Spotlight on Harris Family Farm
For years, Harris Tree Farm was best known as a great place for families to pick out their Christmas tree and enjoy apples from their orchards. However, the farm isn’t just trees anymore. In recent years, they have added blackberries, blueberries, pumpkins, pears, vegetables, and flowers. All those new crops inspired their new name “Harris Family Farm.”
“The new name reflects the diversity of our farm, as well as that we are a family enterprise,” said Pam Harris. “My great-great grandfather Matthew Blair started our farm as a timber operation in 1853 and we’ve been family run for 168 years.”
Pam and her siblings, Jane Harris and Tom Heflin, own the farm with Pam and Jane running the day-to-day operations. Heflin also co-owns Rainbow Orchards and helps out in an advisory role.
Each year, the family expands their offerings to enhance the visitor experience while maintaining the feel and character or a small farm. This year guests can pick their own flowers for the first time, and they’ve added new kids’ activities, including rock painting and gem mining. A big hit with guests has been seeing their momma turkey and her chicks running about, rounding out the real farm experience.
And do not skip the baked goods! Harris Family Ranch makes everything from scratch – from the pie pastry to using whole fresh local fruit as a starting point for all their baked and preserved goods. It’s all about attention to quality.
Harris is proud to be a part of the Apple Hill Growers and love that it is made up of farmers and entrepreneurs of all ages and levels of experience. Some growers are generational farmers while others are new but bring experience from other business enterprises which, when combined, creates a cohesive and supportive group.
“The Apple Hill Growers provides a platform for all the growers and farms to get to know one another, offer advice and mentoring, and work collectively for the benefit of all,” Harris said. “These relationships are helpful as we are constantly facing new challenges and opportunities.”
Harris and her family were raised with a great respect for nature and the land. Today, they strive to farm in a way that preserves the land and environment for future generations by using sustainable farming practices including water conservation, composting, and use of organic and natural pest and weed control methods.
Harris Family Farm is open now on Thursday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more info visit their WEBSITE .
Insider tip: Because Harris Family Farm is the farthest east of the Apple Hill Grower farms, they tend to have fewer crowds, even in the busiest part of the season. There usually aren’t long lines to get apple cider donuts, a slice of pie or lavender lemonade.