and protection of these plants, as well as techniques of production, processing, and distribution and marketing of products. Our membership maintains a strong liaison with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cape May County, Cape May County Board of Agriculture, USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center, NJ Board of Agriculture, New Jersey Farm Bureau and other organizations.




THE BEACH PLUM HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS THE "OFFICIAL FRUIT OF CAPE MAY COUNTY".


Photo 1: Searching for the ultimate Beach Plum on the dunes of Cape May.


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Photo 2: New Beach Plums are planted at the Cape May National Wildlife Refuge.


Enlarge photo #2 [opens in separate window]



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