The farmers, volunteers and staff of Lundale Farm have been resilient and dedicated in responding to the challenges wrought by COVID-19 over the last year and a half. Our farming community’s commitment to real, healthy locally grown food has never been more critical. Now, more than ever, we call on you to support our place of inspiration and opportunity for new farmers, landowners and others committed to our local food system.
We were able to safely hold outdoor events including farm tours, and sunflower and harvest festivals where the public was able to walk throughout the farm and enjoy our sunflower field planted by longtime Lundale Farmer and neighbor, Tom Olsanowski. We also hosted 5 plein air artists in our “outdoor studio” as stop 2 on the Chester County Studio Tour in May, and hosted our very first invasive plant removal day with the help of Lundale Farmer Aaron de Long. Our exciting work at the Farm continues to grow. In the past year we have:
- Leased 100% of our open land to local small farmers
- Initiated a capital reserve fund with a plan for growth to ensure the long-term sustainability of our non-profit
- Implemented our Strategic Plan, with the assistance of MacIntyre Associates, by adding audit and education committees to our volunteer opportunities, and developed an LFI Employee Handbook and LFI Style Guide
- Conducted two webinars for the public with the East Nantmeal Environmental Action Committee and Chester County Library to share our experience with forestry management and research into managing the forest using only organic methods
- Celebrated National Volunteer Week with several staff members from the Chester County Economic Development Council who helped restake more than 200 trees in our riparian buffers and cleaned up flower beds at the main farm and bake house
- Began implementation of our Sustainable Forest Management Plan, led by board member Dr. Kevin Hicks, supported by a $60,000 grant from USDA NRCS for new tree planting and invasive plant control using organic methods over the next several years
- Began planning our “Do I Look Like a Farmer?” youth agriculture education program with a $3,500 grant from PA Department of Agriculture that will be delivered in early 2022
- Undertaken countless road and stormwater improvement projects
- Partnered with West Chester University students to research attitudes toward buying local and organic foods, and to update and improve our social media outreach
Still, there is so much to do, both in expanding our programming and preventing deterioration of aging structures. Your donation in any amount will help Lundale continue to achieve its goals. We encourage you to give, and help us continue to grow Lundale Farm. We also welcome matching contributions to the Lundale Farm Quasi-Endowment Fund at the Chester County Community Foundation. Gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.
If your busy schedule allows you to offer time as your gift, please reach out as there are many opportunities for clean up, event planning and staffing, committee assistance, and forestry planting and clearing!
Best wishes for a safe and healthy holiday season filled with wholesome and delicious local food!