Leasing land aims to attract a new breed of farmers

Author:  Sandy Bauers

Source:  Philadelphia Inquirer, January 4, 2013

This front page article from the Inquirer profiles a client, Lundale Farm, and their mission, both of which are near and dear to my heart.  The parents of the women interviewed for the article (two of the eight siblings) bought the property in 1946 and were pioneers in land conservancy as well as organic, sustainable farming.  Their children, who grew up there, are dedicated to helping farmers who share those values, but do not have access to farm-sized properties, carry on that tradition.

The family envisions five or six farmers leasing portions for vegetables and poultry. An orchard and beef cattle, perhaps.

In other words, “a bustling farm . . . producing food,” said Laura Morris Siena, a daughter and president of the nonprofit Lundale Farm Inc., which now oversees the project.

To the family, it is important that the farm grow not such commodity crops as soybeans but food for humans. And that it be grown organically.

The plan coincides with a growing demand for locally grown food.

The leasing aspect is aimed at a new breed of farmer: urbanites turning to agriculture as an environmental and sustainable enterprise. But they lack the land, which is prohibitively expensive here.

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