Returning Home Farm Photos

Returning Home Farm Pictures. For those of you familiar with the layout of Penn Forest, the Returning Home Farm section is located on a 3-acre parcel to the southwest of Return Road and the main entrance. The goats will have easy access to the rest of the property when they start clearing brush in the spring.

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Returning Home Farm Pictures 

For those of you familiar with the layout of Penn Forest, the Returning Home Farm section is located on a 3-acre parcel to the southwest of Return Road and the main entrance. The goats will have easy access to the rest of the property when they start clearing brush in the spring.

Southwest corner of the barn.
East Elevation – Goat Paddock on the Right
Barn Office
Interior – Barn Office Door – Hayloft Above
Goat Paddock

Meet the Goats, Chickens and Ducks 

Polish Hens – Cora and Lora- They just joined our flock of 17 mixed breed chickens
Nigerian Dwarfs – Madi, Tourmaline, Munch and Skunk
Boer – Scout
Indian Runner Ducks, Jill and Jack (l to r)

Sophie, our English Shepherd Puppy.

English Shepherds are a breed of general purpose farms dogs. They can herd goats and ot

her livestock, rid the farm of of vermin, chase off predators and still be loving family dogs. Sophie was born on October 23rd and is already a big part of the Returning Home Farm family.


Blacksmithing at Penn Forest

Blacksmithing is an ancient art that’s environmentally friendly. It allows the smith to create new  tools, artworks, machine or architectural parts and other metal objects of utility and beauty from found scraps of metal. It uses only a small amount of energy to heat the metal, so the smith can hammer it to a new purpose.  Penn Hills resident, Ben Barron, 17, has been blacksmithing for a couple of years. He wants to teach people his trade at Returning Home Farm. Ben’s mother, Anita Weingarten, applied for a Sprout Fund grant and was awarded a $1000 grant to buy an anvil and forge. We built this Education Shed so people can share their skills with others, starting with Ben’s blacksmithing classes. There will be 4 sessions of 2 classes each starting on April 2nd. Let Pete know if you’re interested.

Improvements to Our Cremated Remains Scattering Area

Some of you might have seen this December 4th article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about Penn Forest. It was written by Penn Hills resident, Tim Means. Tim is also a landscaper and gardener, and he has volunteered to spruce up our cremated remains scattering area with new plants. And he wants to build a stone wall this spring along one edge of the area. The wall will be an attractive feature, and the top stones can be engraved with the names and dates of those scattered there. Right now he’s looking for a source of free or low-cost rocks to build the wall. If you know of any, please contact Tim at

Memorial Tree Planting

Every autumn we plant trees at Penn Forest. This serves the dual purpose of helping with our reforestation work and it gives families a chance to memorialize someone buried at Penn Forest. This year, on November 7th, about 20 people participated. Photographs are included in Tim Means PG article.


Why and How to Plan Your Own Funeral

We’ve done two kinds of burials at Penn Forest: those that were planned and those that weren’t. When the deceased has planned his or her funeral, the family just has to follow the plan, it’s still sad, but much less stressful. Give your family the gift of a funeral plan. It’s easy. Just write down your answer to these four questions:

  1. How do you want your body handled? Cremation, green burial, conventional burial?
  2. What funeral home will handle this?
  3. What rituals or ceremonies do you want after you die?
  4. What funds are available to pay for what you want and how will your family access them?

Once you’ve written down your answers to these four questions, make copies of your plan and give to everyone in your family who might have a say in planning your funeral. It is a valuable gift and a kindness to them all.
Learn More About Planning A Funeral.

Next Death Cafe – on Groundhog’s Day, February 2nd

The first Pittsburgh area Death Café was held November 2nd in Penn Hills and had a turn-out of about 25 participants. The next one will be in Highland Park at the Union Project at 6:30 on Groundhog’s Day. At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group, not a grief support or counselling session.  – See more HERE and sign up.


Did You Know?

You signed up for this newsletter because you are interested in green burial at Penn Forest, so I’m sure you know that we don’t allow embalming with toxic chemicals, we bury people in biodegradable coffins or shrouds and we don’t use burial vaults. But did you know..

You can have a viewing and visitation at a funeral home before a green burial. Or if you don’t want to use a funeral home at all, we can arrange that too. By chilling the body, green burial can occur up to 10 days after death. You can be an organ donor and still have a green burial. You can be cremated and have your ashes interred at Penn Forest in a biodegradable container.

The choice is yours. Contact Penn Forest for more information and other options to help you make the best choices for you and your family.

Green Burial Questions?

You’ve got questions…we’ve got answers!

Check out our Green Burial Frequently Asked Questions.
Get answers to questions about Penn Forest here>>>

Do you have a question that was not answered in the FAQ’s? Email us and we will be happy to answer it for you.

Penn Forest Natural Burial Park is Pennsylvania’s first exclusively green burial ground and is committed to creating a beautiful burial park where nature is at the forefront. Penn Forest is located 13 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh on 35 acres in Penn Hills (close to Oakmont and Verona). The burial ground is bordered by Plum Creek and is just a mile upstream from the Allegheny River.

Visit our website for more information.

Copyright © 2016 Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, All rights reserved.