New Morning Farm is exactly the kind of Host we like to work with. Since joining our program in 2005, Jim and Moie Crawford have provided exceptional training for six lucky MESA Stewards.
New Morning Farm provides, for the Stewards who train there, an excellent learn-by-doing experience of the true meaning behind "stewardship". Jim and Moie purchased land amid the Pennsylvania ridges that now make up New Morning Farm in 1976 as a conventional dairy operation. They have since transitioned these 95 acres into highly-diversified organic production. New Morning now produces over 40 different certified organic crops in the soil the Crawfords have cultivated organically for the last 30 years.
The Crawford's commitment to sustainable production extends well beyond the boundaries of their own property.
They have organized two, now well-established farmers markets and helped found a wholesale marketing cooperative with a group of growers - Tuscarora Organic Growers.
"In our crew of eight apprentices everyone enjoys having someone from a different culture, with different perspectives on agriculture and often very specific expertise learned in their home country agriculture schools. We have recommended the MESA program to our neighboring growers, who are now benefitting also."
By inviting MESA Stewards from Thailand, Peru, Ecuador, and India to train at New Morning Farm, the Crawfords have diversified the social experience of being on a small farm in Central Pennsylvania.
"We really appreciate the MESA program. For six years now we've been using it as a convenient, reliable help in our crew-recruiting process. Every winter we get to choose from a long list of very qualified, well-described candidates (MESA's application form is thorough), who are specifically interested in the kind of farming we do. They have been uniformly enthusiatic, bright, serious people. The MESA staff is professional, friendly and compassionate, and they relieve us of all the visa paperwork and other administrative worries, such as health insurance, transportation, etc."