Celebrating the four seasons at Terhune Orchards is a longstanding tradition on the farm

Family Traditions: “We are so happy that we can raise our children here and that we can have a business that the whole family can participate in. It’s great to do something with our lives to make the community better for people to enjoy and appreciate It’s special.” Terhune Orchards owners Pam and Gary Mount are shown with the second and third generations of the family, all doing their part on the farm.

Jean Stratton

Tonerhune Orchards is a favorite not only of Princetonians, but of many other loyal customers from afar. People from all over the world come to 330 Hantu Road to enjoy this special haven. Up to 500,000 people actually visit each year and return time and time again.

Emphasizing the unique boons of each season, this rural farm is a local treasure all year round. Communities and families come together for delicious food, fresh fruit and vegetables, friendly farm animals and wine tasting in the cellars of the farm’s own vineyard winery.

A prime example of the development of Terhune Orchards into modern agriculture began 47 years ago when Pam and Gary Mount purchased Terhune’s, established in the early 1920s. Just returning home after three years with the Peace Corps in Micronesia, Mounts saw the “For Sale” sign in the orchard and decided to buy it.

make a difference

“Our experience with the Peace Corps made us realize that if we focus on a small community, we can have a huge impact, which can be beneficial,” explained Princeton native Pam Mount.

“Gary grew up on a farm in West Windsor, but it was very different – a wholesale business,” she said. “I never thought about owning a farm or an orchard, but we know how to work. We thought all our friends could come and we would invite the public in.

“Also, when we bought it, no one bought the farms. Instead, they were sold to developers and turned into shopping malls and car parks. We thought we could help protect the land and make a difference.”

At the time, Terhune’s focused on apples, peaches and cider, and was open from July to October, she added.

“Gary raised money from the bank to buy it, and since we now have a clear incentive to pay it back, we decided to operate 7 days a week and expand the farm store. Earlier, we started planting dwarf apple trees. They are more productive , also easier to maintain. We tried to keep the look and feel of the place while modernizing it. We added a bakery and vegetables and started growing organic.

“One of the reasons we grow so many different plants is that we don’t rely on just one crop if there are weather issues and such. Of course, this summer has been hot and rainy, which has created challenges. We’ve found that we always need to improvise.”

Together, these mounts expand the range of the original Terhune Orchards and introduce safe and up-to-date farming practices. They looked at a range of innovative agricultural techniques, including the use of integrated pest management. Gary Mount has received numerous accolades, including “Apple Grower of the Year”, which recognizes “his progressive approach, hard work and dedication to learning”. Today, customers can find many different varieties of apples to suit every taste.

60 different crops

Mounts have not only expanded their offering of fruits, vegetables and other products (now with over 60 different crops), but also increased their acreage. “We actually have three farms,” ​​explains Pam Mount. “One, the original. The second is the Pick Your Own area on Van Kirk Road, and the third is 57 acres. Also on Van Kirk, we grow organic fruit and vegetables, as well as grapes for winemaking. We recently added 50 acres, making our The total area reaches 250 acres, and the farms are now contiguous. In addition, the land is preserved in perpetuity.”

Farm stores are a big draw for customers who will find plenty of options. Among them: the farm’s delicious pies, doughnuts, chips and fruit bread. Other items are Terhune Orchard’s homemade salsa, chili and guacamole, hot soups, cider and gourmet treats. A wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables are always available, and shoppers will find the perfect tomatoes to take home.

Gift baskets filled with all the goodies from Terhune are a favorite of many customers, especially during the holidays. Boxes containing apples, cider and other specialties can also be shipped, which is still an important part of the business.

Also welcome is the chance to pick your own blooms from the colorful wildflowers grown in Palm Hill. As she puts it, “I’ve always been interested in gardening, and I’ve started growing flowers for the farm store. They’ve become so popular that we started the Pick Your Own Flowers program.

This has become a real favorite, along with similar routines for cherries, blueberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, and pumpkin. Pam notes that it’s always been a kids favorite.

Special events play an important role in Terhune Orchards’ activities, many of which are family-oriented. Fall is here now, apples and pumpkins are highlighted, and many fall family weekends are planned.

Children will enjoy scavenger hunts, rubber duck races and pumpkin paintings, as well as opportunities to visit sheep, goats, donkeys, ducks, chickens and guinea fowl. They were also delighted to find that ice cream is now on the Terhune menu at Barn Door Café. Terhune’s always has something to entertain and inspire visitors of all ages – you can count on it!

various wines

The grown-ups have started to enjoy the variety of wines now available at Terhune Orchards. Sips & Sounds wine events are held throughout the summer and on Friday nights in September and include regional bands, which are very popular.

“We started growing grapes in 2020 and now we have 18 different wines,” reports Pam Mount. “A popular choice in the fall is our cider, made with our fresh cider. In addition, the winery offers cheese plates and light meals with homemade salads and chips.”

Gary Mount, his book, peasant life, Published this summer, Discovery Winemaking is a new and engaging activity. As he writes in the book, “Wine wine opened up a whole new world for me. My life has always been tied to farming—that is, growing something. I grew up on a farm near Princeton and became a Agricultural consultant for the Peace Corps; coconut culture is my specialty. I’ve been farming in Terhune Orchards for 47 years. With all this experience, you might think there’s not that much new to learn. Not so.

“I love growing grapes and making wine because a lot of it is new to me. We make a lot of wine from apples, blueberries and peaches, but most of it is from grapes. In terms of grape growing and processing, I The learning curve is still low. Growing good grapes is a must. Winemaking is not always smooth sailing, but there is always something new to learn.”

Learning new things has always been the hallmark of Terhune, while maintaining the appealing atmosphere and the essence of a real working farm. Terhune Orchards has something very real.

This is real

Pam Mount loves memories a specific event. “As Terhune grew, we realized we were a nearby farm. The story I like to tell is about a Princeton woman who came with her granddaughter every Tuesday. She said, ‘I can take my granddaughter anywhere – New York, museums, theaters, etc. But, Pam, this is the only real place we’ve come from. “Things grow here.

“So, we decided to stick to the real thing.”

She is proud of the long-term loyal employees at Terhune’s, which now number 70. She is also delighted that Orchard has grown into a true family business, with her two daughters Reuwai and Tannwen now full-time members of the company.

“It’s great to have them involved,” Pam said. “They bring new energy and ideas to work here every day. Their husbands and children are the present and the future. I am grateful to have a family in this business. Even our grandchildren love to help out and enjoy the farm. I look forward to Keep it all going.

“We are lucky to be here. We believe we are stewards of the land. We have the privilege of taking care of the farm and sharing it with the public. Over the years, we have met people from different places and backgrounds. They are all people of different ages. , we see parents, grandparents and children every day. It’s a big joy.”

TonErshun Orchard is open 7 days, 9am-6pm (609) 924-2310. Website: terhuneorchards.com.

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