Hungry World Farm is a new organization with a not-for-profit status. It received Plow Creek Farm and transitions 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 on July 5, 2017.
Hungry World Farm focuses on the following activities: educating people about food production, distribution, and consumption; addressing spiritual hunger in people’s’ lives; training local and international interns in farming techniques; and providing retreats for holistic growth and health. The transition officially took place on December 9, 2017.
Plow Creek Fellowship, an intentional Christian community established in 1971, closed 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 at 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 to 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 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 festival with inspiring teachings for more than seven-hundred campers.
One of Plow Creek Fellowship’s most well known members was writer and pastor, Rich Foss, who, for a decade, wrote a weekly column in the Bureau Valley Chief until 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 offshoot ministry of Willow Springs Mennonite Church.