How we started
On January 1st of 2009 the Matthew 25 Farm project was formed. At the time there were pleas from food pantries and good-will organizations for donations of more food. This was due in part to a substantial increase in the number of people who were in need and utilizing these support systems. Also, it was due to a decline in the number of donations given to these organizations. It became evident that a new source of food was needed by the current system so that no Central New Yorker was left without their basic needs. We realized that we could not provide for every short-coming of the system, so we followed the passion that had been planted in our hearts and decided to grow food for those in need and give it all away to them.
During our first year as a volunteer organization we began with no real farm experience (although we had grown many gardens), no land, no funding and big dreams. Against all odds the community embraced the idea and we were gifted funds to get the project off the ground. Land was donated by those who believed in the vision and local farmers offered their help in the midst of their burdensome spring planting schedule.
Our dreams were realized that spring when we planted ten acres of plants and seeds. Later in the summer our minimal knowledge of farming became more evident as the weeds tried to take over the farm, along with other diseases such as blight. But the weeds did not dampen our spirits,although they did affect our yields. By the end of the summer we harvested and distributed enough food to feed 40,000 people.
The farm is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3). The Farm is run by a Board of Trustees consisting of members from the church and the community-at-large.
Although the farm is run using mostly volunteer help, there are two permanent employees, Elizabeth Esmark, the farm administrator and Rick Rarick, the farm manager.
During the growing season the farm hires an assistant and an intern, this year the farm assistant is Brad Clarry and the intern is Katie Markstein.