You are here: Home Get Involved Member Stories Karen Vollmecke

Karen Vollmecke

Vollmecke Orchards & CSA
Coatesville, PA
Chester County

PASA Lifetime Member

PASA Lifetime member Karen Vollmecke of Vollmecke Orchards and CSA in Coatesville, PA, has made donating her excess produce to local shelters and elder care facilities a priority during the 20-plus years her farm has been in business. Her desire to to put nutritious food to its "highest use" has lead to a long-time, collaboration with the Chester County Food Bank, which currently serves 40,000 households across Chester County. "Working with the Chester County Food Bank is a great fit because they are able to deliver the food to those who need it and I can spend more time growing the food," says Karen.

In addition to serving her community, Karen is a careful steward to the 37 acres of farmland her parents originally purchased in 1984. Although her family started off farming conventionally, they noticed the plants required increasingly large doses of chemical sprays and the soil did not appear as healthy as they wished. After trying some sustainable farming practices, they were encouraged by the improvements in the plant and soil life.

Being introduced to PASA in 1996 by some fruit grower colleagues helped her continue the transition to sustainable practices. Karen remembers when she first wanted to add the word "sustainable" to her CSA's marketing materials years ago and was told by a marketing professional that no one would know what the word meant. She's happy to see that the word has now become mainstream. From practices like collecting rainwater from the barn roof for irrigation to donating her surplus produce to those in need, Karen's focus on sustainability is benefiting both Chester County's residents and its natural resources.

Document Actions

Tool Shed

Buy Fresh Buy Local SOIL toolshed image