Berks farm donates excess produce to Meals on Wheels

Photo by Emily Thiel Sean Bonsall and Annie Hasz on their farm in Morgantown.

In a serene setting tucked within forest greenery, multiple garden beds produce an overflow of produce at Broad Wing Farm.

Since October of last year, engaged couple Annie Hasz and Sean Bonsall have started leasing land at 95 Mountz Rd., Morgantown. With just three acres of land, Hasz and Bonsall have discovered that by simply growing food the problem of world hunger can be eliminated.

The plentiful crops of Broad Wing’s labor show no sign of battling the long winter months’ snow upon snow upon snow this past year. The farm produces tomatoes, beans, squash, kale, golden beets, red beets, carrots, eggplant, peppers, okra, cucumbers, basil, ginger and herbs -- and that is not even all 35 varieties. The only crop they stay away from is sweet corn, but even that is voluntarily growing on its own in their compost heap. The crops are scheduled to prosper in an eight-year rotation. The couple, along with live-in farmhouse resident Anna Perry, make up the full time workforce for the farm’s manpower with additional assistance from two volunteers. (The farmhouse on the land was built in the 1830s.) Coopersburg resident and Annie’s father Ken Hasz volunteers his time at Broad Wing Farm as a way to spend time with his daughter working with the land.

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Leasing the farm has had lots of benefits for the young couple as operable machinery has been left over from previous owners. The equipment greatly assisted them getting the farm up and running, which has proven beneficial not only for the farmers but the entire surrounding community. In addition to being vendors at two markets, Eagleview Farmers’ Market in Chester County and Parkwood Farmers’ Market in Northeast Philadelphia, the farm began donating produce to the community for consumption to distribute more of their crops.

“It’s nice to go to market and share food with people... we’re glad to be a part of the answer,” Bonsall said.

“There shouldn’t be a hunger problem,” Hasz said about what she has discovered this season. “We started donating what we grow here because our goal is to feed people.” Every week boxes of fresh locally grown vegetables are donated to the Birdsboro center of Berks Encore for Meals on Wheels’ Morgantown route recipients. The farmers appreciate the opportunity to provide their neighbors with healthy food full of nutrients -- and the community greatly benefits.

Having fresh farm options delivered to the homes of shut-in senior citizens provides them with fresh enjoyable tastes and a feeling of community.

“I love the taste of the food that you grow yourself,” Hasz said, as the farm strives to distribute their best quality of product.

Hasz and Bonsall also donate 300 pounds of excess produce per week for residents of Chester County through the Chester County Food Bank. While the farm is not certified as organic, the farmers make sure to not spray chemicals and only feed the produce to increase the immunities of the plants themselves.

“Our food is top-quality and we send out our nicest produce... we want to have it used,” Bonsall said. Broad Wing Farm also offers Community Shared Agriculture shares to local residents who come by the farm on a weekly basis for a box of fresh farm food.

You can also donate a CSA share by purchasing a box that would be distributed to a community organization. Hasz envisions this type of distribution as a way of the future as it both supports the farm and the community.

“It makes sense for us to pack a box [for donations]. We always have extra,” Hasz said.

The farm is complete with chickens for eggs, a few sheep and pond for swimming.

For information on how you can get some of this fresh produce, visit the farm online at broadwingfarm.net.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.