Kirstie Jones, Farm Manager
Kirstie began farming in 2012 at a CSA farm in MA, and this experience solidified her dedication to pursuing a life-long career in sustainable agriculture. After graduating from Middlebury College with a degree in Biology, she spent a season managing a small non-profit farm garden in MA. In Fall 2014 she moved to PAto work on a farm in her home state near family and to participate in the farm's apprenticeship program. She is so happy to work at a place like PFEC that incorporates community into the farming process. She also feels blessed to be working with her sister, Stephanie, as they have worked together for many years and cannot imagine farming without her. Kirstie’s favorite vegetables to grow are carrots and lettuce mix but she loves every part of organic farming and is constantly surprised by the incredible resilience of plants.
Steph Jones, Assistant Farm Manager (Steph@pennypackfarm.org)
Steph first came to PFEC as a summer intern in 2015. Prior to farming, she worked at numerous horse barns, so it wasn’t a far leap to farming. After graduating from Bates College with a major in Studio Art, she returned in 2016 to participate in the 18-month apprenticeship program. Half-way through her apprenticeship, change in management allowed her to move into the assistant manager position. Steph always said she wanted to have a job with three things: 1) get to be creative 2) have tangible, visible results and 3) make people happy. She found farming blended these ideas perfectly. As a sister duo team, Steph is excited to see how she and Kirstie improve and develop over many years of farming. Her favorite things to grow are rutabagas, radishes, and flowers!
Alexis Adelsberger, 2018-2019 Farm Apprentice
Alexis was drawn to farming as a way to blend her passions for civil rights, food security, local economy and environmental stewardship into action. She sees farming as a way to ignite positive change and address some of the most critical issues facing us today. Her favorite part about farming is that it is constantly in flux and mirrors nature’s own unique rhythm. She likes seeding in the greenhouse, transplanting, driving the tractors, and working alongside members in our workshare program. She is especially grateful for PFEC’s food donation program and commitment to getting fresh produce to those facing food insecurity. Alexis feels a strong kinship with all vegetables, but she loves our onions, butternut squash, spinach, and sweet potatoes the most.
Sam Horner, 2019-2020 Farm Apprentice
Sam has always been enthusiastic about getting up close and personal with the soil beneath our feet. His first taste of farming was here at PFEC back in 2017 when he volunteered for his senior project to graduate high school. Since then his interest in growing vegetables and engaging the community around food systems has only expanded.
During a service trip with the Rural Migrant Ministry he came to realize the importance of informing consumers about the harsh realities of unethically mass produced food and commodities. He considers the role which food plays in our daily lives to be a pivotal variable which can affect society and the ecosystem in profound ways. Through involvement with a small farmers market as well as research on food security in suburban areas, he developed a love of connecting the community with all aspects of food systems. Everyday Sam looks forward to taking in all the vibrant forms of life surrounding him at PFEC, but he has a soft spot for Kohlrabi, Carrots, Tomatoes, and Bok Choy.
Program & Administration
Julie McCabe, Executive Director (Julie@pennypackfarm.org)
Julie first connected with PFEC as a CSA farm member 2008 in a search to find local food in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and was thrilled to find the agricultural gem of Pennypack Farm. She continued to stay involved through the years in various committees and joined the Board of Directors in 2012, and became Executive Director in 2016. She has a B.S. in Communications and Marketing and a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University, with a concentration in Food Systems Planning. Prior to her role at PFEC, she fulfilled her passion to fight hunger at Manna on Main Street, a soup kitchen and food pantry in Lansdale, using her connections to bring more fresh veggies to our low income neighbors. She is happy to bring all of those experiences and skills together to lead such a wonderful non-profit organization and an amazing staff. Julie and her family love that first bite of a freshly picked strawberry in the beginning of the summer farm season.
Kristy Gregory, Program Coordinator (Kristy@pennypackfarm.org)
Kristy has been an active member of the farm since 2005. First drawn to the farm as a way to provide nutritious, local produce for her growing family, she quickly became a volunteer supporting the education programs and a long-time board member. Kristy is excited to be at the farm again, this time as a member of the staff. With a B.S. in ecology and more than twenty years of experience teaching environmental education and home educating her daughter, the Program Coordinator position blends her interests with her skills. While the vegetables initially drew her to Pennypack Farm, it is the community that keeps her coming back.
Diane Diffenderfer (Diane@pennypackfarm.org)
Diane has a BS in Horticulture, a Masters Degree in Agriculture (Plant Nutrition) and an MBA. As an undergraduate and graduate student, she worked extensively with the PA Extension Service in the field of vegetable culture. Much of her service involved working with local 4-H programs, organizing and implementing a student-lead horticultural show and maintaining vegetable demonstration gardens located at a university research farm. A lifelong gardener and outdoor enthusiast, she has lead learn and build workshops related to backyard chickens.