A freestanding barn is headed to the Trailside Organic Farm at Cornwall Manor’s Woods Campus.

Ground was broken on the new 3,840-square-foot structure at a ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 29, according to a press release from the retirement community.

Beers + Hoffman designed the barn and Arthur Funk & Sons will be the general contractor on the project. Completion is expected by early spring.

The first floor of the structure will have a “packhouse” area, two walk-in coolers, storage, work areas, and restrooms. The second floor will feature a multi-use space, storage, and restrooms.

The farm, launched in partnership with the Rodale Institute in 2021, is located alongside the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail, and is nearby to the upcoming Clubhouse at the Woods, a 27,500-square-foot and approximately $13 million project which will see a clubhouse and apartment buildings built nearby.

According to the release, 2023 goals for the farm include completion of the barn, incorporating irrigation lines, possibly constructing a second “hoop house” (also known as a caterpillar tunnel, a structure to extend the growing season), doubling the growing capacity from one to two acres, and continuing to build healthy soil structure.

Cornwall Manor president & CEO Harry McConnell said in th release that Cornwall Manor is seeing the positive impact of having hyper-local produce from the farm available in its campus dining areas, and looks forward to expanding produce selections and educational sessions once the barn is completed.

“We are pleased to have this partnership with the Rodale Institute and fortunate to have Trailside Farm onsite at Cornwall Manor,” said McConnell.

Rodale Institute chief impact officer Jeff Tkach said that the institute is partnering with Cornwall Manor to provide senior populations with fresh, organic, and healthy food to help extend longevity.

“Through this innovative partnership with Cornwall Manor, we can create a new paradigm for continuing care by connecting soil health with human health,” said Tkach.

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