The faces of farming in America are changing:
According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture (conducted on 5 year intervals), 75.6% of women farmers make less than $10,00 ANNUALLY. Now, we all know that $10,000 is not enough to support even a frugal, food-growing, DIY American. These are hobby farmers. Avid gardeners. And to add insult to injury, these female farmers only make up 13% of all farm operators in the United States. Which means (stay with me here), out of the roughly 3.3 million principal farmers documented in 2012, 2.3% OF THEM ARE FEMALE FARMERS THAT MAKE ABOVE $10,000 ANNUALLY. Wow.
At Kneehigh Farm, we are aiming to change that, one lady-powered business at a time...
We are among this next generation of female farmers that are both passionate about food production, as well as land integrity and climate restoration.
Kneehigh Farm is owned and operated by Emma Cunniff, who has been farming since 2009 on various farms throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and the Pacific Northwest.
In 2012, Emma moved from Santa Cruz, CA to Philadelphia, PA, hoping to grow fresh food for urban populations otherwise without access. She apprenticed at The Seed Farm, where she graduated from their Beginning Farmer Training Program in 2013. She then moved to the Lehigh Valley to begin Kneehigh Farm.
Emma first approached agriculture through permaculture, heavy on observation and nature connection and light on commercial production. Her philosophy now combines ecology with her commitment to making a viable and satisfying living through farming. The ethics of permaculture—Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share—resonate through Kneehigh Farm, now in its fourth year of production.
In the winter of 2015, Kneehigh moved to seven acres at Lundale Farm Inc., a non-profit that rents land and housing to sustainable farm operations. The new site is an opportunity for Kneehigh Farm to create a viable farm business from bare ground, and regenerate a farmscape that has been mismanaged for years. Emma's goals are to leave this land more fertile than it was found, to install infrastructure necessary for any successful vegetable farm, and leave future farmers with a fully equipped vegetable operation, ready and waiting to feed the community.
Emma is excited to have folks visit the farm, dirty their hands, and feel pride in picking something ripe and rich with flavor that plays a direct role in regenerating the land. In her years apprenticing, these sensations and realizations pushed Emma to pursue holistic farming as a career. It is her firm belief that everyone should get to experience the visceral satisfaction of being in nature and nurturing others. She can’t wait to share that experience with you at Kneehigh.
Hello! My name is Molly Peach and this will be my 4th season growing natural, fresh produce for our community! The past few years, I've had the opportunity to work for really great farms. I have learned much about soil health and regenerative farming methods. Looking forward to learning and working with Kneehigh Farm this season to provide yummy, nutritious produce that everyone deserves to enjoy!
I'm Lily! I am so happy to be joining Kneehigh Farm this season. I have spent the past few years working in Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, a biodynamic farm and intentional community. Through that experience I was exposed to vegetable farming, but then transitioned to a more full time role within the orchard. It was there where I began to cultivate a true passion for being involved with the process of farming in a sustainable and mindful way. I felt a need to pursue the chance to learn more about veggies and am excited to be able to do that alongside awesome folks who share a common love for growing good food, connecting with our community, and all the while being kind to the earth we farm on!