History of Plainfield Township
Plainfield Township, which is comprised of a total area of 24.98 square miles, has a rich history of farming dating back to the earliest settlers. As the County of Northampton was defined and established in 1752, it included all of Eastern Pennsylvania both North and Northwest of Bucks County. Jacob Hubler, and Lanart Carne, were appointed by the Court to oversee the Plainfield Township roads in 1755. In December of 1762, Jacob Hubler, was the first of twelve residents to sign a petition to present to the Court of Quarter sessions held in Easton for the County of Northampton. The petitioners’ request to conduct a survey to set the boundaries of Plainfield Township was approved and recorded by the Court on December 24, 1762. The name Plainfield was given to the Township because it was devoid of trees. The Indians had set fire to the area to clear it for driving game through Wind Gap for harvesting.
Today, much of the land is still in possession of farmers thanks to an aggressive farmland preservation program. Plainfield Township has the second most preserved farmland in Northampton County at nearly 2,500 acres as of the end of 2015.
The preserved farmland to date as well as farms still in operation in Plainfield Township gives the municipality a distinct visual appeal as a rural community with forested areas, limited development and an attractive rural residential living environment.
Plainfield Township participates as a partner in the Northampton County Farmland Preservation Program, which presents an opportunity to preserve farmland by placing it in agricultural security areas and purchasing conservation easements from interested landowners. To date, just over 5,000 acres of farmland are still in an agricultural security area.
The farming economy in Northampton County has historically been, and still is, strong and visible. There is much active farmland, as well as agricultural businesses which process farm products, or sell products and services to farmers. The dynamic population of the Lehigh Valley provides opportunities for farming to thrive. Conventional farms continue to produce commodities like feed corn, wheat, and beef, while newer types of farming have a significant place in the county as well. A Northampton County resident can find products like organic vegetables, nursery stock, apples, and more, right within the County’s borders.