Written by Julie Detweiler Gotwals
Detweiler Homestead is a fourth-generation family farm currently owned by my brother, Jim Detweiler, and his wife, Yvonne (Mowrer) Detweiler, along with me and my husband, Brent Gotwals. Prior to our ownership, the farm was owned by my parents, Russell and Evelyn (Bergey) Detweiler, from 1973- 2006. (See the history page for further details if you’re interested.)
In 2011, good friends of ours, Dwight and Bev Alderfer, approached us with an idea of using our farmland as a place to start up a small-scale vegetable farm. Dwight had the desire to begin a farming operation, but didn’t have enough land. After quite a number of brainstorming sessions and when the time felt right, we all agreed to begin the process of establishing the vegetable farm together in mid-2012. Infrastructure work was begun, as well as construction of a propagation house. Dwight, the lead farmer, brought the vision and expertise, while Brent and I brought the desire to once again have the land be a productive farm, providing the local community with wholesome, fresh and tasty food.
2013 was an incredibly busy and productive year as we set up the beds and planting area within a former 2-acre fenced sheep pasture. We raised an array of wholesome vegetables, along with herbs and cut flowers, following organic practices and sustainable agriculture methods. These products were sold on site in the farm stand located in the former 3-car garage. Many neighbors and friends found us and became regular customers, delighted to find chemical-free food grown right on the farm!
Currently, we have a 60-member CSA (more information on the CSA page). Our model is very flexible, with the member paying in early spring and then coming to the farm stand whenever it’s convenient and purchasing whichever items they prefer.
Our farm is home to 60 free-range pastured chickens, and we sell the eggs on site. They are fed organic feed and love to eat any old greens we feed them. Kids and adults alike enjoy feeding and watching the chickens as well as the Jacobs sheep on our farm.
We have strawberries each year in late May/June, and our blueberries will begin producing in 2017. Our cut flower arrangements are available from late June to mid-October each year.
Please stop in to see us and get acquainted with our farm! We’d be thrilled to show you around so that you can see the crops and how we farm. Our commitment to healing the environment through sustainable growing practices that replenish the soil, conserve water and protect the many species of plants and animals native to our area is paramount to our farming philosophy and practice. Our goal is to contribute to the local community by having a farm where people can see where and their food is grown, and get to know the farmers who grow it. Know your food/know your farmer!
Stop by and see us…we’d love to meet you!