TWIN SPRINGS FRUIT FARM
Twin Springs Fruit Farm is set on the south western edge of Adams County, Pennsylvania where we own some of the best fruit ground in the world. The farm is located on beautiful rolling hills, which are essential to prime fruit ground, as the air and water drainage are needed to assure a good crop and to help prevent spring frost damage. The soil, Highfield silt loam is the product of glaciers grinding down the mountains thousands of years ago, releasing trace minerals which are then available to all of our crops. Trace minerals are what give our fruits and vegetables the extraordinarily high quality and flavor our long term customers have come to appreciate.
The original 22 acres were purchased in 1979, and an additional 50 acres were bought a couple of years later. Since then another 28 acres have been added. None of the acreage had any plantings worth maintaining, and the original four partners struggled to replant trees worth cultivating. Around this time we started attending our first farmers’ markets in the D.C. area. It was a matter of survival, having lots of costs and debts; we couldn’t afford to do the same old business model of growing apples for factory use.
Since the retirement of three of the original partners Twin Springs has become a true family farm, with Aubrey King and his two sons, Michael and Jesse, having taken over ownership and day to day operations at the farm. There are also a core group of key employees who make everything work.
We took note of the appreciation of our customers and the returns which we received from retail rather than wholesale marketing; and the rest is history. Twin Springs now attends 20 markets a week. We learned early on to listen to the customer and to grow what they wanted.
We have branched out and now grow a multitude of fruits and vegetables, most of which are listed on our website <twinspringsfruitfarm.com>. The times and days of our markets are also on the website, as well as photos and more information.
Twin Springs Fruit Farm – voted “Best of DC” for apples by the City Paper
Four years ago Twin Springs Fruit Farm started on a major project to make the heating of our four greenhouses as green as possible. With a lot of research and engineering, not to mention loans and grants, we have installed a state of the art biomass heat plant, which takes care of 95% of the heat that used to be supplied, in a very “dirty” manner by the burning of coal, as well as oil and LP gas, when backup systems were needed.
Every year we fill a huge building with wood chips to be burnt in the boiler. The wood, of course, being a renewable non-fossil fuel has decreased our carbon footprint considerably. The system burns so cleanly that it is exempt from inspections by the EPA; a cyclonic extraction device removes the vast majority of the particulate matter from the stack.
As of Spring 2016 we have installed a large solar energy roof top system to power all of the greenhouses with solar generated electricity, making Twin Springs Fruit Farm an extrremely low “Carbon Footprint” farm.
Twin Springs also prides itself on its sustainability, as well as the work we do to protect water resources, prevent erosion, and build up our soil by planting many beneficial green manure cover crops.
The farm, now a family farm, also adheres to strict Integrated Pest Management protocols, both in the field and in our greenhouses. Predators are introduced into the greenhouses on a regular basis, to control the inevitable insect pests. The IPM techniques and materials are all designed to protect and build up the natural predator population, to make it less and less necessary to use sprays. While not nearly perfect things are headed in the right direction.
Our little fleet of small Isuzu diesel trucks is very efficient; the mileage being quite high considering the loads we carry to local markets. The newest trucks in the fleet have the latest clean burning, exhaust scrubbing technologies, making them cleaner burning than most modern cars on the road.