Meet Amishman Elias King, Chester County, PA’s “Farmer of the Year”

I had the pleasure to speak with Michaelle Bond of last week on an article on Amish farmer Elias King.

King is in the news because he was chosen as Chester County, Pennsylvania’s “Farmer of the Year” (Chester County is a part of the Lancaster County Amish settlement).

He is the first Amish farmer selected for the honor since the award came into being in 1989.

Photo by Bradley C. Bower/

King’s farm is known as Green Ridge farm, or “King’s Pumpkin Farm” in autumn. More:

The King family started its pumpkin business in 2003 after growing the gourds for a neighboring farm that no longer needed them. The family decided to keep them to sell, since transporting them miles away would be impractical with a horse and buggy. Pumpkins became a key part of the farm’s identity.

The Kings’ farm offers hayrides, apple cider doughnuts and other fall staples, and a petting zoo, which started with a pet goat in 2003 and has grown to three-quarters of an acre of goats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, and potbellied pigs, available for feeding from May to October.

Photo by Bradley C. Bower/

Elias and his wife Rebecca are childless. And so Elias appreciates the visitors to his farm:

Elias King said watching the children play on the Parkesburg farm during the fall gave him deep satisfaction. “It fills that void, because I don’t have children of my own,” said King, 37, who lives with his wife, Rebecca, in a house next to the farm. “To fill that craving, we’re doing what we’re doing.”

Hopefully they’ll have even more such visitors after this article. Read the profile in full and see more photos here.

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    1. Alex Knisely

      Childless and not adopting

      Are Amish families discriminated against when “English” social-service agencies make children available for adoption?

    2. Best summers ever

      After spending a few summers with an.amish family in Lebanon Pennsylvania i had a deep respect and love for the family. I would have no problem living as they do for the rest of my this was back in the early 80s and still today those visits have a positive impact in my life. I recently reached out to that family that I spent the Summers with and was able to contact them and they are still just as nice and this kind as they were to me back then in fact they had said that the door was always open for me if and when I ever wanted to visit and I extended the invitation to them as well.

    3. Adopting Children

      We know a Christian family that has been trying to adopt through the official channels but they were told these children are beyond hope and have enough of a challenge without being raised in a Christian home!

      We also know Mennonite couples that have adopted children – my Son and Daughter’s father-in-law was adopted. Close friends of ours have adopted a son but were not able to keep him in the church. It appears to be a real struggle for the adopted ones. We have too many plain people that are too condescending or whatever; certainly not helpful. Another friend said you can’t successfully raise adopted children. if we have that attitude, it won’t be easy for those who do try.

    4. Alice Mary

      I doubt Mr. King seeks any kind of praise, but I’ll still congratulate him on being the kind of person who was singled out for this award. If I could, I would certainly visit his farm. How wonderful that he and his wife have found a way to “fill that void” of being childless by providing a family-oriented destination for visitors every autumn. We should all learn by their example to “bloom where we’re planted” and to accept our lot in life with grace.

      Alice Mary

    5. A Great Family

      Elias I feel it is very nice for what you and your wife are doing in the fall for families to visit and get to know the type of man and wife you have are. Is it possible to visit befor fall if we can. We visit Lancaster county alot and enjoy it very much there.

      Thank you again for helping us to understand and showing us how we can help fill a void for you and your wife.


      Ron Wallace