Families hand-pick corn for a good cause at New Jersey living history farm

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Families hand-pick corn for a good cause at New Jersey farm
You don't need to be a farmer to lend a hand at Howell Living History Farm, which donates produce like corn to local food pantries!

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Every week, there's something new to do at Howell Living History Farm. Today, families came out to help pick corn for a good cause.

"The mission of the farm has always been to give visitors, especially children, a taste of what life was like on a family farm in our time period, which is 1890 to 1910," said Kevin Watson, the farm's assistant director.

Watson has been visiting the farm since he was a child. It was dedicated to Mercer County in the 1970s in memory of its prior owner, Charles Howell. Watson views it as a living organism with its rotating schedule of sheep-shearing, syrup-making, ice harvesting, and corn-picking.

"We were able to stay open even during the pandemic and still allow visitors to come out and help us with a new project called, 'Share the Harvest,'" said Watson,

"Share the Harvest" allowed the farm to keep its gates open by redirecting staff time and resources towards creating more produce, which was then donated to area food pantries like Mount Carmel Guild and Trenton Soup Kitchen. This included not only corn, but also wheat, grain, and more.

"Last year, our total Share The Harvest donations were 28,000 pounds," said Watson. "So, only time will tell by the end of today how much we'll bring in from the field, but hopefully we'll have the help to do it."

One person who came to help was Yasmin Hernandez from North Brunswick, New Jersey. It's her favorite farm to visit with her son and niece.

"I'm from Mexico, so I grew up doing this with my father," said Hernandez. "So, when I saw that they were having this event, I was like, I have to take them. And it makes me happy to teach them a little bit of our culture."

Throughout the year, Howell Living History Farm invites guests of all ages to see their ever-changing activities. Every Saturday, they host community events such as the upcoming cider-making, bacon-making, and firewood cutting.

The farm is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Visitors can gain entry for free with the exception of paid sessions throughout the week. There are currently a limited number of slots remaining for their corn harvest-related programs.

For a complete calendar of events and instructions on how to participate, visit their website.

RELATED: Feeding hundreds of Philadelphians is a weekly mission for volunteers at the R.E.I.D. Foundation

"They're really a gift from God," said Sandy Jane from Northeast Philadelphia about these volunteers tackling hunger in Philly!