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UMaine Today Magazine


Green Acres Sidebar
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Under the 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.
Under the 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 heritage.

"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.

 

UMaine Today Magazine
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