We’re thrilled to announce that the Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe is soon going to open for our spring and summer hours! We’re located at 1713 Main Street, Burgettstown, PA in the recently refurbished, historic Burgettstown Train Station. These are exciting times for the CVO crew — so many amazing changes are taking place! We’ll be announcing our extended hours very soon!
In the meantime, we’d like to introduce you to one of the smiling faces you’ll see at our Farm Market and Cafe this season. Emily Kramer is our Cafe Supervisor. She’s an enthusiastic believer of the local food movement. Emily knows shopping small and buying local keeps money in the regional economy and provides jobs for the community. Here’s more about this dynamic new addition to the Cherry Valley Organics farm family!
Meet Emily Kramer: CVO’s Cafe Supervisor
Emily has spent most of her life here in Pennsylvania, but her childhood was spent in New Mexico. “My mother was the person to first expose me to the world of gardening. With a seemingly constant season of drought, we were restricted to watering once a week. I recall taking showers with a bucket to catch any spare water to help my mother’s struggling vegetable garden. You could say I was exposed to organic growing at an early age, eating cherries from a neighbor’s tree.”
Emily’s family moved to Pennsylvania when she was 10 years old. “The first time I saw Pennsylvania, the juxtaposition of the desert landscape with the lush greenery of the east coast is still a striking memory for me,” she says. “My mother of course took advantage of the rainfall and constructed a few large raised beds. This garden today is still in full production, growing pretty much anything imaginable. My favorite part of her garden is the raspberry patch, which generally gets overgrown but gives endless raspberries.”
Emily has a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics and an MA in Food Studies. “Admittedly, and a little regrettably, I was not interested in growing food until I got to college. My friends worked on a small farm, so I volunteered there mostly just to hang out. I was caught off guard by my sudden and significant interest in farming. While I always appreciated learning about food from a strong scientific perspective during my Nutrition studies, farming and its surrounding culture felt like a less institutional and more tangible side of food to me,” she admits.
But it was Emily’s continued education in Food Studies that allowed her to gain a deeper appreciation for local food systems, along with a deeper understanding of its complexities. “The program was designed with a well-rounded approach to examining our food system,” she says. “In terms of agriculture specifically, a highlight for me was diving into the subject of agroecology and how to create an agricultural system that works with nature, not against it. So, excluding harmful chemical inputs, encouraging biodiversity, building quality soil with biomass, etc.”
Life After College
Prior to CVO, Emily coordinated the food and horticulture area of a psychiatric rehab center in Pittsburgh. “I got a lot of hands-on growing experiences there because I managed a sizeable raised bed urban garden,” she notes. “Previous to that, I’ve generally worked with food in a variety of ways such as retail and vending at farmer’s markets.”
Emily’s Role at CVO
At the moment, Emily is assisting in putting together our café by sourcing items and researching and contacting local and regional food producers to see what’s out there. She also assists customers in our store. “I oversee the day-to-day functions of the café while keeping on top of sourcing and inventory.”
What Local and Organic Mean to Emily
“I heard a statistic recently stating that less than 10% of the farming industry is organic, which I found to be striking,” Emily notes. “I think this statistic speaks to the fact that utilizing organic farming methods is certainly not easy. We need to collectively appreciate the work and dedication that goes into food production, and more specifically, production that aims to work more harmoniously with the natural environment. All of the organic farmers I know care that the food they grow supports a healthy ecosystem and healthy people. So, instead of saying that organic food is expensive, maybe we can instead notice that organic food is important.”
Emily often finds herself thinking about resiliency and how our society can move forward in the best way possible. Growing organically certainly fits into the picture, as does supporting organic food producers who put their heart and soul into their work.
What Emily Hopes for our CVO Farm Market and Cafe Customers
“I want people to feel welcome to stay, hang out, and get to know us when they walk into the store,” she says. “I foresee the Farm Market and Café being a quintessential stop for trail-goers but also part of the Burgettstown residents’ routine. Our guests will be able to get a good cup of coffee, locally sourced goods, ice cream, and quality hand-made CVO products.” Sounds like a win-win for everyone!
Stop by the CVO Farm Market and Cafe to meet Emily and get to know this warm, friendly addition to the CVO family.
To meet more of our farm family, check out the following articles:
- Jodi Verbanic: The Founder of CVO
- Allie Logue: Grower for Herbs and Flowers
- Katie Sofio: Retail Sales and Event Assistant
The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family