Justin Snyder: Growing and Connecting Organic Lancaster
Jun 30, 2014 12:33AM
● By Gisele Siebold
In the transition from landscape artist to farmer over the past 11 years, Justin Snyder has come to know the complete beauty and richness of Lancaster County land. In his last year of high school, he attended the Lancaster Career and Technology Center Brownstown campus and graduated with a diploma and a certificate in landscape and greenhouse technology. Then he began working as a landscaper for new developments. When the county’s loss of farmland was brought to his attention, he became interested in using the land more sustainably, which led to the development of Lancaster Organic Growers (LOG), an organic farm and community-based cooperative.
Snyder’s goal with LOG is to engage the community by helping people learn how food affects them, as well as what impacts the environment in a positive way. He looks for ways to improve his own health through nutrition and passes on the information to his customers. In 2012, he began selling all-natural, raw and organic foods at the New Holland Farmers’ Market. This May, he added another venue: Ephrata’s Whistle Stop Plaza Open Air Market. The community-minded entrepreneur has been a vendor at Natural Alliance of Lancaster’s monthly seminars, which promote ways to live well in a toxic world.
This spring, Snyder was appointed to the Shade Tree Commission of the borough of Ephrata, which states as its mission “to maintain and protect any shade tree, shrub or other woody plant growing within or extending within the right-of-way lines of any public thoroughfare.” He learned proper planting techniques and tree care, became a certified tree tender and further enhanced his experience in uniting communities around the importance of trees.
Snyder currently works on the land of another farm and intends to have his own farm someday. With plans for growing healthier, more nutritious produce in a sustainable way, as well as linking goods grown by members of the Plain sects to customers seeking to buy them, he is a true Lancaster County organic grower and community builder.
Locations: New Holland Farmer’s Market, Roberts Ave. and Main St., 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Sat.; Ephrata’s Whistle Stop Plaza Open Air Market, Main St., 9 a.m.–1 p.m., every third Sat.; For more information, call 484-925-1564 or email LancasterOrgani[email protected]
Gisele Siebold is a contributing writer for Natural Awakenings, Lancaster-Berks edition, who lives in Lancaster County.