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watchful eye of one of the feathered inhabitants of Treworgy Family
Orchards, Ingrid Whitehouse, a youngster attending summer day camp,
participates in the farm chores.
Connection to farming
The social, personal and spiritual benefits that a
strong connection with the land and community can provide are what
inspired the Treworgy family to begin their farming enterprise in
Levant. Their direct-to-consumer agritourism business, Treworgy Family
Orchards, has grown from a few acres of U-pick apple trees to a
dynamic, farm-focused destination, offering day camps, hayrides, farm
products, petting zoo, ice cream stand and corn maze.
Having begun the business without a farming background, the Treworgys
have worked closely with University of Maine Cooperative Extension on
everything from fly control to business planning and marketing.
"I would guess that not a week goes by around here without a call to
Cooperative Extension about something. We learned just about
everything we know about farming from Cooperative Extension and 4-H,"
says Patty Treworgy, who founded the family business with her husband,
Gary, in the mid-í80s. "We wanted to create a place where a family
could enjoy spending the day, and where they could learn a little
something about farming."
Today, more than a dozen family members are directly involved in the
operation of the farm, each contributing his or her unique expertise
and enthusiasm to different aspects of the multifaceted operation.
From learning to drive a team of horses for hayrides to testing new
crops for the retail store, the Treworgy team is always on the lookout
for new ways to make their farm welcoming and exciting.
Farm manager Chuck Bailey sees the thousands of visitors who visit the
orchards for school fieldtrips and weekend recreation as more than
just customers; he sees them as thousands of opportunities to
reconnect with a generation that is losing touch with its farming
"More and more, you find that people really donít understand what
farming is all about, and we want to do what we can to stem that
tide," Bailey says.