About Farm and History

Family         

Milky Way Farm has been home to the Matthews family for four generations. We’ve lived here, farmed the land, and raised milk cows.  We’ve hosted school groups to educate children as they experience our working farm, and we’ve hosted farm to table dinners to remind adults how great it is to eat wholesome food. Twenty eight years ago, Sam and Melba Matthews decided to open the farm one month a year to anyone who wanted to walk to the field and pick their own pumpkins. In October, every Saturday or Sunday, rain or shine, you can come to Milky Way Farm, head for the fields and look for your pumpkin. It’s now become a tradition for grandparents, parents and children to meet at the farm, walk to the fields, pick their pumpkins, ride on the hay wagon, walk the maze, and buy ice cream. When customers asked whether the ice cream was made from our cow’s milk, we decided it should be – and we established the Chester Springs Creamery. The making and selling of ice cream is managed by Carolyn Matthews Eaglehouse and her husband Lou. When people who like to know where their food comes from asked if they could buy pasteurized milk and eggs from Milky Way Farm and enjoy Farm to Table experiences, we said “yes”! Thomas and Jenna Matthews are now making that happen.  And when they asked if we could do a cooperative arrangement providing fresh produce from various local farmers, we said “yes” again, and Tim and Jane Matthews Ferris are making that possible. The family works together supporting our ventures, educating the community and sustaining the farm for generations to come. We look forward to welcoming you to Milky Way Farm so you can experience the many ways we’re trying to preserve an American tradition. Our family email is farmer@milkywayfarm.com.
 ~ The Matthews Family

History

Milky Way Farm has been owned and operated as a dairy farm in the Matthews Family since 1902, although it has been a farmstead since the 1760’s. Before European settlement, we believe Native Americans lived here and grew crops on this land. There are many water springs which the Native Americans could have utilized for drinking water, and arrowheads have been found on the hill near the farmhouse. The farmstead consists of 103 acres of land. The existing field stone buildings on the property were built between 1790 and 1823. The two-story spring house was built in the 1790’s to protect the spring as the drinking water source on the first floor and provide storage and extra living quarters upstairs. Tax records indicate that the barn and house were built in the early 1820’s. The house and the barn share similar style of support pillars indicative of the buildings built during that era in Chester County. The barn was built into the side of a hill facing south and commonly referred to as a bank barn which is typical in Pennsylvania. Bank barns enable equipment to be driven and stored in both levels of the barn. The farm received its current name, Milky Way Farm, from Frances Matthews. On a summer night in 1947, he noticed the unusually bright stars of the Milky Way galaxy and determined the name appropriate for our dairy farm. The family grows corn, oats and alfalfa hay to feed the 30 Holstein-Friesian milking cows as well as the 30 young stock of calves and heifers. Also living on the farm are sheep, pigs and chickens which provide food for the family. Most of the milk from our cows is sold to Land O’ Lakes Cooperative for processing into various dairy products. The remainder we pasteurize and bottle for sale at Milky Way Farm or use to make ice cream for Chester Springs Creamery. In the mid 1980’s, we began growing and selling pumpkins and squash to the public in October, as well as giving farm tours to school children and families, and hosting birthday parties year-round. In this way, we share our agricultural experiences with those who do not live on a family farm. In 1997, we placed the farm in the Chester County Farmland Preservation program, enabling us to continue this family farm heritage. In 1998, we launched this website to promote understanding of dairy farming and share Milky Way Farm endeavors with the public. In 2001, we opened Chester Springs Creamery, manufacturing and retailing ice cream made from the milk of our cows. Six years later, we began selling milk, eggs, vegetables and meat products to the community to promote farm fresh products at your table. We believe in sustainable agriculture and promote education activities for young and old to support our farm into the next century and preserve the American tradition of dairy farming.