5854 Vera Cruz Rd Emmaus, PA 18049 Google Map 610-336-5690


Posted 1/15/2014 9:31am by Lindsey Parks.

USA RMA logo

We are proud to announce that The Seed Farm has received $40,000 from the US Department of Agriculture as part of its Risk Management Education Partnership Program. The very foundation of The Seed Farm's training program is to mitigate the risk associated with starting new farm businesses, so we are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the USDA as we train new farmers in 2014. 

Through the intensive training provided by our Farm Manager/Educator Becca Munro, along with classes taught in collaboration with Penn State Extension, our apprentices and farm stewards will learn to identify and manage production, financial and human risk. On-farm workshops will allow us to provide additional risk management education to the larger farming community.

Through classes, on-farm lessons and workshops, The Seed Farm teaches new farmers about crop insurance options; marketing and farm financial management; good farming practices; pest, disease and soil management; equipment use and tractor safety.

This cooperative agreement with the USDA is designed to "help ensure that farmers and ranchers effectively manage their risk through difficult periods, helping to maintain America’s robust food supply and the sustainability of small, limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved farmers." 

Click here to read the USDA's press release

Cooperative Agreement #13-IE-53102-092

Posted 12/27/2013 11:37pm by Lindsey Parks.

Dear Friends of The Seed Farm, 

I am delighted to announce that two recent Seed Farm graduates are on the verge of launching their own farm businesses on The Seed Farm's 42-acre site in the spring of 2014. These brand-new farms, Knee High Farm and Easy Pace Market Garden, will grow fresh, high-quality food for the local community as well as area restaurants and grocers.  

Meanwhile, Good Work Farm, which has been operating at The Seed Farm since 2011, is growing steadily and will be transitioning to a more permanent location where it will expand its CSA to 85 members in the upcoming year.

In addition, we are excited to welcome six new apprentices into our training program next spring.

Steward farmer Anton Shannon started Good Work Farm in 2011.

The Seed Farm team is incredibly proud of these developments and inspired by our apprentices' progress. We sincerely hope you will join us in supporting these new farmers as they pursue their dreams of farm ownership and provide healthy food for their communities. 

Please consider making a year end tax-deductible donation to The Seed Farm. Your gift will support our work of training new farmers and assisting them in starting new farm businesses, thereby strengthening our local food system. When you make a contribution beforeDecember 31, 2013, you will be eligible to win $100 of Seed Farm veggies in the new year!

We are so grateful for the generous support that we received in 2013. Whether you purchased vegetables from our stand at the Emmaus Farmers' Market, attended one of our events, made a monetary contribution, or just came out to the farm for a tour, you have helped us to train new farmers for the future. We look forward to continuing to work together as we grow a new crop of farmers in the Lehigh Valley. 

On behalf of The Seed Farm's staff and board of directors, thank you for your ongoing support of our mission.

Sending warm wishes for a Happy New Year,

Lindsey Parks
Executive Director


Dreams are the seeds of change. 
Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.
- Debby Boone

Apprentice graduates Emma Cunniff and Tyler McCullough will be launching their new farms
at The Seed Farm in 2014.
All photos courtesy of Allison Czapp.

Posted 10/25/2013 4:27pm by Lindsey Parks.



Old Seem Seed Farm Now Grows Future Farmers
Written by Allison Czapp, Correspondent

 Agriculture incubator program links new farmers with land, training

        Many area residents may remember the old Seem Seed Farm on Vera Cruz Road outside of Emmaus, where they tasseled corn as one of their first jobs. Now a new generation of farmers is working the land and continuing the long tradition of agriculture in the region.

           The Seem Farm is now home to the Seed Farm, an agricultural incubator project launched in 2009 that works with Lehigh County and the Penn State Extension. 

        The county purchased the 453-acre Seem Farm in 1974 and various proposals were entertained for its use. Jeff Zehr, Seed Farm Board treasurer and director of Lehigh County’s Farmland Preservation Program, said the opportunity to launch a farm incubator in the late-2000s presented a “creative use” for the land and an alternative to conventional farming that would still preserve the land for agriculture.

