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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pocono Organics Opens 381-acre Farm, Market & Cafe to the Public
Showcases Power of Soil Health & Human Health Connection through Food
LONG POND, Pa. (June 18, 2020) – Pocono Organics, one of the largest public-facing regenerative organic farms in North America, opens its organic farm, food market, and café to the public today. As a global center for research, education, and discovery for regenerative organic agricultural practices, the dine-in or take-out facility will bring guests back to the roots of how and where their food is grown.
The new fully USDA Certified organic market and café, will feature food prepared by a Food Network Chopped champion chef. Ashley Walsh, Pocono Organics founder, wanted to create a
dynamic educational and nutritional experience from her personal health journey for guests to understand the vital connection between soil health and human health.
“I was diagnosed with gastroparesis in my early 30s,” said Walsh. “That means that my stomach is paralyzed and I can’t digest food properly. The doctors told me that they could help me by cutting out parts of my stomach and using feeding tubes. Those weren’t options I was willing to accept and started my journey with organic foods. The powerful results of using food as medicine were undeniable for me – instead of being sick five days a week, I was sick five days a month. I was also able to get off of all the medications I was taking for my health because of my stomach.
“The problem was that I just wasn’t able to get the nutrient-dense organic foods I needed. That’s when the vision for Pocono Organics came to life.”
Visitors can learn about the soil-to-seed-to-plate journey of their food while at the farm café. Freshly harvested produce such as lettuces, herbs, vegetables as well as organic meat products, and pre-made dishes along with numerous other organic staple items from companies such as Patagonia Provisions, Newman’s Own, and Dr. Bronner’s will be sold to shoppers as they visit the farm for the first public opening in a socially-distanced and safe environment.
Pocono Organics is a one of Rodale Institute’s largest satellite farms, long-known as the global leaders in regenerative organic agriculture and research. Rodale Institute is a nonprofit based in Kutztown, PA that has been working to grow the organic movement through rigorous science, farmer training, and consumer education since 1947. It’s through this mission-minded partnership that Pocono Organics has adhered to the rigorous standards set by the Regenerative Organic Alliance regarding soil health, animal welfare and worker fairness.
“Rodale Institute is incredibly excited to bring regenerative organic agriculture to a new audience in partnership with Pocono Organics,” said Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute CEO. “Pocono Organics’ state-of-the-art facility and innovative model is a clear example of the ways in which regenerative organic agriculture can feed the planet in new and exciting ways. Rodale Institute is proud to join with Pocono Organics to improve human health and grow an organic future.”
Walsh and her team are also engaging with a community of changemakers outside of the Poconos. In September, Pocono Organics is hosting The Crop Trust’s Food Forever Experience in celebration of the International Year of Plant and Soil Health, to raise awareness of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2.5 and the importance of crop diversity. The event will bring together world renowned chefs, regional change-makers, business leaders and scientists to take a close look at how biodiversity journeys from soil to mouth. Demonstrations will be made over the course of the day to shed light on the world’s lesser-known crops and call on chefs, farmers, and consumers to race to safeguard agrobiodiversity for a more diverse, sustainable, and delicious future.
Sustainability is also a hallmark of Pocono Organics. The completed market and cafe is housed inside a 30,000-square-feet packaging and processing facility that, along with its first phase of greenhouses (38,000 square feet), were designed to reclaim and reuse rainwater to irrigate greenhouse crops. The farm will draw power from its 3-megawatt, 25-acre solar farm that also powers sister company, Pocono Raceway. Pocono Organics serves as an active farm for Rodale’s Industrial Hemp Research work and is home to more than 300,000 honey bees.
“We know that the future is organic and we want to help people reach healthier food grown locally,” Walsh continued.
In addition to growing regenerative organic produce, the property also includes a beautiful event space to engage the local community and agritourists with special events, and a calendar of workshops, educational classes, wellness events and more. Pocono Organics has already begun engaging with the local community by offering fresh produce to-go with barn-side pick up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We knew it was important to get healthy food out to people during these times,” said Jonathan Skaro, Pocono Organics Farm Director. “The grocery stores’ selection of fresh produce had been very limited and often imported, so we ramped up our production to provide high-quality food for our community and their response proved it was the right decision.”
About Pocono Organics.
Pocono Organics, awarded the 2019 Environmental Innovator of the Year by the Green Sports Alliance, was founded in 2015 and is one of the largest regenerative organic farms in North America. Located in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, Pocono Organics has more than 381 acres of farmland and, at full build out, will have 120,000 square feet of greenhouse space. As a global center for research, education, and discovery, Pocono Organics has a strategic partnership with Rodale Institute, the world leaders in Regenerative Organic Agriculture practices and research. Sustainability is a hallmark of Pocono Organics which will draw power from a 3MW, 25-acre solar farm and reclaim rainwater from its greenhouse roofs for irrigation. Pocono Organics also serves the local community through its Clean Food, Dirty Hands school education and Veteran Farmer Training programs. In addition, the property includes an organic farmer’s market and café, and with a 56-room adjoining hotel, is an agritourism destination, hosting wellness and education events as well as annual festivals. Click https://www.poconoorganics.com to learn more about Pocono Organic’s mission and work.