How one small family orchard is making a big difference
Article by Maddie Christy
In its first season, Treworgy Orchards failed. Gary and Patty Treworgy planted a whole bunch of apple trees only to watch them all die. They thought maybe the business of being farmers wasn’t for them. Instead, they decided to give it another try and plant just one acre the next season. This time, the apple trees survived. Acre by acre, they expanded. From apples to pumpkins and then onto berries, Treworgy Orchards has been growing ever since.
About 19 years ago, the family-run farm in Maine added an ice cream shop, a petting zoo, and a corn maze. Today, Treworgy Orchards offers a full farm experience. From May to December, activities include strawberry picking, hayrides, and even cutting fresh Christmas trees.
At Treworgy Orchards, you are encouraged to pick your own fruits and vegetables. They are passionate about getting families out on the farm and making memories together. But it’s about even more than that.
“Our main focus is to create spaces where people can connect in community and where they can connect with the land through agriculture,” said Jon Kenerson, CEO and son-in-law of the Treworgys. “We hope it’s a place where people can connect to God through those experiences in community.”
That’s where ECHO fits in perfectly with the mission of Trewory Orchards.
“When I started looking into ECHO our visions really aligned, it just seemed like a natural partnership,” said Kenerson. “ECHO is working with agriculture to do dignifying and meaningful work for some of the most impoverished people in the world.”
Treworgy Orchards wanted to partner in that work. They began supporting ECHO a couple years ago as part of their regular charitable giving. Since generosity is a core value of the business, they give 1% of their overall sales every year to multiple charities.
The staff at Treworgy Orchards were recently inspired by their ice cream supplier to go above and beyond in their giving by donating the money they collected in tips jars. They graciously decided that these additional proceeds would also go to ECHO. To Kenerson, specifying that the money in the tip jars goes towards ECHO was a wonderful way to give back with the success they’ve been given and raise awareness at the same time.
Treworgy Orchards sees their donation with the tip jars as only the tip of the iceberg.
“So many of us have been given so much, and I think we have a responsibility to give to those who are less fortunate than us,” said Kenerson. “We have learned that it doesn’t take much to make a difference, and it’s exciting to extend the invitation to others to be part of it.”
They hope the tip jars are a way of inspiring others to find a creative way to partner with organizations they care about.