        “The county a long time ago recognized the fact that we need to do something to protect the good and high-quality farmland that we have in Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley,” Zehr said. “As we were preserving all this land, and spending a lot of money to preserve this land, we began to think about the need for land for the next generation and helping new farmers get onto the land.”

        The county’s Farmland Preservation Program has preserved 251 farms comprising 20,761 acres of farmland since 1989. However, as the farming population in Pennsylvania and across the nation continues to age and enters retirement, the need for new farmers is becoming paramount.

        “It comes down to the fact that we need new farmers because we need to replace those who will be retiring soon and who are retiring now,” Zehr said.

        “I think there is a recognition that it’s difficult to start farming. Especially young people who want to get started, they don’t have the capital to purchase a new farm and all the equipment that might be necessary, and we just want to help facilitate that and make it easier for [them] to start farming,” he added.

        The Seed Farm – which comprises 25 acres of the original Seem Farm – aims to address the main barriers to farm entry: lack of access to capital, to land and to training.

        Farmer apprentices are involved in all aspects of farm management – from crop planning to cultivation, pest and disease control, harvest and sales – and also take classes at the Penn State Extension.

        “They learn not only how to farm but how to make a business plan, marketing, the financial process involved in starting a farm. So it’s not just the farming side of it, but also how to turn farming into a farm business,” Seed Farm Executive Director Lindsey Parks said.

        After completing the apprenticeship, aspiring farmers can apply to the farm stewardship program, which allows them to rent – at a discount – acreage to further develop their own business models. Farm stewards also have access to equipment and the knowledge and expertise of the farm manager.

        Anton Shannon, a farm steward for the past three years and owner/operator of Good Work Farm, said that the Seed Farm has provided him “with the main means of farming that are, most times, unaffordable.

        “You usually have to go into debt the first couple years to buy a tractor or a greenhouse or both, while at the same time figuring out the marketing and the business and the vegetable production.”

        Being at the Seed Farm allows him to focus more on refining his production techniques and business plan. For the 2014 season, Shannon will be moving his business off the Seed Farm to continue farming with his partner Lisa Miskelly.

        The three apprentices currently working on the Seed Farm have all come to the program by different routes, but they all share a passion for working the land, growing delicious and healthy food in environmentally sustainable ways, and contributing to a more robust, local food system.

        “The apprentices’ dedication to learning the finer points of farming and having some experience and knowing that [farming] is really what they want to pursue really changes the dynamic of the farm,” Farm Manager Becca Munro, a Harleysville native, said.

        “It’s amazing,” apprentice Emma Cuniff said. “I feel like I’m getting a huge variety of experience, rather than just one method or one way of farming. And just having an opportunity to test [equipment and ideas] out before I really invest a lot has been really important to me.”

        The program is funded through a combination of county assistance; federal and private grants; fundraisers, including an annual bike ride and fun run on the farm; a Farm to Table dinner taking place Oct. 6; the Lehigh Valley Harvest event, co-sponsored by Buy Fresh Buy Local Greater Lehigh Valley, at the Allentown Brew Works on Oct. 27; and, of course, produce sales. The Seed Farm, which is working toward organic certification, sells its produce weekly at the Emmaus Farmers’ Market and has various wholesale connections with restaurants and caterers in the Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia areas.

        “We’re growing a really wide variety of vegetables here, partially as a demonstration of how to grow everything,” Munro said, adding that the program allows new farmers to experiment and grow things they have never tried before. “It’s really interesting and fun to play with that diversity and try those new flavors.”

        Now in its fifth year of production, the Seed Farm continues to build its infrastructure and further its network-building capabilities.

        “It’s a really exciting time for the Seed Farm because there are so many different ways we can grow right now,” according to Parks. “We’re looking at the local food economy and the Seed Farm’s place in that system, trying to reach out more to the community.”

        “In general people are seeing that trying to build up a strong local food system is important ... for the economy and the health of the people in the Lehigh Valley,” Zehr said.

        To learn more about the Seed Farm and its events, or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, visit www.theseedfarm.org.

