Redeemer Valley Farm, as a ministry of the Sisters of the Redeemer, exists to promote hope, health, and community through sustainable agriculture. We seek to benefit the local community through the provision of nourishing food, education, and encounters with creation while participating in earth sustaining practices.
About the Sisters of the Redeemer
Sisters of the Redeemer are women of faith, called by the Spirit of God to be a healing, hope-filled presence to those in need. Their mission, rooted in the works of mercy, is to impart the healing and compassionate love of Jesus the Redeemer on those they meet. An international congregation, there are Sisters of the Redeemer also living and serving in Germany and Tanzania. In the U.S., their ministries are diverse, representing our sisters’ God-given gifts and talents. In addition to Redeemer Valley Farm, Sisters minister in the areas of pastoral care, education, and faith development. They are the Founders of Redeemer Health, which was formed from many of the innovative programs and facilities created by the Sisters of the Redeemer, including Holy Redeemer Hospital.
Farming and caring for God’s creation has always been a part of the Sisters of the Redeemer’s history. In 1939, the Sisters purchased 115 acres of land in Huntingdon Valley, Pa. Although initially dense woodland filled with a thick growth of underbrush, the Sisters saw this land as holy ground. When cultivated, they knew the land could provide not only for the Sisters, but for those in their care and the local community.
Over the years, the Sisters’ ministries evolved, focusing more on healthcare, including the development of ministries such as St. Joseph Manor, Holy Redeemer Hospital, The Drueding Center, and Redeemer Village—all of which are now part of Redeemer Health. As the Sisters’ presence in healthcare increased, their time farming came to a halt for many decades. That is until 2010, when Sr. Ana Dura, inspired by the Sisters who came before her, started a small community garden on the Sisters’ farm land, which now housed the Sisters of the Redeemer’s American Motherhouse and chapel. The community garden grew a little bit each year. It grew in physical space. More gardeners and volunteers came onboard. The community garden, now two acres in size, yields enough to donate thousands of pounds of produce each year to local food cupboards. Then, the animals came. First was Jude, the lovable, but ornery goat. In time, it became clear that the small community garden which began as a personal project for Sr. Ana, had grown into a full ministry for the Sisters of the Redeemer. In 2020, Redeemer Valley Farm was officially incorporated.
Led by Sr. Eustella Volk, who was known affectionately as “Tractor Sister,” the Sisters cared for 200-300 chickens, countless cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and tended to a massive garden where they grew crops such as corn, wheat, barley, oats, apples, grapes, and vegetables. The Sisters produced all their own milk, butter, eggs, meat, and vegetables.
The two-acre community garden provides 55 plots available to the community to “lease” for a growing season. Each plot “owner” must commit to at least one hour of volunteering at the farm each week in addition to an annual fee. Additionally, there is a large community-supported garden. Gardeners of all skill levels who desire the experience of growing healthy food while building relationships with each other and creation are invited to volunteer in our garden. Produce harvested from the community garden is sold at the weekly farm markets and through the Garden Angels program. Much of what is harvested is donated to local food cupboards and to Redeemer Village residents.
The community garden does not allow the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. Compost is provided on site. Products must be marked as appropriate for organic gardening and/or OMRI approved.
Redeemer Valley Farm is home to a wide variety of animals.
Opened in 2023, the 6,500-square-foot Weirman Family Barn represents a significant commitment by the Sisters of the Redeemer and benefactors to responsible care for creation, particularly through sustainable agriculture. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the barn in April 2022, the Sisters announced the barn will be named the Weirman Family Barn, in recognition of the generous philanthropic gifts made by Bob and Eleanor Weirman.
The barn brings together many aspects of Redeemer Valley Farm under one roof to streamline operations while increasing access and participation in the many community-driven activities. In addition to housing the Farm’s growing number of animals, there is a microdairy, a produce packing room, a soap making and wool workshop, and a gathering space for small events. The barn was constructed using eco-friendly materials and allows for maximum rainwater collection and reuse. The roof was built for eventual solar panels.
When Bob and Eleanor heard the Sisters were planning to build a barn to expand their garden ministry, they offered their financial support. “When you are dealing with people who have given their lives to God, it’s very hard to say no,” Bob said. “Everything they do is for you, or for someone, not for themselves. We wanted to give a gift to the Sisters to thank them for everything they’ve given to the community and to us.”
We believe in building community around a shared curiosity and reverence for creation. As the farm continues to grow, we look to expand our educational offerings as well.
Currently our educational programs include:
Service Learning Days
Throughout the year, we host many service days for high school and college groups.
School Garden Program
Our school garden program allows us to teach our youth about environmental sustainability, nutrition, and gardening skills.