Stony Hill Staff
Dale Davis, III - Proprietor
Dale and his wife, Carol, are the backbone of all that you encounter on your visits here. Dale’s orchids have received numerous awards from the North Jersey Orchid Society, Deep Cut Orchid Show, and the Greater New York Orchid Show. He has been recognized as an Outstanding Conservation Farmer for Accomplishment in the Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources and was honored as an Outstanding Young Man of the Year. [Show/Hide More]
Since he was a child growing up in Watseka, Illinois, Dale has been interested in cut flowers. His early exposure to agriculture came from his father, who operated a grain elevator. After his family moved to Princeton, N.J., he attended Delaware Valley College and received his bachelor’s degree for Ornamental Horticulture in 1980. He worked throughout college at Starkes, an orchid wholesaler in Pennsylvania. After Starkes closed its doors due to its founder’s passing and an enduring family feud, Dale bought and dismantled three of their greenhouses and transported them via truck to Chester, NJ.
Carol Davis - Proprietor
As a proprietor of Stony Hill, Carol helps to oversee the greenhouses and field production. She also manages the Stony Hill Farm Market, agricultural education, and the Corn Maze at the Farm Marketm and is an involved mother to her three children. Her story tells how Stony Hill all began ...
Carol and her family moved from Newark to Chester, New Jersey when she was nine. She and her sisters would often spend summers at their uncle’s farm in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. Her love for the farm began during these visits when she would speed down to her uncle's barn at 4 a.m. every morning to watch the cows get milked and would then fall asleep among the calves. Later after her parents bought their own 40-acre farm, where Stony Hill Gardens is currently located, Carol was asked by the garmers renting the land to milk the cows for three weeks. Three weeks turned into three years because the farmer was so impressed with how well the cows responded to her. Milk production went up dramatically!
When it was time for Carol to attend college, she continued her milking job. In addition to her role as a student, Carol waitressed at a local restaurant and worked for an orchid wholesaler. She originally enrolled in Delaware Valley College as an Animal Husbandry major with an eye towards becoming a veterinarian.
Then she met Dale in her sophomore year at school through mutual friends. They were engaged during Christmas of their senior year and married in May 1980. She and Dale decided to open their own greenhouse business and took the steps needed to do so after their graduation. She took two semesters of floral design at Mercer County Community College and started her florist work by doing wedding arrangements in the basement of their home.
Dale and Carol built their home on the land her parents had bought. Their home was completed in August 1984, after 18 months of construction. Their three children were born in 1984 (Dale), 1987 (Brandt) and 1990 (Kaitlyn).
Carole Stober - Master Gardener / "Plant Person"
Carole is a certified Rutgers Master Gardener in Hunterdon County. She provides her expertise at Stony Hill Gardens by answering your plant and insect questions either on the phone or in person. She has been tackling plant and insect problems and questions daily for customers and friends since 1993. If you have a question, ask Carole! [Show/Hide More]
Carole is a graduate of Montclair State College and a former Home Economics teacher. She is married and has two grown sons. She began a weekend retail horticulture job when her boys were small that has stretched into a 33-year full-time vocation. Carole regularly attends horticultural and environmental seminars to broaden her knowledge so she can answer those challenging questions that you present. If she is unable to answer the question, she will research it until she can find the best information available. Besides working full-time and taking care of her family, Carole is an active member of the Watnong Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, a member of the New Jersey Mycological Association (mushroom association) and a volunteer water steward for the Raritan Headwaters Association.
If you think she couldn’t fit another thing into her already busy schedule, you’re wrong. Carole also enjoys presenting programs on horticultural topics to area garden clubs and other local civic organizations. So if you have any plant and/or insect problems that you need help with, why not contact Carole?
Joan Studley - Floral Shop Manager
As Stony Hill Gardens Floral Shop Manager and the newest member of our staff, Joan brings with her many years of experience. Her unique and creative design abilities give our customers the best to choose from. She will create designs for you in your, or our, container(s) that will become a work of art in your home.
If unsure what you need to compliment your home, Joan can visit you for a consultation and will then create the perfect floral piece to compliment your interior. With Joan’s high standards in the floral industry, we’re sure that you’ll be pleased with her work.
Joan grew up and has lived in the Chester area all of her life. She always had an interest in plants, especially with her father being employed by the Soil Conservation Department. She recalls going to many county fairs and helping maintain the family’s garden.
Joan attended the University of Georgia and Fairleigh Dickenson University where she majored in English and Psychology. However, after college she was unsure of which path to take and decided to take a part-time position at the Village Flower Shop in Mendham, New Jersey. Within a year, Joan felt a new calling and decided to go to Guam to work with a mission group. After some time, Joan returned to New Jersey to once again work at the Village Flower Shop. After working there full time for two years she bought The Flower Cart. Although Joan had no formal training in floral design, she tapped into her creativity and on-the-job training. Joan owned and operated The Flower Cart for 16 years as a very talented floral designer.
In September 2000, The Flower Cart merged with Stony Hill Gardens and Joan became the manager of the Stony Hill Gardens Floral Shop. This is great news for all of our customers! With Joan’s talents we now offer silk and dried arrangements in addition to all of our other products and services.
Dale Davis IV
Dale IV, son of Dale and Carol Davis, is now a full-time employee on the Stony Hill farm. Dale graduated from Delaware Valley College in 2006 with a degree in Horticulture. He's in charge of all of the vegetable and fruit production for Stony Hill Gardens and Farm Market. Dale married Dana in 2008 and they welcomed a son in 2014. Dale is a member of the Morris County Board of Agriculture, New Jersey Horticulture Society, and the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association.
Brandt is the second oldest son of the Dale and Carol Davis. Brandt graduated from Delaware Valley College in 2010 with a degree in Agribusiness. He now works full time on the farm as the tailgate market manager and assistant production manager. You can find Brandt at many of our markets in Jersey City and Hoboken. Brandt is a member and current president of the Morris County Board of Agriculture.
Dana works out of the Farm Market location and schedules the group tours to the maze. She graduated from Delaware Valley College in 2006 with a degree in Agronomy and Environmental Science. While in college she was a member of the Women's soccer team, Sigma Alpha Sorority and Delta Tau Alpha Honor Society. Dana married Dale IV in 2008 and welcomed a son in 2014.