In 2013 Blue Mountain Academy restarted its agriculture program with a couple of used greenhouses and a small vegetable garden. Today we offer our students in a wide variety of agricultural experiences including the following:
- Caring for laying hens
- Food Preservation
- Green housing, producing both plants and vegetables
- Growing Herbs
- Hay Production
- Large and small fruit production
- Large scale grain production
- Maple Tree Tapping
- Processing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes
- Vegetable Gardening
- Vending at Farmers Markets
During the school year, agricultural is an important part of our Vocational Education Program, and during the summer we offer students work opportunities as well.
The BMA farm became USDA Certified Organic in 2017 through PCO so we proudly supply our cafeteria and customers with fresh produce and grains that are grown with non-GMO seed and without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.
Outreach to our Community
BMA Farm is active in our community. Not only do we offer the local Hamburg community fresh produce in our honor stand located at 214 Mountain View Drive, but we have also regularly serve the inner city of Reading, PA. with a special focus on providing those with a low income and without easy access fresh fruits and vegetables our services.
This is our 6th year as a vender at the Penn Street Farmer’s Market (an outdoor market located Penn Street between 4th and 5th street) every Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm, June through September.
In May of 2018 we teamed up with the Downtown Reading campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital (located at 145 N 6th St, Reading, PA) as they kicked of their Veggie Rx program. Patients are not only encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, but they receive regular training and vouchers that they can spend at our produce stand to provide them and their families with plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. This produce stand is not only open to the patients, but to the staff and the local communities as well. This is open from Noon to 4:00pm every Tuesday all year round.
We also have a produce stand at Berks Encore (40 N 9th St, Reading) two Tuesdays per month from 11:00am-3:00pm, June through September.
To facilitate our mission to bring food to those who need it the most, we’ve obtained approval to accept Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program checks, can process SNAP/Access cards, and accept Berks Farm Bucks.
While we have already accomplished many of the goals that we’ve set, we are constantly working on improving and growing our agriculture program. At the beginning of the ‘19/’20 school year we kicked off our Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA) with 30 shares. We hope to expand it further in the spring.
We are planning to build 10 movable high tunnel greenhouses. This will not only help us to start growing earlier in the spring, but it will also help us to extend our crop production into early winter.
We believe that God has blessed us with not only a beautiful campus, but with some awesome farm land in an ideal location so that we can be a center for agricultural education, not only for our academy students but for many others across the nation and world who would like to learn to garden and farm (more on this to come…).
For more information please contact: Aaron Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org