The Morris County Agriculture Development Board this week permanently preserved a 43-acre
nursery products farm on Flocktown Road in Washington Township owned by the estate of the
The purchase of the development easement on this property by the Morris County
CADB restricts the land from non-agricultural uses, thus permanently
preserving the farm. It is the 128th preserved farm in Morris County and the
74th preserved agricultural property in Washington Township, according to Katherine Coyle, director of the Morris CADB.
The Scheller Farm is located within a half-mile of four preserved farms and adjacent to
Washington Township’s Cataract Park.
The easement purchase was made in conjunction with a grant from the State Agriculture
Development Committee, which provided 55 percent of the $889,065 acquisition price, or
$491,397 to preserve the farm. The Morris County Open Space, Farmland, Floodplain
Protection and Historic Preservation Trust Fund provided the remaining $397,668.
“This is terrific program that has over the past three decades been very
effective in preserving Morris County agricultural roots, and effectively
creating a permanent and viable agricultural business district in the
county,’’ said Freeholder Christine Myers, the county governing
board’s liaison on preservation matters.
The farm was owned by George Scheller Sr. and his son George
Scheller Jr. Both passed away a few years ago and their estate had to
resolve legal issues before preservation could proceed.
The farm has an interesting history. Many years ago, the property was owned and used as a hunting preserve and also once served as a back lot film studio for Thomas Edison.
After the county purchased the development easement on Wednesday, the Scheller estate then
sold the newly preserved farm to the Fleming family, which currently operate a Christmas tree
farm and plans to expand production to this property.
In contrast to open space preservation, the agricultural landowner retains ownership of, and may
even choose to sell, the preserved farmland. But the land retains a deed restriction ensuring that
it cannot undergo non-farm development.
Agricultural development of the farm is permitted and the type of farming activity can change
in the future.
Preservation of the Scheller Farm brings the total area of preserved farmland in the county to
7,821 acres or the equivalent of 12 square miles.
For more information on this farm and the county’s agricultural preservation program, visit: