About Our Farm...

Village Acres Farm

Village Acres Farm has a mission of connecting people to their food, the earth and each other. We are committed to growing food and building relationships that are sustaining, restorative, and transformative for our customers, employees, and selves.

Celebrating over 30 years of farming, 20 years of Organic certification and 15 years of serving the community through a CSA model, Village Acres operates as a diversified system, integrating vegetables, berries and pastured livestock.

Village Acres offers on-farm pick-up of produce, eggs, and chicken for CSA members, as well as distribution to State College, Lewistown, Selinsgrove, and Harrisburg. We also serve breakfast the first Saturday of every month (April-November) and live music several evenings a year in our FoodShed.

Located just off Route 322 near Mifflintown - about 45 minutes from State College and Harrisburg - the 30 acre farm is centered in the village of Cuba Mills, nestled along the banks of the Lost Creek close to its confluence with the Juniata River.

 Read about our farm in Grid Magazine's Farmbook...

Blog/Farm Newsletters

Obituary for Roy Brubaker

Posted by Village Acres CSA :: Tuesday, June 20 :: 11:48am

Roy Lester Brubaker, 75, of Mifflintown, died June 16 in a farming related accident at his family's farm in Cuba Mills, cutting short a life of love and service. He was born on August 22, 1941 in McAlisterville. Son of an early organic farming innovator, Roy spent his childhood establishing deep affections for and commitment to the earth and its inhabitants. An educator, missionary, pastor, and organic farmer, himself, Roy was one of eight children born into the family of Roy M and Elva Brubaker (Auker) of McAlisterville. Roy is survived by his wife, Hope (Anita) Brubaker (Beidler); daughter, Angela Brubaker; son, Roy Dale Brubaker and spouse, Julie Hurst with granddaughters, Frances and Riley; daughter, Phoebe Brubaker; and daughter, Debra Brubaker and spouse, Hannah Smith-Brubaker, with grandchildren, Chandler and Owen. He is also survived by sisters Doris Martin; Naomi Brubaker; Thelma Diem with spouse, Merle; and Arlene Gehman; as well as brother, Dale Brubaker and spouse, Pat. Roy was preceded in death by sisters Miriam Kauffman and Anna Brubaker.

Roy developed a wide range of practical skills and a lifelong love of learning, laughter, and community-building through the joint influences of his family and the friends and fellowship that surrounded him as a young boy growing up in Juniata County. Roy’s parents were members of Lost Creek Mennonite church and Roy and Hope were most recently members of University Mennonite in State College, where they have many loving friends.

In 1959, at the age of eighteen, Roy left the farm to become a teacher in a one room Mennonite School in Adams County. From 1962-1965, he taught Grade 6 at the larger Paradise Mennonite School in Hagerstown, MD. It was there that he met his close life-long friend and confidant, Luke Beidler. It was through his friendship with Luke that Roy met his wife, and Luke's sister, Hope. Roy and Hope were married on September 10, 1966. Roy completed his Bachelor of Arts in Education at Eastern Mennonite College (now Eastern Mennonite University) in Harrisonburg, VA in 1967.

In June of 1967 the newly married couple accepted a missionary assignment to Somalia with the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. Roy and Hope served as educators and community builders in Somalia until 1974. In that year, with the assistance of Roy’s sister Naomi, the family established the beginnings of Village Acres Farm, in Cuba Mills. In 1976, Roy and Hope returned to East Africa to serve another five year term in Nairobi, Kenya. In Kenya, their work centered on building inter-faith relationships between Muslims and Christians in one of Nairobi's poorest communities and a home to many Somali immigrants. Roy and Hope were blessed to bring four children into the world while on mission in Africa, the oldest two of whom will be forever shaped by the experience of coming of age in Africa.

In 1982, Roy and Hope returned to Pennsylvania to continue to grow their organic vegetable and berry farm. Roy also accepted a pastoral assignment at Lost Creek Mennonite Church where he served as minister from 1983-1993. Roy also served as the school administrator at what would become Juniata Mennonite (formerly Delaware Mennonite) from 1985-1991, guiding the school in curriculum development, expanding its student base, and overseeing the building of a new school.

