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 organic 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.
Phoenix Byrne, Farm Apprentice
Whether it is harvesting, doing tractor work, talking to members or discussing soil ecology, Phoenix is fascinated by all aspects of farming and its transformative effects on the land and its peoples. After having volunteered on several local farms and working as a produce manager of a natural foods market Phoenix decided that they wanted to get to the source of sustainable food production and be a part of the local organic agriculture movement. Phoenix views food as something which addresses a myriad of topics, but believes that its ability to establish communal connectivity and a sense of place are some of its most rewarding aspects. When not on the farm, Phoenix likes spending time in forests, going to punk shows, making music, and nerding out over plants, crystals, and delicious vegan food.
Although Tinicum CSA is not certified organic, all our produce is grown in accord with organic principles and methods. We do not use any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or synthetic fertilizers. We do not spray anything. Everything we grow is GMO-free.
If you have any questions about our practices, you are welcome to stop by, ask questions, and see our fields for yourself! We believe that this direct, person-to-person trust and transparency is more meaningful and sustainable than paying a third-party certification corporation to vouch for our growing practices.
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!