At Apple Ridge our philosophy is simple. Produce the type of food people expect from a small sustainable family farm. Our goal is to be the farm the factory farms put pictures of on their labels. In nature everything works together in harmony and we find the same is true in agriculture. The more diverse our farm becomes the better it runs. We carefully manage the pastures to feed the animals, the animals in turn help build and fertilize the soil which in turn feeds our vegetables, the leftover vegetables help feed the animals and the soil (compost), etc, etc,........ There are a million and one marketing terms used to describe individual components of our system such as natural, biodynamic, pasture raised, chemical free, free range, permaculture, artisan, and the list goes on and on. Individually each of these terms don't mean much but put all of them together and you've got a healthy sustainable farm producing healthy wholesome food without compromising the environment, animal health, human health, or our integrity as farmers. It is our pleasure to take part in the art of eating and hope our foods add to the quality of life of those who eat them.
Originally founded in the mid 1800’s, my family bought the farm in the early ‘70’s. For 30 years we raised sheep, horses, apples, and kept a large garden. Growing up on the farm was a great experience but it was a lot of work and I had no plans to be a farmer. What I really wanted to do was be an environmental scientist and help save the planet. I went to Penn State majoring in Environmental Resource Management which to my surprise had a lot of focus on agriculture. Turns out many farms were sources of chemical pollutants, manure runoff, and soil erosion. It got me thinking about my family's little farm. I had no idea agriculture had all of these environmental problems because our farm didn’t. I though maybe my parents were on to something. I decided to give it a shot the summer before my senior year with a large garden and a roadside stand in the driveway. It was a ton of work and took up all of our free time that summer but I was hooked. The more I learned about modern agriculture and our corrupt food system the more interested I became in trying to change it. After graduating in 2004 Lisa and I moved back to the farm and began working it in our free time. We’ve grown each year since and have added a greenhouse, hydroponics, a certified kitchen, and a wood fired brick oven bakery.