Our farm is a happy place, filled with people who love what they do.
Bill and Liz Andersen founded and oversee the operations at the Farm. They share a passion for growing (and eating!) good food.
Even before they met, Bill and Liz shared a passion for farming. Bill developed a love of farming when he started a sweet corn business on his grandfather’s farm while in high school. Liz went to Kimberton Farms School and loved spending time at classmates’ farms.
They were lucky enough to raise four children on their farm, Broadwater, just across the street from the farm. Seeing how children benefitted from picking berries and learning to love vegetables, they decided that starting a CSA would give others, young and old, the same experiences. Together with Kathy, Marvin and Donald Andersen, they were able to purchase Charlestown Farm and start the CSA.
Bill works off of the farm in Real Estate Development and is the founder and president of Longview Property Group, but he plays some critical roles at the farm. He grows the sweet corn, blueberries and grapes and he is the driving force because major farm improvements, including the new deer fence to be installed in 2019!
Bill graduated from Princeton University in 1981 and received an MBA from the Wharton School in 1983.
Liz works with Aaron to oversee the day to day operations at the farm. She coordinates planning, planting and harvest and writes the farm newsletters. She is a graduate of the 1981 class of Amherst College and received an MBA from the Wharton School in 1985.
The Andersen Family
Bill and Liz’s children all grew up helping at the farm and they have continued their interest in agriculture.
Katy Andersen Keating has a passion for farming, food, and everything in between. When she's in town, she helps on the Farm with whatever is needed whether it is weeding onions, planting raspberries, or covering the blueberries with bird netting. Katy offers continual guidance to help us connect with the local food community. She graduated from Princeton University in 2008, where she founded Slow Food Princeton and the Princeton University Farmers' Market, the first student-founded, student-run campus farmers' market in the country. After Princeton, Katy moved to Italy as a Fulbright Scholar, studying small-scale cheese production. Katy returned to attend Harvard Business School where she received her MBA in 2011. She is now the Managing Director of Lay & Wheeler, a fine wine merchant in England founded in 1854.
Charlie Andersen never stops thinking about farm equipment: negotiating its purchase, operating it, fixing it all in the name of efficient and sustainable organic farming. Charlie has implemented a number of alternative energy projects on the Farm. He was awarded a DEP Energy Harvest Grant in 2002 to showcase a locally produced carbon neutral renewable energy source corn. He also helped the family erect two solar panels in our fields, to harvest natural energy for the farm. Charlie has served on the PA Ag Energy Council and the UN Commission for Renewable Energy. Charlie graduated from Amherst College in 2010 with a double major in political science and geology, and graduated from Harvard Business School in 2014. He is now the founder of and runs Augean Robotics, a firm developing agricultural robots in Philadelphia.
Arne Andersen is the Executive Vice President of Longview Property Group, but he has not abandoned agriculture! He goes to bed and wakes up thinking about building and improving things at the farm. He built the timber frame pavillion for the pizza oven using a tree that had fallen at Broadwater Farm. Arne graduated from Amherst College in 2013 where he majored in Physics and co-founded the Amherst College Farm, Book and Plow Farm. He operates Broadwater Farms where he has started an organic apple orchard and has a herd of grass-fed Black Angus.
Ellie Andersen works at Spencer Stuart in Philadelphia, but she lives close enough to the farm to tend the hops that she grows at Broadwater Farm where she brews her own beer. During several summers while she was in college, Ellie started a tasting table at the farm during pickups. We plan to reinstate it for 2019! Ellie graduated from Amherst College in 2015.
Kathy Andersen is one of the founders of the Farm, and lives there. She has collections of daffodils, lilies and clivia which attract enthusiasts from around the world. She has always had flower and vegetable gardens until moving to Charlestown when vegetable growing was turned over to the farm. Kathy is a past president of the American Daffodil Society, North American Lily Society and National Chrysanthemum Society. She currently serves on the Boards of all three societies and is Secretary of the North American Clivia Society. She is a flower show judge in all these societies as well as in the National Garden Club and hold an Associate First Degree Master in the Ohara School of Japanese Flower Arranging. She graduated from Vassar College and received a PhD in Chemistry from University of Michigan.
Marvin Andersen is also one of the founders of the farm, and lives there with Kathy where he helps in many aspects of the farming operation. He frequently can be found mowing and weed whacking, making deliveries and pickups, and assisting in any work which needs to be done. Marvin is retired after 39 years as an obstetrician/gynecologist in Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Michigan and its medical school. He can be heard playing trumpet at the Phoenixville Farmers' Market before Christmas.
The Farm Team
Aaron Deery came to the farm with a strong background in cooking. He learned from one of the best chefs in Phoenixville, Andre Deery of Majollica.
Aaron leads the farm team with his tireless enthusiasm and love of food, farming and the Eagles!
He spent 3 years learning the ropes at the farm and mastered everything from seeding to irrigation and harvest before taking a leadership role .
We are thrilled to have Aaron lead the farm team!
Mike Matzik joined the farm team at the end of the summer and we couldn't be happier to have him on our team! Love of food seems to be a constant at the farm and Mike also has a very strong background in food. He studied culinary arts and worked his way through several restaurants including Cerise in Bryn Mawr.
He has some growing experience, but has come to us to learn more. He has already become in integral part of the team and we are looking forward to a great season.