From 1993 to the present, Roy's considerable energy was poured into Village Acres Farm. Beyond providing a place of sanctuary and learning for his own children, the farm has provided an educational work environment for aspiring young farmers who continued to find Roy a committed mentor and friend long after they left the farm, many of whom have gone on to farm for themselves. Roy was heavily involved in the formation of the Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative (TOG), as well as one of the nation’s first organic certification organizations, Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO). And he was an early member and supporter of the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) where, over the years, he has celebrated rich and enduring friendships in the sustainable agriculture community. In response to Roy’s passing, a younger farmer in the PASA community offered, “Roy’s love and work runs through the veins of this entire farming community.”

Through the years, Roy and Hope have been recognized with numerous awards for leadership and service in the areas of agricultural innovation and conservation by these and other organizations, including being early cooperators with the Juniata County Conservation District. In 1998, daughter Angela established the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture program which diversified the farm in a manner that supported the its long-term viability. In 2012, the farm began its transition to Roy’s daughter, Debra, and her family, where the traditions of sustainable agriculture will live on.

Roy and Hope had only recently begun investing more time in planning for their own retirement, a primary goal of which was to catch up on the many friendships they had established over their many years of service. Following their 50th anniversary, Roy and Hope traveled abroad to visit dear friends internationally and also began spending more time visiting with family.

Memorial Services for Roy will be held on Saturday, June 24 from 10-11:30 at Cedar Grove Brethren in Christ Church in Mifflintown, located just off the Port Royal Exit of US 322. The family will also be available for visiting at the church on both Friday night from 6-8pm and Saturday morning from 9-10.

Please also join the family later in the day, on Saturday, for a self-guided tour of the farm, reflecting on Roy's life and accomplishments in the place that he loved. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Mennonite Central Committee’s Syrian Iraq Crisis Response mission or to the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, in Roy’s name. The family is also able to direct memorial gifts for those who wish to make a contribution at the service or the farm.

The earth is a better place and we are better people for Roy’s love and stewardship.

Dear friends: On the passing of Roy Brubaker

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Sunday, June 18 :: 6:55pm

Dear friends of Village Acres Farm,

We are deeply saddened to relay that Roy Brubaker, beloved organic agriculture pioneer and the man who dreamed up and lived out what we call Village Acres Farm today, was killed in a tractor accident on Friday. We know that so many of you love him like family and found him to be an inspirational mentor and a dedicated community member. In his honor, we will be offering CSA this week, but please be patient with us over the coming weeks as we are overwhelmed with the grief of his absence from our farm. It will take some time to make the adjustments we'll need to make in order to manage without his unwavering commitment to a full day's work, every day, even in what he called "retirement", which simply meant a 12 hour day instead of 14.

Particularly for our core members, those who have been with our farm since the early days of our CSA, some 20 years now, we know this news is heartbreaking. We are with you. For those who did not have the opportunity to get to know Roy, just know this world is a better place for his having been in it. 

Please don't hesitate to reach out. Jackie will be handling CSA this week but we know you'll want to connect soon and we will try to be back to coming to CSA ourselves as soon as possible. We will be celebrating Roy's life on Saturday June 24th at a location to be determined in Mifflintown and then will open the farm to those who wish to come and visit and take a self-guided tour of the special places on the farm that particularly celebrate his life's work. Feel free to join us.

Warmly,

Debra, Hannah, Hope, Chandler, Owen and family

Today is Distribution Day!

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Tuesday, June 13 :: 11:44am

Week #3 Summer/Fall 2017

 

The summer heat has come, and it is forcing in our summer crops.  We have the first zucchini in your shares this week.  They are a little misshapen as is typical with our first few off the plants.  We this is because we have the plants covered with a row fabric for the first few weeks in the ground, both to get them to produce earlier, and also to keep insect pest away from the plants.  As soon as we begin to see blossoms form, we remove the covers to allow the pollinators to do their work.  Its possible that some of these first blossoms do set quite properly causing the fruit to be a little narrow at the tip.  They quickly come out of this stage, so by next week, this planting should be producing your picturesque zucchini (also the  yellow squash with be in.)

