The Roots Go Deep
Originally called the Swiss Rifle Club Farm, the roots of Heritage Farm go back to 1976 when Greg and Linda met, fell in love and began to dream the dream of their lifetime. Their dream included a rural lifestyle and a small farm in the mountains; a place where they could live simple lives, close to nature and in peace. After marriage in 1979 and many moves between two states, the farm became a reality in 1990 with the purchase of their second piece of land. The farm they bought was a worn out, run down 19th century rifle club building (converted to a house in the 1940’s) and two acres on which to raise fruit, vegetables, eggs and small livestock! Although small, it was the start that was needed. Always a family affair, in the summer of 1991 they began selling produce with their three children Rebekah, Daniel & Peter (two more children arrived later). They sold their products at the St. Mary’s Farmers Market. The following year they added the Ridgway Farmers Market. As their children grew to start enterprises of the addition of home ground baked goods, jams/jellies, herbs, flowers, maple syrup and more came into existence.
Their third land purchase of 25 acres was made in 1995. This greatly increased the size and scope of the whole operation and enabled them to participate in a farmers market in Clarion. In addition, this land allowed for a pasture fed beef enterprise. But wait – the Burns’ family farm wasn’t finished yet! Late in 2000 the farm adjoining the 25 acres came up for sale and the family was able to sell the old rifle club and purchase the new property. The vision continues to unfold as the family restored and enlarged their business on this 19th century farmstead which includes a house, large barn, two smaller barns, a workshop and 51 beautiful acres. Later, they began renting an additional 30 acres on which to raise an ever-expanding beef herd. The Burns’ have an on-farm market as well as pastured beef, pork and poultry enterprises in addition to the established fruit and vegetable operations. They now sell their products to several restaurants in Pittsburgh (Listed on the Pittsburgh/Buying Club Page), to a food coop, a buying club, along with farmers markets and their farm store. Heritage Farm is constantly trying to reach people in their local area and into the Pittsburgh area.
Greg and Linda have home schooled their 5 children, which has been an essential for running the business. Their oldest daughter Rebekah and her husband Jason Oberholser live in New Mexico, along with their 3 children, serving as Christian missionaries among the Navajo Indians. Greg and Linda’s son Dan and his wife Florina currently serve as Christian missionaries in Mexico. Greg and Linda joined in partnership of ownership of Heritage Farm with their son Pete and his wife Tara. They together manage the operation with their remaining children, Anna and Tim. Pete apprenticed for a year at Polyface farm, owned by Joel Salatin, one of the leading sustainable farmers of our time. Pete specializes in livestock division of Heritage Farm, including pasture fed beef, poultry, and pork. His wife Tara specializes in the Marketing and computer end of the enterprise. Anna attended at Penn View Bible Institute. Tim is in High school, and is in charge of the cleaning and boxing of eggs. Everyone helps out everywhere however, working together and enjoying family fellowship and helping in all areas of farm life.
Starting with the 2015 season we will no longer offer our extensive produce line to our customers or restaurants. We’re being stretched too thin and need to focus our efforts on increasing our livestock sales.
We are a committed Christian family and invite you to check out our products or just come and visit us at any of our locations. Come visit us on the farm and see how and where you food is raised.
Our Statement of Purpose:
Heritage Farm exists to glorify God in that our family will put into practice and provide a public example of the principles of biblical lifestyle. A tool in developing virtuous character and lives pleasing to the Lord, the farm is to be a Christian witness to others both by our example of a family working together and by providing a constant supply of “clean,” fresh, high quality, nutritious and healthier foods.