A working community is at the heart of our model. By working together, members of Fountain House regain confidence, make friends, learn new skills, and make progress towards achieving their employment and educational goals. The opportunity to be a part of a successful working community is restorative and builds dignity and self-esteem.
Fountain House members who venture to the farm take part in all aspects of the work including animal husbandry, the fiber project, gardening and the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings. Yet it is not only members who have jobs to do. The trees produce apples for cider and the chickens lay eggs for food. Then Fountain House members bring the bounty back to Manhattan to be prepared by our culinary unit.
The farm also provides an escape from city life and a peaceful environment for members to enjoy. Located in Montague, New Jersey, abutting Stokes State Forest and High Point State Park, the farm creates a unique forest retreat that not only allows one to decompress but to engage with nature in ways not available in the metro areas.
On the Farm
Fountain House Farm at High Point is home to an array of animals including alpacas, sheep, and chickens. One of the most important tasks for members at the farm is to care for these animals and to keep them happy and healthy.
Garden & Orchard
Two acres of the farm are devoted to growing a variety of produce. Half of this is cultivated each year for vegetables and flowers and half contains the orchard from which we produce gallons of delicious apple cider each fall. The effort needed to plan, prepare, maintain and harvest a garden is huge and has involved a large and diverse group of Fountain House members. Our produce is grown without chemicals. Whilst not certified organic, we use only the manure provided by our alpacas, llamas and chickens to condition our soil. During the growing season we supplement this with a few other organic products to ensure that our work does not go unrewarded with a poor crop. All of our hard work is then sent back to the main house in New York not only to provide meals for other members but also jobs at the house.
The alpacas are sheared once a year, the first cut is sorted, skirted, packed and shipped to various fiber mills where it is cleaned, spun and returned to us as soft luxurious yarn. The second cut is sent through the same process and shipped to Tapetes de Lana and New England Alpaca Fiber Pool where it is made into products such as hats, scarves, gloves, blankets and sweaters. Local spinners and knitters are assisting us in the production of beautiful garments which are sold alongside other alpaca fiber products at Sussex Farmers Market during the months of August to November each year.