You are also getting garlic scapes in your share today.  The scape, is the seed head of the garlic plant, which we remove each spring in our to encourage the plant's energy to go into the bulb formation.  The beauty of the scape is that it is delicious- slightly milder that a bulb, but able to be chopped finely and used wherever you may like a little garlic flavor.  I like to chop it finely with other herbs and use it to sprinkle on nearly any savory dish- morning eggs, salad topping, on baked potatoes, and much more.  

The other thing to note this week is that we are dealing with a new invasive pest here in Pennsylvania- the allium leaf miner.  This insect, native to Europe, was first sighted in Lancaster PA in December of 2015, by an organic farmer whose leek crop was devastated by the insect.  Since then, the insect has rapidly spread, and as of this spring, we are seeing the first signs of its presence on our farm. The allium leaf miner targets all allium plants, but for us this specifically means onion, garlic, and leeks.  The leaf miner impacts the crop by tunneling down the plant to then pupate in the soil.  We are seeing signs of the pest in about 90% of our garlic, and about 50% of our onions.  We are still working to determine what this means for these crops.  We hope to still have onions and garlic in your shares, but it is possible that the quality may be compromised, and the long term storage of these crops (think winter share) is a real iffy thing.  We have a lot to learn about the new reality.  Some organic farmers in our valley are tilling in whole fields of these crops. So far we don't feel that is necessary, but as we learn more, we will let  you know.  For now, enjoy those scapes!

Share contents: Strawberries, Cucumbers, Garlic Scapes, Zucchini, Scallions (bunched) Lettuce Heads, Lettuce Mix (wash before use), Kale, Rhubarb, herbs (parsley, dill, cilantro)

Egg Shares: This week is an "odd" week.  All those with an every other week egg share should pick up eggs this week!

Pick your own strawberries:  Due to scheduling conflicts we have decided not to host a strawberry festival this year.  We do welcome any member that would like to come and pick their own strawberries to do so.  Just email or call ahead to schedule.  We will miss the opportunity to connect with our members, but hope that we can do you maybe at a Fourth on the Farm community breakfast, the next of which is June 24th, 8-11AM.

Please let us know if you have unanswered questions! Deb's cell phone number is 717-348-4916 or send us an email at csa@villageacresfarm.com.

Pickup Locations and Times:

State College Members: State College Pickup is from 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. at the Friends Meeting House, 611 E Prospect Ave., State College, PA 16801.

Your main vegetable share will be in the white Sprinter Van and the sales table and any choices will be on the tables in the grassy area. In case of poor weather, we may move inside (but boxes will still be in the van). When you get to the Friends Meeting, start at the back of the van – one of us will be there eager to help get you orientated to the pick-up process.  We will have a checklist to confirm we have you down for the correct share items and will guide you through the pickup routine.  Egg Shares are typically in crates stacked in a line close to the van.  You'll get any other directions you may need from starting at the van. 

Late Pickup info

On-Farm Members: On-Farm Pickup is from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at the farm, in the FoodShed.  Pull into the farm's driveway (red barn on your right, white house on your left).  Distribution is set up in our FoodShed (wood sided building -Returning members please note this change!). 

Our Farm Address is 229 Cuba Mills Rd, Mifflintown, PA 17059

Late Pickup info

CSA Boxes/Packaging:  We like to pack your share in durable boxes with breathable plastic liners for optimal delivery ease and shelf life. In order to do this in a cost-effective manner, we ask that you just take the liner with you and return it the next week (or even come with a reusable bag to transfer your produce). If you do find yourself needing to take home crates and liners (and we know there are occasions for doing so), please bring them back the next week so that we can continue to keep our costs down.  We reuse many types of containers- 1 doz egg cartons (paper cartons preferred), green berry tills, quart and pint jars, etc.  (Several items we do not reuse include plastic egg carton and plastic berry containers)

 Recipes:  Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

 

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