Nine Pines Farm is a small family farm that raises grazing poultry, pork and fresh cut flowers in York, Pennsylvania. James and Becky Cornwell started the farm in 2016 and they like to say that this is where happy “meat” is healthy. The chickens and pigs are raised in open spaces with access to fresh grass supplemented by a feed ration that is not GMO. The farm does not use any chemical pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, hormones or antibiotics with any of its products.
We talked to James Cornwell, who is also a marine veteran, about his love of agriculture and teaching the next generation where their food comes from. Plus, what goodies Nine Pines Farm has in store for customers as we head into spring.
Keller-Brown: Describe your background and mission. Why do you do as you do?
James Cornwell: I have been drawn to agriculture all my life. From working on my family’s farm as a child and through high school, and now to running my own farm, it has always been a part of me. I have always had a cold to grow food and raise animals. Even when I was not involved in agriculture, I read and researched various agricultural methods and new ideas and techniques to bring agriculture to where it is today.
Our mission at Nine Pines Farm is simple. We want to keep the small family farm model alive. We truly believe that a smaller business is better for the quality of the product, the service and ultimately better for the land.
Keller-Brown: What do you like most about providing food sources for the greater area of York, Pennsylvania?
James Cornwell: What I like most is the teaching aspect of our farm. As a society, many of us have become so far away from where our food comes from. I like answering questions about how and why we do what we do. I especially like working with children. My favorite thing to do is show the kids our animals. They ask the most honest questions and always have an extremely inquisitive nature.
Keller-Brown: March is National Agriculture Month. What do you wish the larger society knew about farmers?
James Cornwell: It depends a bit on the definition of a farmer. The small farm disappears in the United States and is replaced by larger, company-owned businesses, where there is no farmer or their family running the business. This type of farm can provide good, nutritious food, but I think things like quality and transparency in how animals are raised become a problem for some consumers and shed a bad light on all of us. Do not believe every movie you watch on Netflix or post on Facebook.
I can talk to the small, family-owned farm and say that in the end, farmers are just ordinary people trying to earn a living honestly. I would be willing to say that they are the most passionate people in their business, in ways that other family owned companies would not understand.
Keller-Brown: Which local businesses do you like to support and why?
James Cornwell: I try to support local businesses as much as physically possible. My favorite business to support is perhaps Cashman’s Ace Hardware in East Berlin. It is an Ace Iron Store that always has what I need, and their customer service and help there can not be beat! I find this with all the smaller, independently owned hardware stores. There is such a difference in service and quality of what they sell that even if it is a few pennies more for a product, you save time, and time is money!
Keller-Brown: Do you have any upcoming events or promotions that you would like to promote?
James Cornwell: Spring flowers will come to mind. We will have freshly cut flowers here in late March, early April, depending on the weather. We welcome spring with flowers, and it seems that many people like to buy them because spring provides warmer weather. At Nine Pines, we usually offer bunches in front of our barn, or you can order arrangements online from our online store.
Egg subscriptions begin the first week of May. This is a great way to get fresh pasture eggs from us. Our eggs are not only fresh but packed with more nutrition than regular eggs from the grocery store.
We will have fresh chicken available for pre-order from the first week of May. This is my favorite time of year. We start to get into the swing and get to offer our pasture-raised chicken fresh just outside the yard. The best thing you can do is contact us either at Facebook, Instagram or call or email. We can add you to our newsletter where we keep customers aware of offers we have going on.
Keller-Brown: What do you like most about being a Keller-Brown customer?
James Cornwell: Service, service, service. I can not tell you how much service means to me. Everyone I have worked with at Keller-Brown has always bent over backwards to answer all my questions and get things done when needed. I would not go with anyone else, no matter what.
Keller-Brown: Why should farm owners get farm insurance?
James Cornwell: I can not think of any other business that has more variables or risks. Having good farm insurance is the best way to gain peace of mind for your business and reduce some, if not all, of those risks. Fortunately, I have not had to file any claims, but I know that if I did, we would have a much better place financially than if we did not have insurance. This makes me feel better at night.
Get started this spring with Nine Pines Farm!
In addition to selling a variety of delicious meats such as breakfast sausage links, sweet Italian sausages and flavored chicken quarters (lemon pepper and honey sweet herb!), Mrs. Becky offers seasonal workshops for everything from flower crowns and floral jewelry to how to plant a terrarium – perfect for welcoming in the warmer weather. Stay up to date with the Cornwell family and the farm by contacting them on social media using the links below.
3301 E Berlin Rd, York, PA
Phone: (717) 659-6527