Ridgemeade Farm

About Ridgemeade Farm

Originally built in 1849, our journey at Ridgemeade Farm in Fairview, Pennsylvania is just beginning. We embrace natural, cruelty-free practices, producing chemical, drug, and GMO-free foods. Our Holistic Management methods mean our animals thrive without antibiotics or hormones and live happy, stress-free lives on pasture.

How did Ridgemeade Farm Get Started?

Our baby girl, Nova was born on the summer solstice in 2021. Holding her fragile life in our hands, Danielle and I felt a pressing need to secure a clean, healthy, nutrient-dense food source to ensure her (and our) optimum health and longevity. Like any parents, we want the very best for our little one and in our opinion, that all starts with food because “You are what you eat.” In fact, you are what you eat eats. Not long before Nova was born, we became aware of the incessant consumption of beautiful Pennsylvania farmland by out-of-town developers - constantly bulldozing historic farms for quick profits made up of cul-de-sacs and cookie-cutter homes. Once those farms are developed into subdivisions, they will never be farmland again - ever. A notion was born in us - that we could simultaneously steward this bucolic piece of land while also creating nutrient-dense food security for our family in these times of increasing economic unrest and design an alternative life for our growing family - one focused on the cultivation of all eight forms of capital, not just a financial, material bottom line. We quickly fell down a rabbit hole of research and education around Permaculture, Key Line Design, EcoSocial Design, Regenerative Agriculture, Holistic Management, Blue Zones, Animal Husbandry, No-Till Gardening, Traditional Homesteading, and Ancestral/Primal Health and Nutrition. We quickly learned a great deal about where our food comes from and how the twisted industrial food supply system actually works. Our eyes were opened to the type of life we were blindly accepting as “normal” just because “the Joneses” all around us were living it. We found ourselves visiting farms like Polyface and studying with mentors like Joel Salatin, Jean-Martin Fortier, Jim Gerish, Ray Archuletta, Richard Perkins, and Erin Benzakein. Before long we were standing on a green hill one misty spring morning overlooking historic Ridgemeade Farmstead with notebook in hand and grand plans in mind. We built 2 large raised bed gardens, one for vegetables and one flowers, and added 50 laying chickens, 150 meat chickens, 42 turkeys, 7 pigs, and 2 goats - all out on pasture and managed Holistically. In no time at all we were sharing our diverse bounty with family, friends, and our community and that’s when we knew - we could build Ridgemeade into unique and meaningful life for our family.

How does the Catholic Faith impact Ridgemeade Farm?

Stewardship of God's creation and all being in it is a central tenet of Catholicism - it is amongst the first commands given to man, and I see my role as a farmer as one of stewarding the land and its resources responsibly to hand on to the next generation. This perspective influences every aspect of my practices, from rotational grazing that enhances soil health to ethical treatment of animals. The idea of creation care is deeply embedded in our family philosophy. I believe that by treating the land, animals, and people by allowing them to express their God given natures - with true respect, care, and compassion, that I am fulfilling a responsibility bestowed upon me as a man and upon us as a race. This approach extends beyond just sustainable farming methods; it also encompasses fostering a sense of community, fairness, and ethical business practices. Furthermore, the biblical principles of abundance and gratitude guide our decisions far more than a bottom line ever will. I aim to work in harmony with nature, appreciating the abundance it provides, and strive to share that abundance with others - knowing the true value isn't in an exchange of monies, but in offering nutrient-dense, ethically raised, regenerative foods from a small, local family farm, all while building friendship and community, and sharing the faith through example as we are called to do repeatedly in scripture. I see true, human-scale agriculture as a perfect opportunity to put the teachings and path offered to us by Christ into intensive daily practice.

Contact

info@ridgemeadefarm.com

412-760-5180

Location

Pennsylvania

Location Type

Farm, Homestead, Home-Based Vendor, Small / Family Business, Agricultural Service, Trade Service, Other

Contact Us For

Farm / Agricultural Training, Purchase Produce, Purchase Value Added Products, Purchase Meat, Community

Gallery

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