WEISENBERG TWP., Pa. – Tucked away in Weisenberg Township, Lehigh County, issues are fairly busy on this 80-degree day at Willow Haven Farm.
“We’re an natural vegetable farm which has expanded into flower manufacturing, bread baking, and we additionally make high-quality cheeses,” stated Reuben DeMaster, who owns the farm.
The 13-year-old farm has the whole lot from greens to livestock to a bread and cheese enterprise, predominantly offered by their very own CSA.
And so they’re hoping to develop even additional due to a Worth-Added Producer Grant. Federal, Worth-added Producer Grants assist farmers enter into and market value-added merchandise. That will be something comprised of uncooked supplies like cheese or bread.
“How do you’re taking a farmers market mannequin and switch it right into a regional delivery mannequin,” stated Xochitl Torres Small, Undersecretary for Rural Growth on the USDA.
DeMaster says they are going to be utilizing their $43,000 grant to develop CSA delivery regionally, in addition to develop their enterprise CSA program, and ship and market a brand new flower enterprise.
“As a farmer, I must have expertise in each single space and if I haven’t got the talent, I want coaching and entry to individuals that may educate me,” DeMaster stated. “And so they’re simply taking us by the method of what does it imply to develop a enterprise.”
Which is important for small farms to maintain in an more and more tough setting.
“The farming neighborhood is in decline. Not solely on this neighborhood, nationwide. And by that I am significantly talking about small, family-owned farms,” DeMaster stated.
The grants are awarded yearly by a nationwide competitors. Any farmers thinking about making use of ought to contact their consultant in Congress.