Posted 10/18/2013 2:56pm by Lindsey Parks.


LV Harvest



Lehigh Valley Harvest:
A Celebration of 
Local Food and Farms
Event Participants:

Apple Ridge Farm
Bechdolt Orchards
Blair Vineyards
Blue Mountain Vineyards
Café Santosha
Fegley's Brew Works
Flint Hill Farm
Franklin Hill Vineyards
Frecon Farms
Klein Farms Dairy
Lafayette Dining Services
Maxim's 22
Pappy's Orchard & Lisa's Kitchen
Primordia Mushroom Farm
Pure Sprouts Organic Delivery
REAL Gardens
Red Cat Farm
Rodale Catering
Rodale Institute
Saucony Creek Brewing Co
Scholl Orchards
Seed Farm
Sette Luna
Subarashii Kudamono
Suyundalla Farms
Two Rivers Brewing Co
Vynecrest Vineyards
Weyerbacher Brewery
Willow Haven Farm
Y Knot Alpacas  


Quick Links
Frecon Farms
Thank You 


 Our Sponsors!


VIP Hour Sponsor:


Bon Appetit



Feature Sponsors:


Embassy Bank

 Official Sponsor of the VIP Guided Beer Pairings


Fillmore Container

Official Sponsor of the Preserving the Harvest Demonstrations


Grow LV

Official Sponsor of the Preparing the Harvest Demonstrations



  Official Sponsor of the VIP Guided Wine Pairing


St. Luke's




Sustainable Sponsors:




ALT Realty


Bethlehem FM


Hittinger Financial


Hogan Law    

Brian Lee - Janney  

Lehigh University


LV Style


Micro Matic USA

 The Morning Call


Moravian College 

National Penn Bank 

Natural Awakenings





The Freshest Local Ingredients

The Area's Most Dedicated Farmers

The Finest Local Chefs

The Most Imaginative Cuisine



Sunday, October 27th
1 - 4 pm
Bon Appetit VIP hour:  12 - 1 pm
Allentown Brew Works
812 Hamilton St, Allentown

Be prepared to be awed as you sample the freshest, tastiest farm-to-table cuisine that the Lehigh Valley has to offer.  Lehigh Valley Harvest: A Celebration of Local Food and Farms (formerly Taste of the Lehigh Valley) will be tastier than ever:  35 restaurants, farms, wineries, breweries, and other local food providers will give participants the opportunity to taste the difference!

LV Harvest 2012

  Photo credit: Keri Maxfield

Guests will offered menu items created with at least two locally grown ingredients and samples of foods grown or raised on local farms.  Tastings of local wines, beer, and cider will also be served.

LV Harvest 2012

Photo credit: Keri Maxfield

NEW this year: 
Cooking Demonstrations

 Grow LV

The Sodexo 
"Preparing the Harvest" 
Cooking Demonstration

Executive Chefs Jon Middleton of Muhlenberg College, John Soder from Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, and Chad Licsko from Lehigh University will demonstrate innovative recipes & techniques in "Preparing the Harvest" using ingredients sourced from some of our favorite local farmers. Guaranteed to be fresh, delicious, and fun!

Sodexo Chefs
GrowLV is a consortium of Sodexo culinary teams in the Lehigh Valley sourcing fresh, local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients to serve our guests and partners at DeSales University, Lehigh University, Moravian College, Muhlenberg College, Northampton Community College and Lehigh Valley Health Network.  We believe in enriching the quality of life in our community by connecting with the traditions of local agriculture. We will support local farms and educate our clients and customers on the benefits of nutritionally dense food that is good for both us and the environment. Our commitment is to serve fresh-prepared food in an honest and friendly manner.

