Come out tonight for a beautiful, delicious evening at Anchor Run Farm in Wrightstown (just north of Newtown). The Bucks County Foodshed Alliance is holding their last farm tour and potluck of the summer at this innovative property, beginning tonight at 6 pm. It’s an opportunity to meet the farmers, enjoy a great potluck and learn more about sustainable farming.
Dana Hunting and Derek McGeehan have been farming at Anchor Run since the spring of 2009. They are committed to sustainable, environmentally conscious farming using deep organic techniques that nurture the soil and biodiversity of the 100+-acre farm in general, and produce healthy, nutrient-dense, tasty food.
Anchor Run Farm has a history of being on the cutting edge of what’s new in sustainable agriculture and re-invigorating small family farming in Bucks County.
While the trend across the nation has been the aging of farmers and the loss of family farms, farmland and the communities that support them, a new breed of young farmers taking root in Bucks County are reviving interest in and appreciation for farming, farmers and the freshness of locally grown food.
By creating unique solutions to help re-build a local, sustainable food system, Derek and Dana give us one of Bucks County’s best examples of the new approach to farming. In fact, the farm’s recent history provides a primer of bold, creative ideas for not only farmers, but also landowners, communities, municipalities and governmental agencies.
2002 Wrightstown Township launches a Community Supported Agriculture Farm (CSA) on Township, publicly-owned land, the first CSA in Bucks County and the first municipally-sponsored CSA east of the Mississippi River. In 2004 the idea garners a state-wide award for excellence in innovative, green projects.
2006 Anchor Run Farm CSA inspires birth of Bucks County Foodshed Alliance when 3 members of the CSA gather in the farm’s kitchen to brainstorm how they can expand their access from beautiful, healthy produce to a complete diet of healthy, locally grown food. The Foodshed Alliance becomes a force for sustainable agriculture and local farms in Bucks County over the next few years.
2007 Anchor Run CSA wins Best-of-Show for their vegetable market basket, establishing a new benchmark at the Middletown Grange’s county fair for quality, diversity and freshness of produce, and out-competing farms that use pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Since the CSA’s inception they have garnered more than a dozen blue ribbons and Best-of-Show awards for their outstanding vegetable market baskets.
2011 Twenty-something newlywed farmers Derek and Dana win a grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for a large movable high tunnel, enabling them to expand their business, extend their growing season and offer the first winter vegetable share in Bucks County. The grant also covers a 2.5-acre pollinator habitat, contour farming and cover cropping among several other projects.
2014 Derek and Dana purchase the homes, barn and all outbuildings at Anchor Run Farm from Wrightstown Township, while the Township retains ownership and control of the publicly-owned land—a ground-breaking agreement negotiated by Benner & Associates, on behalf of the farmers, and Clemons & Associates, solicitor for Wrightstown Township.
What you’ll learn and see on the tour
The tour will show how Derek and Dana improve soil qualities and properties through appropriate additions of minerals, compost and fertilizer; their use of cover crops to protect the soil and add organic matter; and their intention to enjoy their “work and lifestyle and cultivate a nice community of folks who are pleased to be on the receiving end of our hard work and dedication.”
The evening’s pot luck meal runs from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, with the tour to follow. Visitors are expected to bring a dish to share with others and their family’s own eating equipment, beverages and seating, and they should expect to carry out their own trash. Although the farm tours are free, donations to BCFA’s programs are encouraged. This educational and entertaining event is appropriate for school-aged children who are under an adult’s careful supervision.
Anchor Run Farm CSA is at 2578 2nd Street Pike, Wrightstown (Newtown 18940). Any cancellations due to severe weather will be posted on the BCFA website. For more information: 215.621.8967 or BucksFoodshed.org.