Small Farmers Aiming to Plant Their Roots in Chester County Turn to Leasing as Land Prices Rise


Small farmers looking to plant their roots in Chester County are increasingly looking at leasing as land prices continue to rise, writes Katie Park for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Deirdre and Trey Flemming, owners of Two Gander Farm in Downingtown, were looking to move from Berks County to Chester County six years ago. But they soon realized that the available options were out of their price range.

However, they found 10 acres of farmland available for lease in Downingtown.

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“It was immediately attractive,” said Deirdre. “Because being close to Philly, being within an hour of a metro area is the target to be profitable in this business.”

The landlord was the Brandywine Conservancy and the Flemmings soon signed a lease and joined the thousands of other farmers who rent farmland.

The Brandywine Conservancy owns and leases 365 acres of preserved land, to ensure that more than 20,000 acres are used only as farmland. But to maintain them, it has several rules that need to be honored, such as keeping fertile soil, limiting the use of chemical fertilizers, and minimizing pollution runoff.

Read more about the leasing of farmland in Chester County in the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

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