Fillmore Container

The Fillmore Container "Preserving the Harvest" Canning Demonstrations

1:00 pm: Marisa: Canning Pear Vanilla Jam
1:45 pm: Amanda: Fermenting Sauerkraut
1:30-2:15 pm: Food in Jars book signing
2:30 pm: Marisa: Canning Gingery Pickled Pears
3:15 pm: Amanda: Fermenting Kefir

Marisa McClellan
Marisa McClellan, a full-time writer, teacher, and blogger at Food in Jars (three times nominated by Saveur magazine for a Best Food Blog award, and winner of Best of Philly from Philadelphia Magazine), will be demonstrating canning techniques. She will also be signing copies of her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round. Her writing appears on The Food Network, Saveur, and Food 52. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband. Visit her at www.foodinjars.com.
Amanda Pfeiffer 
Amanda Pfeiffer, a fermentation enthusiast and blogger, will demonstrate fermentation techniques to make such items as naturally fermented sodas, yogurt, sourdough, kombucha, and kimchi. Amanda is intent on spreading the word that bacteria in our food are very good and delicious things. She has written about food locally for Flying Kite Magazine and on her blog, Phickle.com. Amanda teaches hands-on fermentation workshops and tweets @phicklefoods. 


The Bon Appetit VIP Hour!
Bon Appetit


VIP ticket-holders will receive:

  • the privilege of early admission beginning at 12 noon  
  • a special welcome cocktail by Subarashii Kudamono 
  • a raffle ticket for the chance to win an exclusive VIP package of gift certificates to participating restaurants
  • a guided wine & food pairing featuring wines from Vynecrest Vineyards
  • a guided beer & food pairing featuring beers from Fegley's Brew Works


Pappy's Orchard & Lisa's Kitchen
Photo Credit:  Keri Maxfield


$25 in advance / $30 at door 

Students, Seniors: $20 (must provide ID at door) 

VIP Tickets:  $75 (limited to 100) 



  Photo Credit: Keri Maxfield
Tickets are available online or at the following locations:
Café Santosha 
Eagle Point Farm Market 
Red Cat Farm (Macungie Farmers' Market)
Vynecrest Vineyards
Willow Haven Farm
LV Harvest ticketVIP ticket 
Silent Auction!


Blair Vineyards tourWe have quite a list of items up for auction:   from gift certificates to cookbooks to gift baskets.  


Come on out and bid on your favorites.   New items will be added up until the day of the event! If you'd like to donate an item, please give us a call!


Guest judges will be grading menu items on creativity, presentation, taste, and the use of locally-grown foods.  Our judges this year are:
Diane Stoneback, senior reporter for Food and Travel at The Morning Call. 
Diane StonebackDiane has covered the food scene in the Lehigh Valley since 1980. Overjoyed with the farm-to-table movement, she happily beats the drum for farmers, farmers' markets, chefs and restaurants who account for the freshest food and best dining the Lehigh Valley has ever seen. She is a life-long resident of the area, leaving only to study for her bachelor's and master's degrees in Journalism at Ohio University in Athens. She and her husband Bruce live in Lower Macungie Township.

David Joachim, Food Writer & Cookbook Author 
David has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 35 cookbooks, including the multi-award-winner The Science of Good Food and million-copy bestselling series A Man, A Can, A Plan. He writes a column for Fine Cooking magazine called "The Science Of..." and his writing and recipes have appeared in numerous magazines such as USA Today, Men's Health, Cooking Light, Cook's Illustrated, and Bicycling. He is the co-founder of Chef Salt, a line of artisanal salt seasonings, and his website is www.davejoachim.com.

Anne Foster Coleman, Food Blogger
Anne is a food writer, recipe developer, food photographer and single mom of 7. She earned a diploma in culinary arts in 1994 and once her family was established, she began writing a food blog about all things food and cooking. Her primary focus is how to feed a large family on a budget. Her work has appeared on Disney's Family.com and Spoonful.com as well as Country Crock, ShopRite and many other outlets across the web. 

For the past two years, Chef Yianni Arhontoulis of the Glasbern took home the Grand Prize and trophy.  

Glasbern winner Chef Yianni

Who will win this year?  


There will also be a People's Choice Award.  Come vote for your favorite!

We Need Your Support!
All proceeds benefit the Greater Lehigh Valley chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local and the Seed Farm.  Come on out and support our efforts to build the Lehigh Valley local food economy. 
  BFBL-GLV label Seed Farm   

This email was sent by info@theseedfarm.org.

