Pennypack Farm grew from the commitment of a handful of citizens who responded to a letter in a local newspaper (Ambler Gazette, April 2000) suggesting the formation of a community farm for the purpose of accessing fresh, local, organic produce and preserving land within our watershed. Initial dialogues among these committed citizens grew into a vision and a plan for action.
Our Land Host:
In 2001, the Natural Lands Trust suggested that we contact The College Settlement of Philadelphia who own the largest tract of open space in Eastern Montgomery County. The Board of this nonprofit camp had recently completed a land study and was looking for a way to have community based farming on a plot of 27 acres on Mann Road in Horsham. The partnership between us grew and in 2003 we signed a lease that formalized our intent to farm their land using organic practices and provide farm-based programming for their summer camps and Outdoor School.
The Farm: 2003
The organization gradually took shape over the next two years, finally culminating in early 2003 with the formation of an 11-member Board of Directors, the signing of a lease for land to grow crops, the hiring of a farm manager and assistant, and receiving official charter as a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit corporation.
In spring 2003 we broke ground, and with the generous help of donors and volunteers we built the infrastructure necessary to launch a working CSA demonstration farm. Opening Day at Pennypack Farm CSA was celebrated publicly on June 1, 2003. For a more detailed history: http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/columns/CSA_notebook/2003/0503/pennypack.shtml