FLP Freedom Acres Farm - Our Story

Donald Gary Sherman and Donna Holbrook Appel Sherman are the founders of Freedom Loving Patriots (a non-profit PMA) and FLP Acres LLC (a farm in Lebanon Township, NJ). We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce ourselves and let you know how you can help us survive, grow and save our patriot farm.  

We are striving to be a model community built on faith, family, freedom, and food
Our goal is to be a food and education hub in the Northwest New Jersey area. We need your assistance and support to achieve our goal by providing the opportunity for the local community to help grow and support our farm and other local farmers.  Appreciating where your food comes from, knowing how challenging and time consuming it is to grow and raise our own food, is critical in today’s challenging environment.  Processed fast foods are killing us. Let food be thy medicine has never been more relevant than it is today.

Our six and one-third acres farm is host to the food that is grown on our property through a aquaponics system and via traditional in ground methods, year-round.  We also want to support other local organic style farms that need a place to sell their goods.  Team effort is of the utmost importance to us.  United we stand, divided we will fall.

We are personally involved with growing/raising/selling includes but is not limited to vegetables, fruits, herbs, fish, poultry, eggs, and lamb. We offer freeze dried meals and meals ready to eat, dehydrated and frozen foods including sourdough breads and pizza, organic pet foods, olive oils, honey, health care items and more.  

We need financial and volunteer support to keep the farm operating.  Without assistance, the farm will not survive.  Our option at this point is to either find ways to maintain what we have built in New Jersey or sell it and move to Tennessee or another state that supports our vision of working together toward a self-sustaining community of like-minded patriots and people with vision, building a better tomorrow.  

Who Are We?
Don has been a civil/environmental engineer for the past 45 plus years, He was born and raised in the upstate New York area.  He co-owns Soups On Main and the farm with Donna.   

Donna has been a holistic health coach for over 20 years and co-owns Soups On Main and the farm with Don. She lived in the Hunterdon County NJ area until 1980 and returned with Don, moving to Hackettstown in 2016 to care for Donna’s father who was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.

Soups On! Eat Healthy Stay Healthy
With Donna having been a health coach and understanding the importance that food plays on the health of society, we wanted to help our community to thrive and get through these trying times. After various challenges that we experienced at our soup store in Hackettstown, we became acutely aware that buying even “organic” food didn’t mean we were getting the best food. The “organic” label has been demonized and corrupted. We quickly realized that fresh food that was not sourced locally, usually meant our food had been harvested weeks or even months prior to us receiving it often times ripening off the vine instead of on the vine as nature intended. Consumers need to understand that food begins to die the moment it is harvested. The fresher you can purchase fresh food, the better the retention of the vitamin and mineral content. And, if the food has not fully matured, it isn’t given the opportunity to come to full flavor or have the full nutritional value that it is capable of producing.

We Bought the Farm
We met the former owner of the Aquaponic Farm in 2018 while looking for organic produce for our Soups On Main restaurant. We fell in love with Mike’s vision and the quality of the food that he was producing. When we discovered that it was for sale in 2020, we were so sad that we started to inquire into owning and operating the facility ourselves. We could see the writing on the wall with current day events approaching quickly and wanted to be part of a solution to the challenges that we saw coming. While it has been a big hurdle for us to jump, the efforts of our labor are starting to show. We are gifting you with some of those efforts today. The lettuce is the first to be harvested from our “grow house” as we like to refer to the building that sits next to our revitalized farm home.

Enter FLP Acres Freedom Farm
Don and I had a vision. The farm was named FLP Acres as a commitment to America's freedom loving patriots that have taken on the task of helping to save our Country and specifically our community, our families. In our 8,000 sq.ft. aquaponic growhouse, we’re up to roughly 2,000 organically raised tilapia and over 3,000 plants consisting of over two dozen varieties of vegetables and herbs.  Outside we built a shelter for the sheep that we protected for a nearby farmer that was being ravaged by a bear.  And we just completed our second chicken coop and shelter for our flock chickens. We also have our little farm dog and barn cat although we have yet to raise the barn. 