The Seed Farm is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

The Seed Farm | 4184 Dorney Park Road, Suite 107 | Allentown | PA | 18104

Posted 9/12/2013 9:18am by Lindsey Parks.

Participant in Introduction to Organic Vegetable Production Course learns to scout for plant diseases.Tuesday sixteen new farmers joined farm manager Becca Munro and Penn State Extenison educators Tianna DuPont and Emelie Swackhammer to learn how to manage plant diseases. Participants got to scout the fields hands-on and take the selection of leaves and plants back to identify them in the on farm classroom. Excitedly paging through books and peering through hand lenses they learned to use resources they can keep using every day on the farm. With confidence they presented which cultural strategies were important to manage plant diseases after coaching from the farm manager and instructors. The Seed Farm manager pulled it all together by showing how management concepts are applied on the farm.

Seed Farm apprentice explains how they manage disease in root crops.

Posted 8/9/2013 1:40pm by Lindsey Parks.

Jennie tells her story on Greenhorns radio.

Jennie Merkel has always been interested in food. While in high school Jennie would look forward to the new issue of Bon Appetite arriving in the mail the same way that other girls would anticipate Seventeen Magazine. When having sleepovers, Jennie’s guests would stay up late, not gossiping, but baking an apple pie from scratch. However, it was not until she and her husband moved into their first house that Jennie started thinking about growing her own food. In the backyard there was a small plot of strawberries the previous owners had planted. The plants had been neglected, but they produce the most delicious strawberries Jennie had ever tasted. Eating perfectly ripe, super sweet strawberries still warm from the sun was the best breakfast a girl could have (that is, until she got chickens and had farm fresh eggs with potatoes so fresh they made a crunching sound when she cut them). Finally Jennie decided to take the plunge into farming, and completed an apprenticeship at the Seed Farm where she leared how to farm organically. She is currently in her second season farming. She has a mixed vegetable, egg and chicken CSA, and also sells at a local farmers market. In the future she hopes to expand into value added products made from her own produce.

Posted 3/3/2013 8:51pm by Lindsey Parks.

The 5th Annual Charity Bike Ride & Fun Run

to benefit the Seed Farm


Saturday, July 20th


The Seed Farm is proud to announce the annual FARM RIDE and RUN on Saturday, July 20th. The event, now in its fifth year is a great way for runners and cyclists to see Lehigh Valley's many working farms, and learn the importance of preserving open space and our farmers. You will also learn about the Seed Farm’s new farmer training and incubator program. 

Cyclists can choose to participate in rides of 10, 20, or 40 miles, while runners and walkers can challenge themselves with a 5K held on the farm grounds. 

Cyclists will enjoy rest stops at area farms that are stocked with local, farm fresh snacks, while all participants will receive a catered lunch following their walk, run, or ride. All proceeds go to benefit the Seed Farm. We hope that you will attend our event, and encourage your family and friends to do the same. We also have many volunteer and sponsor opportunities available!  For more information, please visit www.theseedfarm.org, or contact Erin at elf145@psu.edu or 610-391-9840. 

Posted 12/28/2012 7:26pm by Lindsey Parks.


It's not too late for you to make one of the healthiest 2012 tax deductions possible.

Farming is hard work and cultivating farmers is too. We could not do it without you. We know that in turn the new farmers that learn in our fields will serve our community well. These farmers will keep the Lehigh Valley’s farmland productive using sustainable practices and keep fresh, healthy food in our farmers markets, restaurants and on our tables. With more than 11,000 farmers in Pennsylvania planning to retire in the next 10 years, we need them.

With your support The Seed Farm will continue to provide aspiring farmers with training essential for their success and support new farmers with the resources they need to start and run a farm business.

This is how far your donation can go:

$25 supports an hour of training for five apprentices

$100 supports a day of training

$300 supports a week of training

$4,200 supports a half time scholarship for our nine month training

  Every $  helps!

To donate go here.

Take a look at our Case for Giving here.

