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The Farm at Willow Run

Farm to Table... Right at VMRC

The Farm at Willow Run, VMRC's 40-acre farm property, was established in 2013 and produces 36,000 pounds of produce in a season. Farm staff,  along with VMRC residents and volunteers from the community and Eastern Mennonite University's Sustainable Food Initiative,  provide the labor across four seasons to grow and harvest produce including leaf lettuce, salad mix, spinach, beets, collard greens, chard, Irish and sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, turnips, tomatoes and sweet corn, as well as a variety of herbs. 

From the hands of VMRC residents assisting in starting seeds in the cozy warmth of the greenhouse mid-winter to enjoying the abundance of food in the Main Street Café under the full summer sun, the Farm at Willow Run is one part of VMRC's innovative approach to a farm-to-table food system across the VMRC community. 

The Farm at Willow Run Highlights:

    • 2008 - 40 acres of land comprising pasture, woodland and wetlands, formerly known as the Layman Dairy/ Augsburger Property, is purchased by VMRC.
    • 2013 - The Farm at Willow Run is established on 1.5 acres 
    • 2016 - Farm to Table Video produced showcasing The Farm at Willow Run

  • 2017 - A 9.9 K photovoltaic solar array, funded by donors, is installed on the barn roof, providing the majority of electric power for farm operations
  • 2018 - A High Tunnel Hoop House is added to the farm through the USDA/NRCS and an all-season greenhouse is donated,  allowing for year-round food production. 
  • 2018 - In 5 years, the farm has grown from 1.5 acres to 4 acres in tilth for produce.

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“For us, volunteering gives us the opportunity to meet people from all areas of the VMRC campus and has broadened our perspective and understanding of the community we now call ‘home’.”

- Carter and Mary Ellen Lyons