Farmers of the Year

Greg Swartz and Tannis Kowalchuk of Willow Wisp Organic Farm

Keynote Address:
Agri-Culture: The Biology, Business, and Art of Farming

Willow Wisp Organic Farm is a 25-acre NOFA-NY Certified Organic farm located along the Delaware River in Damascus, PA. Greg Swartz and Tannis Kowalchuk grow a diverse mix of vegetables, herbs, and flowers and everything starts with the biology of the farm ecosystem. They focus on soil health and diversity to bring high-quality products to their customers.

As manager of the farm’s production and sales, Greg pays careful attention to the details of managing the business. Money is a tool that is as important as a hoe. It is essential to give the business side of the farm ample attention to make the whole system work – for the farm owners and equally for the team who works alongside them. Tannis manages the flower production which is a key piece of the business as well as the farm ecosystem.

Tannis is also the founding Artistic Director of Farm Arts Collective, an Agri-Cultural Hub where art intersects with agrarian and ecological ideas. Farm Arts Collective’s programs focus on four pillars of life-sustaining practice: Farming, Theatre, Food, and Ecology to build and strengthen a creative and connected rural community.

Balancing the biology, business, and art of farming has made Willow Wisp Organic Farm a vibrant example of a successful farm that engages in many ways with their community.