We have a 55 acre farm in southern Mercer County, PA (near Lawrence County line).
For the past 10 years or so, many of the fields (20-25 acres) have been leased out for conventional commodity crop production. Today, there are 10-15 acres that are not under cultivation and we are exploring alternative agrobusiness uses for this land with a longer-term view of expanding these alternative uses to other parts of the farm.
Broadly speaking, initial aspirations are using the land to:
1. Help area people live better by providing naturally grown fruits and vegetables (and complementary products from nearby farms) through a CSA and/ or small farm market. In doing this also providing a unique social networking opportunity for CSA participants with appropriate educational or social events on the farm;
2. Build for the future by enriching the land through natural and perhaps other experimental farming technics, and also building a model that can be adopted by other farms and next generation farmers in the area.
3. Contribute to Mercer and Lawrence Counties by becoming another point of interest on the tourism/ agro-tourism map; as well as provide surplus output to organizations such as local food pantries; and
4. Reward the stakeholders who are involved in this enterprise not only financially, but also in terms of learning and personal growth.
About the land
55 relatively flat acres set in southern Mercer County near the Lawrence County line. Originally a small dairy farm no livestock or other animals have been raised or used on the farm in the past 20 years.
• About 10 acres of woodland.
• 1 acre pond – was previously stocked but not recently.
• Frequented by deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, racoons, muskrats, and a variety of birds. No bears have been seen on the property.
• Wild blackberry and raspberry bushes
• A few apple trees.
• Bank barn presently used as a workshop and for equipment storage, but could potentially be used for additional purposes.
About the location
Located in a rural/ agricultural area of Mercer County near the village of Volant, it has easy access to Routh 19 and I-79 and is exactly 1 hour to downtown Pittsburgh (non-rush hour) and PIT airport. The local area is a mixture of well-kept Amish and non-Amish farms and other sizable land plots.
Downtown Pittsburgh: 58 mi (1 hr – non-rush hour)
Cranberry Twp 40 mi (40 min)
Grove City Premium Outlet 6mi (10 min)
New Wilmington 5 mi (10 min)
Other points for clarity:
1. Unfortunately, housing is not available on the property
2. Prefer not to have livestock farming but willing to consider.
3. Property is not for sale but will consider leasing or potentially a business joint venture/ partnership.
4. Open to other ideas.
Bank Barn – currently used as a workshop and equipment storage.