Save the Farm- Community Garden

                                             Please Help
                                         SAVE the FARM 

Hello Good People!

Because of you we Saved the Farm!!!! On March 17, 2015 we purchased Camel's Hump Farm on the Johnston Estate to use as a community environmental education and skills training center and community garden!
We worked very hard this summer restoring the  buildings and grounds.  We provided free environmental and hands-on skills education to our kids with special needs, autism spectrum, Biology students. preschoolers and Scouts.
Our volunteer base is growing, but so are our deer! We need a tall deer- exclusion fence so that our community members can raise healthy food that they could nototherwise afford. 

Food is essential! Please help with a donation or if you have any fencing or materials please let us know and we will pick them up!

Thank you for all of your help and come visit us on the farm if you are ever in the Bethlehem area!


In 2012 the  farm was under agreement of sale to be paved over for 420 apartments and a strip mall. 

The Friends of Johnston, Inc. is a grassroots nonprofit that formed with the mission to protect, preserve, restore and sustainably reuse the Estate of our first mayor, Archibald Johnston, to meet some of the most pressing needs of our community. 

Rescuing this property took a lot of hard work, caring people and a series of small miracles:

Miracle 1: A handful of citizens of all ages including students and the elderly came together and attended public meetings to defend the property.
The government listened and they did not change the zoning to allow for commercial development!

Miracle 2: The developer stepped away. 

Miracle 3: The owners of the property chose to place their land in conservation even though they had been offered 3x more money by the developer!  

Miracle 4: The County,  State,  local businesses and neighbors believed in the merits of the project so much they raised $2.1 million dollars in grants and donations to purchase the farm!

Miracle 5: December 30th we received a check for $69,030.00!!!! 
          Our Plan is to Sustainably Reuse the Farm as  a Community Center for Nature, Education and the Arts

We think saving and reusing the farm is more valuable to our community than another strip mall.  We will:
             * Grow food for the poor,
             *Provide care for our children of all abilities
            * Provide educational hands-on experiences
               that teach practical skills in  farming, building  
               trades and engineering as the students help
               care for the farm 
          * Restore the  native habitat and provide trails and          
              for recreation,
          * Preserve and teach our heritage,
          *Create jobs for teachers, landscapers and farmers 

The 1836 Historic Pennsylvania Double Decker Bank Barn is a one of a kind in great shape. We will reuse it for farming, animals and events like barn dances and weddings.

Our children will learn about life, compassion and responsibility caring for the animals on the farm. 

We will reuse the1722 Farmhouse as the Environmental Education Center specializing in nature based early childhood education  and community meeting space.

We will renovate the Guest House as an opportunity for our Vocational Technical students to do a real project that will help build their job skills and benefit their peers.
The Guest House will also be used for our afterschool mentor program for students at-risk of failure,  summer camp for kids with special needs and even an overnight cabin for our Scouts! 

We will reuse the 44 acres of farmland as a combination of organic community gardens, a food forest, and animal habitat with paths that connect to the adjacent 55 acre Housenick  park and 36 acre conservation area.

Even our youngest friends will learn how to grow...

  and try new things!

We will not only donate a portion of our crops to local foodbanks, we will also work with our volunteers and cook what we grow so that everyone will go home with something that they can eat or save in their freezer.

The rest of the farmland will be naturalized back to meadow and forest to provide habitat for our native animals- American Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, Red-Tailed Fox and Whitetail Deer and pathways for people to  the animals.  

Our Scouts will learn first hand about nature, and feel a sense of pride as they help design and plant along the paths to the park.
Our high school students will learn how to apply all of the math and science they've learned and have opportunities to beinvolved in research projects and internships.

This is a valuable community-based effort to save the Camel’s Hump Farm and the larger Johnston Estate park complex from commercial development.

We have a once-in-a lifetime chance to save something for our children that will otherwise be gone forever. Please help us to make a lasting positive impact on our community and build a legacy that we can all be proud of.

Any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated in helping us to fulfill this very worthy mission. For more information or to make pledges go to our website: 


Victoria Bastidas

President, Friends of Johnston, Inc.

1311 Santee Mill Road

Bethlehem, PA 18017

[email redacted]  

              Preserving Our Past to Serve Our Future
                                       SAVE the FARM
  • Edward Shaughnessy 
    • $250 
    • 76 mos
  • Harry Walker 
    • $60 
    • 76 mos
  • Lindsay Napolitano 
    • $15 
    • 77 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 77 mos
  • Harry D Walker 
    • $60 
    • 77 mos
See all


Vicky Bastidas 
Bethlehem, PA
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