Plow Creek Fellowship Closing at the end of 2017

Plow Creek Fellowship, an intentional Christian community established in 1971, is announcing the close of its operations at the end of 2017. At its peak the community had up to a hundred participants in worship and common meals. Plow Creek Fellowship has been widely known for its U-Pick Strawberries and its sales of garden-fresh produce in area farmers markets.

Plow Creek Fellowship members shared in a common treasury. It was closely affiliated with Plow Creek Mennonite Church, a member of the Mennonite Church, USA. The Fellowship was guided by a commitment share life, needs and resources according to the teachings of Jesus and the practice of the Early Church as told in Acts 2-4. Peace-making and solidarity with refugees have gained the community both respect and criticism. Over the years, many weary city-dwellers took retreats at Plow Creek, appreciating the natural beauty of its woodland trails, starry nights, campfires, and good pot-luck food. Plow Creek Fellowship was the site of several summer camp meetings for Shalom Mission Communities of which Plow Creek Fellowship was a member. One Camp meeting in 2008 hosted a music fest with inspiring teachings for more than seven-hundred campers.

One of Plow Creek Fellowships most well known members was writer and pastor, Rich Foss, who, for a decade, wrote a weekly column in theBureau Valley Chiefuntil his death in January of 2017. Rich’s passing, plus the deaths of David Gale and Jim Harnish in late 2016, left only a dozen members who concluded that it was time to close up community operations and pass the property on to another non-profit ministry. This turned out to be Hungry World Farm, an off-shoot of Willow Springs Mennonite Church.

Hungry World Farm is a new organization applying for not-for-profit status. It will receive the Plow Creek Farm and transition it into a new ministry utilizing the facilities and farmland.The idea of Hungry World Farm began through local conversations and a review of other farm-based ministries that teach about growing and consuming healthy food. Dennis Zehr of Coneflower Farm, Tiskilwa, and Calvin Zehr, Pastor of Willow Springs Mennonite Church, Tiskilwa, created a proposal which Plow Creek Fellowship accepted.

Hungry World Farm will focus on the following activities: educating people about food production, distribution, and consumption; addressing spiritual hunger in peoples’ lives; training local and international interns in farming techniques; and providing retreats for holistic growth and health.The transition will officially take place at the end of 2017.

If you would like to explore ways to partner in this new organization, or for more information please contact Cal Zehr, 815-646-4819, hungryworldfarm@gmail.com.

(Plow Creek Bakery will be running until the fall of 2017. If you would like to know more, please follow the link to the bakery).