About

Background

Monocacy Farms is located at 395 Bridle Path Road in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18017.

The ten-acre farm is owned and managed by the School Sisters of Saint Francis, a Catholic religious order, and is nestled in 53 acres of rolling lawns bordered by the Monocacy Creek.  In 2013 the sisters converted their conventionally cultivated planting fields to an organic demonstration and production farm. On-going phases of the project, as well as day-to-day operations on the farm, are managed in consultation with Rodale Institute and the Pennsylvania State University Agricultural Extension Office.

The Monocacy Farm Project presently operates an apple orchard, community gardens, production fields and demonstration gardens.  The project’s “Grow Healthy Community” Initiative provides free weekly supplies of organically-grown fruits and vegetables to area food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters throughout the growing season. Educational workshops for children and adults are presented on and off-site throughout the year on organic gardening, ecology and health-related topics. New in 2019, the farm initiated a “Pick-Your-Own” program for those wishing to harvest fresh organic produce for their families.

Mission

The Monocacy Farm Project seeks to use land and resources at Monocacy Manor in the Franciscan tradition to model stewardship and care of the earth, foster community involvement, provide educational opportunities, and serve the needs of the poor.

Project Goals

The primary goals of the Monocacy Farm Project are to:

  1. Provide area residents and low-income families access to affordable organic produce.
  2. Supply local shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens with donor-sponsored organic produce during the spring and summer growing seasons.
  3. Augment food security and facilitate self-sufficiency among low-income families through the promotion of home gardening programs.
  4. Provide educational programs to youth and adults on holistic health, nutrition and wellness in partnership with medical professionals, nutritionists, clinical herbalists and naturopaths.
  5. Provide annual workshops on sustainability, organic gardening, natural agriculture and permaculture.
  6. Provide interns and volunteers hands-on experience in organic gardening, production farming, and permaculture design.

Sustainability Modeling

In the Franciscan tradition of caring for the earth, Monocacy Farms is committed to employing energy-efficient and sustainable practices in each aspect of its operations. In addition to modeling responsible stewardship, the farm seeks to provide visitors and workshop participants with practical examples of sustainable alternatives through its guided tours and educational programs.

Volunteer and Internship Opportunities

Monocacy Farms provides opportunities for volunteers and interns to gain hands-on farming and gardening experience throughout each growing season. Flexible hours can be scheduled Monday through Saturday each week beginning April 15 and extending through October 31. Every effort will be made to provide each volunteer and intern exposure to as many facets of organic farming and gardening as their time permits. Following general orientation and completion of introductory-level projects, work assignments will, wherever possible, be tailored to each individual’s areas of interest. On-site workshops and demonstrations will be provided periodically to augment technical learning.

Individuals interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities and unpaid internships or any of the farm programs detailed above may contact Eli Stogsdill, the project manager, via email at manager@monocacyfarmproject.org or by phone at 610-867-8494.

Joining in the Mission

Sponsorships and contributions are needed to cover the cost of vegetable donations to low-income families, shelters, food pantries, and soup kitchens.  A donation of any size will assist tremendously in providing services and assistance to underserved communities. Contributions may be forwarded to:

The Monocacy Farm Project

Monocacy Farm Project
Attention: Sister Bonnie Kleinschuster, OSF
395 Bridle Path Road
Bethlehem, PA 18017

Please make checks payable to Monocacy Farm Project. 

(Monocacy Farm Project is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible.)

Fig of Bethlehem Social Mission 2020

Monocacy Farm Project was chosen as Fig of Bethlehem’s Social Mission 2020. Read more about it here.