Posted: October 13, 2012

HUNTINGTON COUNTY: Vegetables, Marketing, Labor Management

Rows of greens and brassicas cultivated at New Morning Farm

Rows of greens and brassicas cultivated at New Morning Farm

New Morning Farm is flanked by Tuscarora Mountain to the east, the fields near these ridges are where Jim and Moie Crawford have grown organic produce since 1976. The farm's certified organic produce is supplied to eaters at two farmer's markets in Washington D.C. that began under the Crawfords' leadership nearly 40 years ago. New Morning farm also sells vegetables year-round through the Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, a wholesale marketing cooperative the couple founded with local growers in 1988.

When they began farming, the Crawfords rented land in West Virginia and focused on cultivating a limited number of vegetables on few acres. Shortly after they bought an old dairy in Pennsylvania. Today their 45 acres of cultivated land produces 60 vegetable crops, berries, herbs and eggs. In addition to the typical summer vegetables, the farm grows considerable storage crops (such as cabbage, kohlrabi and squash), extending productivity into Pennsylvania winters. Infrastructure that supports these efforts includes a heated greenhouse, two high-tunnel cold frames, an extensive irrigation system, a packing shed with refrigeration, and implements, tractors, and trucks. There are also private cabins and homes for the farm crew.

Field operations, post-harvest handling and direct marketing are the charge of 13 full- time seasonal employees and 12 annual apprentices. The farming apprentice program provides aspiring farmers the opportunity to be trained on a team that divides responsibility from field to market for more than 60 crops. Many of those who have worked over the years as apprentices at New Morning now own thriving farms of their own around the country, a testament to the quality of education provided by Jim and Moie. Apprentices are the primary part of the farm's labor force. They manage a greenhouse, machine shop, packing house, markets, as well as crops and equipment.

More information on New Morning Farm can be found on their website:

Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network


302 Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802