Meet Nala Bloom: Wyncote Farms’ volunteer-turned-manager & farm life enthusiast

Wyncote Farms came to life in the spring of 2022, and manager Nala Bloom has helped make it blossom.

Nala was appointed the Farms’ manager in January 2023. She started out as a volunteer last spring, and says the exposure and learning curve have resulted in a “complete lifestyle change.”

“Last year was the beginning of my journey as a farmer. I learned how to tend to the land,” she said. “I oversee all of the daily tasks to maintain the land, the livestock, and oversee the development and growth of the farm.”

The land is co-operated by Wyncote Academy, a private middle/high school in Elkins Park. Nala’s role has been a connecting piece within both entities, as well as that of a learner, a teacher, a nurturer, and sometimes even a beekeeper.

“I’ve been working with the Academy, and we’ve developed an incredible curriculum. The kids are able to tend to the animals and the things we grow, and that’s been one of my dreams: to be able to share farming with others.”

“It’s come with a lot of responsibility, but I also feel truly grateful to be responsible for the food we’re growing and the animals we’re caring for. I’m a student in nature who’s growing right along with them,” Nala said.

The farm has also organized a Community Supported Agriculture program, through which students deliver bags of produce to members of the community on a weekly basis. Then, Wyncote Farms and the Academy teach the recipients how to prepare those foods at home.

“It’s a full-cycle process,” she said. “Now that we’re heading into the spring season, we’re looking to expand our agriculture program, grow more food, and broaden the amount of people we’re able to distribute to, particularly Philly’s food deserts.”

Wyncote Farms recently held its last Winter Market of the season at 7827 Old York Road, Elkins Park, just behind St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Nick Lodise, Wyncote Farms’ lead organizer, expects the market to return next year.

Nala expects to be there, too.

For more on Wyncote Farms, you can visit their Facebook page. For more on Wyncote Academy, you can visit their website.