Two Gander Farm is a family operated farm run by a wife and husband – Deirdre and Trey Flemming. They farm 10 acres of vegetables, fruits, flowers and bees, in Downingtown PA, within 260-acres that are owned and managed by the Brandywine Conservancy. They are passionate about sustaining the proper ecology so natural systems are able to thrive within their farm.
Students from the Organic Farming Certificate and Veteran Farmer Training Programs received an insiders tour of the farm. Trey explained some of the regulations of working with conservation land and why they decided to farm within the conservancy. For them it aligns perfectly with their farming mission and many of the regulations they encounter are standards that they must meet to uphold their Organic Certification.
As we toured the farm, we were shown; 400ft long beds, “You Pick” berries and flowers, turmeric and ginger in the high tunnels and some newly cultivated beds. Trey informed us that it took a while for Deirdre and him to find what maximized their time, production and revenue on the farm. When they first started growing, they had a plethora of varieties of vegetables but then realized that was not what their customers wanted. So they adjusted to a more specific, consumer driven crop plan and focused on a “You Pick” operation as well. Noting, that for any CSA/Farm to be successful you have to be able to adapt and learn your market.
Students were shown the Flemming’s small vacuum seeder which cut down their time exponentially in the seeding process, leaving them time to do more cost-effective work. Students also learned about the benefits of having a small micro-green business within the CSA. This operation requires very little labor, quick turnaround time and provides greens before the season starts.
Two Gander Farm was a wonderful experience for the students. They were able to learn about working on conservation land, understanding your market, importance of efficiency and the need to have a strong grasp on how to market your business.