Our son has been part of Homefields since 2001 which has greatly changed his life. He is autistic and learning disabled. With interaction of his peers and co-workers he is more verbal and feels like he has a purpose. He loves the ‘farm’ and learning new skills. He would rather go to work at the farm than go on vacation or to Special Olympic state games in bowling or bocce.
NewNewsletter here!

NewNewsletter here!


Farmers in greenhouse, drying garlic

Open Barn, Saturday April 27! Drop-in 10:00–2:00
• Hay Ride tours at 11 am and 1 pm
• Fun photo booth
• Take a book and keep it, courtesy of our free library boxes
• Refreshments
• Visit farm partners like Mirror Image and Village Crest

Don’t forget our referral discount, if you’re a shareholder and get a friend to enroll. Receive a $40 credit if they sign up for a half share and a $75 credit if they sign up for a full share. Send an email to community@homefields.org to let us know who you referred, or call us at 717.871.3110. Answers to FAQs are here.

We also partner with nearby organizations to offer organic foods you can pick-up right here, whether or not you’re a Homefields Care Farm shareholder. Click on the links to find out more about Bread, Cheese, Mushrooms, Fruit, Meat, and Eggs.

By popular demand, gift certificates are also available for the 2019 Season. We can deliver a hard copy or email a PDF. Click here for a secure order form. Email info@homefields.org with any questions.

How you can help / Get involved

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We’re a small democracy, always looking for new voices: volunteers, board members, skills, talent, and experience. . . Become a part at any level that you’re comfortable with:

  • Donate your time. Volunteer once a year, or once a week!

  • Friend us on Facebook.

  • Receive notices. Email us your addresses and we’ll keep you in the loop.

  • Attend a board meeting. Email us and we’ll let you know when the next one comes up.

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Our annual events are great ways to break the ice or be a part of the community. They’re also major sustaining fundraisers for our missions.

  • Golf Tournament: Play, sponsor, donate prizes, or volunteer your time.

  • Picnic in the Fields: Help set up and take down, or come to dine and listen to the music.

  • Talks in the Fields: Let us know if you have knowledge to share and we’ll provide the venue.

  • Open Barn: Stop by our annual sociable for hayrides, info sessions, and more.

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Donations are critical to Homefields. Fortunately, there are several quick and easy ways to contribute and get a deduction!

Make a one-time or recurring donation using a credit card or PayPal account.


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Homefields is happy to be one of five farms that presented at the Mid-Atlantic Care Farming Summit. Care farming is the therapeutic use of farming practices for vulnerable groups of people. The summit took place at Red Wiggler Community Farm in Germantown, Maryland, and the objective was to convey challenges and successes for the benefit of all. 


 

If these happy folks look familiar, then you remember Meaningful Day Academy (Friendship Community) volunteers, back for a new season of preparing seedlings and sowing crops. It’s great to be with you again!

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And volunteers from the Occupational Development Center are back with us in 2019, helping with weekly projects such as propagating seedlings and preparing produce for pickup. Welcome back!

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Homefields on YouTube

It’s been over two decades since we bought the horse farm that started this all (really?!?). Yet it wasn’t until fairly recently that Tom Strauss, one of our founding fathers, created a video that distills our 25-year history into less than 5 minutes. Check it out. Click on the “Watch YouTube.com” logo at near bottom right to see in a larger screen.


—Our History: A Synopsis

Jim Determan, a founding Homefields member, breaks ground that had been untilled for a very long time.

Jim Determan, a founding Homefields member, breaks ground that had been untilled for a very long time.

Conception

In 1991, a group of parents and invited professionals came together to discuss the state of affairs for their children, and the plight of Lancaster County adults with mental retardation and other disabilities. Existing programs were at capacity with long waiting lists. Our group, determined to build a step where none existed, imagined a more flexible environment where adults with mental retardation and other special needs, families, and the community, would partner together to create new opportunities.
 
The Dream

We wrote a mission statement expressing a desire for a financially secure, long-term home in a safe, family-like setting where there is respect for the individual in a holistic sense, and where fun and creativity are revered as basic human needs. The home would be situated on land that supported a small farming operation with year-round projects. This environment, with many on-going activities, would stimulate residents and offer them new options. Then we took that dream and made it come true.
 

Realization

In 1994, five families who love an adult member with special needs, incorporated, pooled their finances, and purchased an eight-acre horse-boarding farm in Millersville, PA. Homefields’ philosophy is a nurturing, self-sufficient one, so the people who eventually moved to Homefields, with the help of their families, were instrumental in renovating and personalizing their own home. Everyone rolled up their sleeves to remodel a ranch house, restore a stone house, disassemble and move a fence, paint a barn, clean up the grounds, and plant even more flowers. Three years after the first meeting, three adults who require assisted living moved into the stone house. Soon after, the ranch house was completed and three other residents moved into that home.

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The Present

The residents continue to live as independently as possible at Homefields. They are supported by the professional staff of Community Services Group, are loved by their families, and are protected through the watchfulness of family members, advocates, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (BH/DS) of Lancaster County, and Homefields' Board of Directors. New families have come our way seeking a home for their cherished son or daughter. The Homefields Farm vocational farm program has taught work skills to over 200 farmer trainees. Hundreds of families have been nourished by the farm’s organic produce, grown by adults with disabilities and other barriers to independence.


Civic Leadership Award

Homefields received the 2013 Walker Center’s Distinguished Civic Leadership Award from Millersville University, recognizing “individuals or organizations that make noteworthy civic and community contributions of local, regional, national or international impact and who have been a catalyst for encouraging civic engagement on the part of others.”

Urban Preservation Award

Homefields received the C. Emlen Urban Preservation and Honor Award at the 41st Annual Meeting of the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County in November 2007. The award was for outstanding effort in preserving and restoring a 140-year-old outbuilding (our current office), and is especially cherished as it was accomplished by reusing all salvageable material, primarily through volunteer labor and expertise, including donations from blueprint to timber framing, masonry, electrical, roofing, and flooring.