With Women’s History Month in full swing, here’s the second installment of our “Women Making History” series! I interviewed the president of One Woman Farm, Margaret Schlass, whose organic farm and Community Sponsored Agriculture farm food cooperative has been growing like hot peppers.
In December 2008, Margaret took a four-acre spot in Gibsonia, PA and began to cultivate her organic food haven. Before running her own farm, she procured her farming skills from working on other farms, including one in the Amazon River Basin. “It was working with Amazonian floodplain farmers in waist-high water where I first began to comprehend the paramount importance of an individual’s ability to feed oneself and [their] community.”
For Margaret, the past year was a lot of work. “OWF is stamped on my frontal lobe,” she says. Of course, the work pays off. She has learned that, “with enough sweat and guts, you can create an entire community of positively impacted people who center themselves around the very thing that blows your hair back day in and day out.”
“I have some of the most wonderful customers I could ever hope for,” Margaret says of the people who support her farming. “My favorite are the hugs and words of appreciation for doing what I love to do most, creating a community of OWF eaters who feel a real connection to their local food source.”
Margaret loves the organic farm community and fully supports it. Other than joining a CSA in your own hometown, she encourages each reader to “be a conscientious consumer buy voting with your dollar for the types of farms you would like to support every time you shop.”
If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, you’re currently able to sign up for One Woman Farm’s CSA. Wherever you are, you can also search for small, local farms though LocalHarvest, and look for potlucks at your local farms where not only can you socialize with other organic food fans, but sample delicious, homemade fare!
Being inspired by her mother —the “hardest working individual I have the pleasure of knowing” — I think it’s accurate to say that Margaret herself will inspire young women and girls to be the “one” fulfilling their own endeavors.
Do you belong to a CSA, or dream of farming your own plot? What are some of your aspirations for living more organically? Let us know!