Soups On! Update. Moving to the Farm
Don & Donna opened Soups On Main located in Hackettstown in December of 2018.  They purchased FLP Freedom Farm in July of 2021.  After nearly 5 years in business, Soups On Main will be closing its doors in Hackettstown and moving equipment and prepared food production to our Farm at the end of July 2023.  With the current economic downturn and the demands that owning a farm have presented, there is no way Don and Donna can continue to maintain both businesses successfully. The decision was made to focus solely on the farm in order to build a better future for our community and the children of tomorrow.  

Visit the Farm to Shop, Grow, and Learn
Come visit our Farm Market and “Growhouse” for a tour or to buy just-picked, organically-grown produce at 70 Mackenzie Rd in Hampton/Lebanon Township. If you want to learn more, have something you want us to plant for your home or restaurant, let us know. If there is something you’d love to put on our store shelves or have a trade that we can use, have questions, anything you want to share, you can find us in the Growhouse or inside our farm store.

On Sundays, volunteers check-in and choose what they want to work on from the weekly list posted in the growhouse or on our website www.FLPAcres.com.  Chores include caring for or harvesting fish, growhouse maintenance, tending chickens and sheep, mowing fields/lawns, collecting firewood, and helping out in the farm store, etc.  Along with volunteering, we will be offering classes and internship programs on aquaponic growing.  Weather permitting, pot luck dinners on the patio or just sitting around the fire pit have been known to wrap up the day of volunteering.  

Agriculturally supported community model
We’d love to be a model for other communities to follow.  Already we’ve got the farm up and running, producing nutrient dense, organically raised fish, produce, and poultry, year-round.   It took the help of many FLP volunteers to restart the growhouse and make the farmhouse a home with a commercial kitchen, farm store, healing center, office and multi-media training areas.  In the event of a disaster, we will be able to house many patriots keeping a roof over their heads  and food in their bellies.  

We’ve hardened the power and water supply to be able to grow and store food for extended periods of time.  We added a second dual-fuel generator, a solar power system, and a second well-water pump that can be manually operated. We recently added a freeze dryer and a food dehydrator for long-term food preservation and are starting to further increase our food reserves.

We need your support. Talk to us. Join us. We are all in this together.
Our costs for organic seed, feed, materials, supplies, and equipment are roughly $50/day or $1,500/month. Local taxes, fees, licenses, and insurance are about $60/day or $1,800/month. Energy remains our biggest cost to keeping the aquaponics growhouse running and the farm operational, at an average of $70/day or $2,100/month and we can really use your help. 

In addition to focusing on energy cost reductions, by expanding our solar energy system and converting our propane boiler propane to solar/electric, we also need to focus on:

1.    Fencing the entire property so that sheep can graze more freely and wild animals are kept at bay.
2.    Acquiring farm vehicles such as a delivery vehicle, tractor, ATV, fuel and storage tank, etc.
3.    Building construction and maintenance for various projects such as – building a barn/education center, building additional sheds, coops, road side farmstand, etc.
4.    Grow house upgrades to maximize efficiency and increase production

5.   Planting a fruit orchard
6.    Creating outdoor raised vegetable beds to help support what we can’t grow indoors such as potatoes, carrots, spinach and other “in-the-dirt” fresh food products

WE NEED YOUR HELP, YOUR SUPPORT, if we are to continue.  Please consider donating or contact us regarding refinancing, purchasing farm stock, brainstorming toward other options.  

We are striving to be a reminder and an example to other communities as to the inalienable power granted to us by God. It is our constitutional duty as Americans to protect and uphold our birth rights. I assure you, America and our small community, our children of today, the adults of tomorrow, are worth the effort.

God Bless You, Your Families, and God Bless America!
Don & Donna