John Crooke, Farmer
Tinicum CSA is owned and operated by Bucks County native John Crooke. John grew up sharing the chores with his brothers on his parents’ dairy farm. He enjoys waking up early, drinking yerba mate, and preparing tasty meals with friends. His interest in vegetable farming began at Cornell University, where he co-managed the student farm at Dilmun Hill. He is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Paraguay, where he worked for three years in Agricultural Extension and Corps Member Coordination. John especially enjoys the edible results of vegetable farming and is excited to share this abundance with the community.
Robert Vargas, Farm Assistant
Robert Vargas is our new Farm Assistant for the 2018 season. Robert has lived most of his life in Northeast Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Scranton with a B.S. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Environmental Science, Biology, and Chemistry. Ultimately, his life and career are dedicated to the pursuit of personal harmony with, and advocacy for, the environment. With that in mind, in 2016 he took an internship on a small farm in Poulsbo, Washington. Drawing from his experiences there, he decided to pursue a career that protects the environment through organic farming at the local level. Eventually, he is interested in owning his own piece of land, and contributing to his community and the environment by providing organically grown produce as well as a space suitable for local flora and fauna. He is excited to share his passion with our CSA members this season.
What We Believe
We believe there are four essential elements of Tinicum CSA. First, we insist that what we do must be good for the members who participate in our CSA. We believe that what we grow is healthy, nourishing, and a good value for a full season of produce. Second, we commit to leaving the land on which we farm in even better growing condition than the way we received it. Third, we are determined that our efforts on the farm should afford us a dignified quality of life. And finally, as responsible citizens of the local community, we intend to do right by our neighbors, other local businesses, and the community.
We feel fortunate to be farming the fertile bottomland soil of the Schneiderwind farm which overlooks the scenic Delaware River, immediately across the bridge from Frenchtown, NJ. Over the years this land has evolved to support different kinds of production. In the past, Walter Schneiderwind grew primarily sweet corn and cut flowers here, and more recently, his son Craig manages the property and the Schneiderwind Farm & Nursery. These days the farm features a diversity of their own and local: annual and perennial flowers, landscape plants, honey, farm fresh eggs, maple syrup, produce, and seasonal items such as pumpkins and Christmas trees. We’re pleased to be working side-by-side with Craig to strengthen the tapestry of local agriculture in the Bucks County & Hunterdon County region.
The Tinicum CSA Tale
Tinicum CSA was established in 2013 by Bucks County native John Crooke and Minnesota native Stefan Streit, who met each other in 2012, while they were both working as CSA apprentices at Sisters Hill Farm in Stanfordville, NY. Stefan and John worked together to create streamlined, small-scale farm systems that follow ecological methods, while prioritizing the farmers’ well-being. For the first 5 years of Tinicum CSA, the two farmers continually pursued sustainability for both the farm and the farmers. All of this led to providing full seasons of abundant, tasty produce for the community. In addition to offering great CSA shares, the farmers always worked to improve the CSA experience for its Members. Whether it was expanding pick-up times, offering a new pick-your-own item, or simply planting flowering perennials, Stefan and John continually considered how to make the farm a more welcoming and beautiful place to visit. At the close of the 2017 season, Stefan decided to return to his Buddhist monastic pursuits, which he had begun prior to vegetable farming.
We are also deeply grateful to be the beneficiaries of three years of diligent work by Nate Walker and Heather Brady of Open Acres CSA. In 2010 Open Acres launched its first season at Schneiderwind Farm and continued through the end of 2012. Nate and Heather brought a new element to the locale by providing an impressive array of seasonal produce from May through November. Fostering a keen sense of land stewardship and community outreach, they built a firm foundation for a CSA — vegetables grew in great bounty, and community members richly enjoyed the harvest. John and Stefan are grateful to inherit their already-established business and their spirit of optimism, hard work, and compassion.
Join us in celebrating delicious, seasonal feasting and a strong tradition of local agriculture — become a Tinicum CSA member today!