Our farm/Community Garden is a member of New Jersey Farm Bureau, Slow Food USA, National Arbor Day Foundation, Northeast Organic Food Association (NOFA), Local Harvest,  North West New Jersey Timebanks..

How our story unfolded.

Farm Owner, Linda Grinthal, "With the arrival of my third child, I knew I would leave my on-the-road financial planning career in favor of something I could do to help meet expenses, yet have fun raising my family.

My husband Andy and I purchased a 20-acre farm property, which was basically field and woods. We had a home built overlooking a beautiful view of Sussex County, N.J. and I became a Family Home Provider, offering a daycare program "with a wholesome difference"!

Farm Fun Day Care became a unique child care service offering a fun and educational alternative to traditional day care. Our farmland offers breathtaking views of nature, and a self-contained nature classroom.

It was obvious that the children wanted to play outdoors most of the time, and I enjoyed daily opportunities to teach them about animals, plants and insects. The families who entrusted their children to me were very special, in that they had a love for nature, and shared my belief that children grow, learn and thrive best when allowed to explore the outdoors.

Working together, we created an area that included a large children’s garden, a woods circle, and a rough and tumble play area. The children were fascinated most by the garden; we started seeds, planted, watched the garden grow, picked weeds, examined bugs, and harvested.

With help from staff and parents, we built a barn and created three more gardens: a butterfly garden, an herb garden and a potato/garlic patch. We started a hiking trail through our woods and created an animal area where we cared for farm animals.

In my research about outdoor 'classroom' activities, I found information about the National Arbor Day Foundation and a new program called the 'Certified Nature Explore Classroom' that sounded like what I was already doing!

We become the first Child Care Center to get this certification.

We now hope to share our breath-taking view of nature from our nature explore classroom with people of all ages in an effort to bring America back to the outdoors.

We are pleased to share an article published on the Arbor Day Foundation web site on October 3, 2007 about our 'Certified Nature Explore Classroom'... ArborDayFoundation-Andover, NJ.

Farm to School Program: Nature Explorer May 14, 2008

Here  is an excerpt from a letter from the National Arbor Day Foundation's Education Director:

Thank you for the work you are doing to make nature part of the daily lives of children. We continue to hear how important and impactful these nature-rich outdoor learning environments are proving to be for children and their families.
... Again, thank you for the outstanding work you each are doing to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.

Best regards,

Susan Wirth
Education Director, Arbor Day Foundation
Dimensions Educational Research Foundation Trainer
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visit www.ArborDay.org

The 5 child daycare expanded to 15 children and became a regular day care center. But the DEP changed its rules about renewal fees and basically made it not profitable for us to continue. So sadly, day care ended, but happily a Community Supported Garden (CSG) began.

Two acres were set aside for the local community to use to have a garden plot to grow their own. This offered room for 100 garden plots, with individuals, scouts, seniors, all kinds of wonderful people joining us and “farming their gardens”.  We all stick to strictly pesticide-free growing practices.

In October of 2011, Sunset Vista was born.  The decision was made to keep selling produce and eggs under Sunset View Farm, but to turn all the learning activities and the CSG over to the newly formed non-profit, Sunset Vista.

The core group of dedicated volunteers helped to make this dream happen. They built a chicken coop, put up an 1100 foot fence around the CSG garden, laid gravel on the dirt roadway, cut down weeds , built a farm produce stand, made renovations to the activity barn, beautified the herb and butterfly garden, and so much more.

Eileen Gantz, who holds a Masters in Education, pulled together a wonderful curriculum that meets state education criteria and we are able to conduct science programs in-school, the Community Garden is thriving, our volunteer list is growing, and we offer farm workshops throughout the year.

A big thanks to our community of volunteers for making this happen! Let’s bring community and farm together and teach people where their food comes from, why they should appreciate local, pesticide-free food, why there should be a balance in nature, and how to make healthy food choices.