Take a look at our Annual Report here.

Thank you for all your support over the course of the year!! The Seed Farm is a 501 C3 non profit. All donations are tax deductible.

Don't worry. I don't plan to badger you with more donation emails. Stay on the list to hear about our events and achievements next year.


Tianna DuPont

Secretary, The Seed Farm Board

Posted 12/14/2012 10:48am by Sara Runkel.

Dear Friend,

As the year comes to a close The Seed Farm is busy preparing materials for the 2013 cohort of apprentices in our new farmer training program. We have accepted seven aspiring farmers this year. They are an exciting group with experience on other farms who are ready to buckle down and get the business, farm planning and equipment experience they need to start their own farms. With five times more farmers over 55 than under 35 we need these new farmers.

In 2012 five apprentices were trained at the Seed Farm. This training provides 500 hours of on farm and 100 hours of classroom instruction in essential areas from whole farm planning to safe equipment use and prepares participants to start their own farm business the following year. This year apprentices increased their knowledge and skills in an average of 70 key competency areas including soil fertility, greenhouse management, and marketing.

2012 was the second season for Good Work Farm run by former Seed Farm apprentices Anton Shannon and Sarah Edmonds. As farm stewards they manage their own farm enterprise at the Seed Farm with the land, infrastructure, and mentoring support of the program. This season they managed 4 acres and grew produce for 70 vegetable subscription (CSA) members.

The Seed Farm also hosted a number of field days and classes including Penn State Extension’s Introduction to Organic Vegetable Production course, a Tractor Safety class for farm apprentices, and a field day highlighting our demonstrations of specialized equipment for vegetable production.  In all seventy seven farmers participated in workshops on the farm.

Farming is hard work and cultivating farmers is too. We could not do it without you. We know that in turn the new farmers that learn in our fields will serve our community well. These farmers will keep the Lehigh Valley’s farmland productive using sustainable practices and keep fresh, healthy food in our farmers markets, restaurants and on our tables. With more than 11,000 farmers in Pennsylvania planning to retire in the next 10 years, we need them.

Our end of year fundraising goal is $100,000. With your support The Seed Farm will continue to provide aspiring farmers with training essential for their success and support new farmers with the resources they need to start and run a farm business.

This is how far your donation can go:

$100 supports a day of training

$300 supports a week of training

$8,400 supports nine months of training

$250 keeps our greenhouse running for one month

$10,000 buys a new produce cooler

$90 provides new hand hoes and transplanters for six apprentices

$500 maintains our BCS tiller and other small equipment  for one year

$1,500 keeps our tractor running

$30,000 provides an additional tractor

  Every $20  helps!

Take a look at our Case for Giving here.

Take a look at our Annual Report here.

Thank you for all your support over the course of the year!!


Sara Runkel, Executive Director

Tianna DuPont, Seed Farm Board Secretary

Jeff Zehr, Seed Farm Board Treasurer

Jeff Moyer, Seed Farm Board President

Posted 10/17/2012 6:48pm by Sara Runkel.

Listen to Sara Edmonds describe here experience at the Seed Farm on Greenhorns Radio  http://tinyurl.com/crm9fu2

Plant SaleMay 15th, 2019

The Seed Farm, 5854 Vera Cruz Rd., Emmaus, PA 18049       Didn't have a chance to make it out to the Plant Sale last weekend?Or maybe you got all of your plants in the ground,&nbs

CSA Workshare ProgramMarch 6th, 2019

Announcing The Seed Farm's 2019 CSA Workshare Program Join our team in 2019 by taking part in the CSA Workshare Program! In exchange for working 3-4 hours per week between June and October, you

Make a DonationMarch 6th, 2019

and Help Grow the Next Generation of Farmers! Starting a new farm requires an incredible amount of money and know-how; and it is full of unexpected challenges. By providing new farmers with training,

Have a Question?

Contact Us Online or Call 610-336-5690

Farm Address:
5854 Vera Cruz Rd Emmaus, PA 18049

Mailing Address:
4234 Dorney Park Road Allentown, PA, 18104

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