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Pocono Organics 50 Acre Regenerative Farm Breaks Ground in Northeastern Pennsylvania

08.03.2018

Long Pond, PA - You’ve heard of farm-to-table initiatives. Now the granddaughter of the founder of Pocono Raceway aims to add farm-to-track to the lexicon.  Pocono Organics broke ground last week on a 50-acre regenerative farm next to the race track in Tunkhannock Township in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

 

Members from Pocono Organics and the Rodale Institute speak at a news conference Friday for the groundbreaking of Pocono Organics' 50-acre farm in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo courtesy of Pocono Organics)
 

“What started out as a lifestyle and health choice for my family and I became a larger mission when I thought about how we could utilize our land to grow organic food to help others, create jobs in our community, and ultimately become an example of what a fully sustainable regenerative organic farm could be,” Ashley Walsh, president of Pocono Organics, said.

 

The farm on Long Pond Road is part of an initiative to make the Pocono Raceway more sustainable, with the farm providing organic food for the track and, in return, receiving compostable material.

 

The farm will draw power from the same 25-acre solar farm that powers the raceway.

That type of interaction is a hallmark of regenerative farming.

 

Walsh said the vision for the organic farm came from her grandfather, Dr. Joe Mattioli, Pocono Raceway’s founder.

 

Artist rendering of Pocono Organics.
 

Besides the solar farm that powers 100 percent of its facility, the race track launched a recycling program that encourages fans to use its recycling containers, a tree planting program and commissioned a sustainability report this year.

 

Pocono Organics is partnering with the Rodale Institute as it aims to be the largest regenerative organic fruit and vegetable operations in North America, according to a press release.

 

The farm will provide about 100 jobs with employment opportunities going to veterans through Rodale Institute’s Veteran Farmer Training Program, according to the company’s website.

 

Pocono Organics will be constructed in three phases, the first of which will include 38,000 square feet of greenhouses connected to a 30,000-square-foot barn.

 

The indoor facilities will allow the farm to grow organic foods throughout the year, and the the barn will feature a vegetative roof to capture rain water for re-use in growing crops.

 

Rodale Institute, which is based in Maxatawny Township, Berks County, said it is excited about working with Pocono Organics.

 


“Our partnership with Pocono Organics is truly revolutionary,” said Jeff Moyer, Rodale Institute executive director. “Not only are we showcasing the ability to grow food in a way that is profitable for farmers, healthy for communities and positive for the environment, we’re doing it in a setting that will welcome the public and consumers to be part of the experience.”


The farm will feature organic crops such as fruits, vegetables, grains and herbs that will be grown in both outdoor fields and greenhouses.

 

While it is supplying Pocono Raceway with organic foods, Mike Mooney, chief marketing officer, said Pocono Organics will look to supply local grocery stores, restaurants and other sports venues, and create a farmers market for the public.

 

Pocono Organics expects to see its first harvest in late spring of next year.


http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-nws-pocono-organics-breaks-ground-20180727-story.html



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