Chester Township Farming Family Reaps $15,000 This Harvest Season

Published on September 22, 2022

Alstede Lebensfreude Small Biz 9 21 2022 4.jpg
Morris County Small Business Grant Delivered to Lebensfreude

It’s harvest season, perfect timing for Lebensfreude LLC, the farmland firm on which Chester Township’s famous Alstede Farms operates, to reap a $15,000 Morris County Small Business Grant.

Morris County Commissioner Deputy Director John Krickus delivered the check to Kurt and Mary Alstede on Wednesday after touring the Alstede Market in Chester Township and visiting the neighboring property housing Lebensfreude LLC, which translates into: “joy of living.” The program, launched with $10 million on Valentines Day, is designed to help small local businesses still being impacted by the pandemic.

Last Chance to Apply for Morris County Small Business Grant!

Program Closes Friday, Sept. 30, 2022

Alstede Lebensfreude Small Biz 9 21 2022 1.jpg “This grant is very helpful. It’s been over two years since (the pandemic start) and people forget, we were sweating bullets trying to figure out every week what we would do,” said Kurt Alstede, noting farming operations throughout New Jersey were hit with strict operating guidelines by the Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Protection.

Farmers had to cooperate for months under restrictions that ranged from requiring farm workers to wear protective masks even while working in the fields, to distancing guidelines that required farmers to find alternative housing arrangements for employees who live on site.

“It certainly must be noted that the Alstede family did everything to keep their people working and retained their staff throughout the height of the pandemic and afterwards,” said Commissioner Krickus as he visited the property.

To date, the Commissioners have approved 677 applications filed by small businesses and nonprofit organizations to receive grants of up to $15,000. The Commissioners dedicated $10 million and designed the grants to assist small businesses and nonprofits with pandemic related expenses incurred after March 3,Alstede Lebensfreude Small Biz 9 21 2022 2.jpg 2021, including rent and mortgages payments.

The Morris County Small Business Grant Program has been a unique use of federal funds issued to the county through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was designed to offer pandemic-related aid.

Federal guidelines covering the grant program will determine exactly which expenses qualify for coverage and which applications may be approved. The grants are capped at $15,000 per applicant. However, business owners and nonprofits are encouraged to submit applications that include all costs they believe may qualify for the grant, even if the total amount of a single claim exceeds $15,000.

A final review may determine that some costs submitted for consideration are not covered under the program guidelines. However, by submitting all expenses that may qualify, applicants increase the possibility of getting the maximum amount of grant dollars possible.


Top Right: Commissioner Krickus chats with Kurt and Mary Alstede at the driveway to Lebensfreude's property.

Center Left: Commissioner Krickus visited the Alstede Farms market a short distance away, presenting Mary Alstede with a letter and grant check next to an antique tractor.

Bottom Right: Commissioner Krickus looks over some of the produce grown on the lands of Lebensfreude LLC.