BLAIR COUNTY: On-Farm Markets

Customers of Friends Farm in south central Pennsylvania bypass the farmers market and go directly to the source. Down a country road, the farm is easy to spot, marked by an old red pick-up truck at the head of the long gravel driveway.

"Our farm is good, and it is painful all at the same time." This is how Chris Wise describes the complicated realities of being a farmer. She is a passionate advocate for small, organic farming as well as promoting sustainability in farming which she sees as tied to the environment, community, and the future of farming. But Chris is also upfront about the struggles associated with farming. She and her husband, John, have a policy of being open about the bottom line and realities of farming and try to share that information with fellow farmers.

As a nurse, Chris started hearing stories of people dying of cancer who had contact with agricultural chemicals so she decided to start growing her own food with John in the 1970s. Chris's gardens became bigger and bigger until she and John were able to purchase a dilapidated farm in the early 1990s. Since that time they rebuilt the existing barn, renovated the farm house, and built a market building with a certified kitchen and dining hall on their property. They now have 40 CSA members and an open market on their farm every Saturday.

For more information:

Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network


302 Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802