A young farmer works her family's land
Claire Murray farms land that belonged to her grandmother. Her parents live there as well, and so does her uncle, who raises pastured poultry. “It’s like this little family compound,” she explains.
But Murray didn’t grow up farming. She was raised near her family’s property, and attended Penn State University, studying environmental resource management. During her senior year, she encountered a professor who had a CSA, and then attended the PASA Conference. That was the beginning.
Now she cultivates five of the 100 acres of land her family owns in Chester Country. That small plot produces enough fruits and vegetables for Inverbrook to offer 60 full CSA shares. Inverbrook’s produce is also available at the Kennett Square Farmers’ Market, and the farm serves as a drop-off point for Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op.
Like many of today’s young farmers, Murray is taking advantage of the Internet to spread the word. Inverbrook has both a website and a blog where she writes about a variety of farm-friendly topics, including the perks of buying pastured turkey for Thanksgiving, favorite recipes and attending the First Annual East Coast Fermentation Festival in Kennett Square.
On December 31, Murray’s grandmother passed away at the age of 94, and she used the blog to eulogize the farm’s matriarch: “From her I inherit my love of acidic tomatoes, roma beans, and swiss chard. I learned how to french beans and score corn for freezing, how to prepare rhubarb so it tastes just right on warm buttered toast, and how there is nothing better than her strawberry freezer jam. Her simple but delicious cooking gave me an early and concrete taste for the virtues of farm fresh ingredients. I will miss her greatly, but know that her spirit lives on at Inverbrook.”