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Dig It! The Farms of Northeast PA - Happenings Magazine — Happenings Magazine

Dig It! The Farms of Northeast PA

Mannings Farm and Dairy

Since the 1920s, Mannings Farm and Dairy in Dalton has delivered fresh milk and ice cream products in Northeast PA. Owners Paul and Jean Manning took over the family farm in the ‘70s . The Mannings own 145 acres, but farm close to 400 including rented land. The dairy sells fresh, delicious milk and ice cream products at four stores in Northeast PA and employs 100 full and part-time workers. By buying local, the Mannings explain that products will last longer. “Whatever you’re eating or drinking from here has just been processed,” Jean says. Though there are few small family dairy farms in the area, the Mannings are confident they’ll be here for a long time even if they have to expand ice cream operations. “The future of farming depends on the buying habits of the consumer,” Jean adds. www.manningfarm.com.

Alpacas of Sunshine Farm

Catherine and Don Hines got into Alpaca farming in 1998. They own about 20 acres in New Milford on which they care for a herd of 40 Huycaya Alpacas. Along with selling alpacas, the farm offers a wide variety of products handmade with soft alpaca wool. Their farm store offers raw fleeces, yarn, rovings, gloves, hats, scarves, capes, vests, socks and a wide variety of gorgeous alpaca sweaters. Catherine says they began the business because of their love of animals. She looks forward to pursuing it full-time now that she is retired. The farm is always open to the public and Catherine encourages people to visit. “In order for farming to succeed in the future, young people need to take an interest,” she says. www.alpacasofsunshinefarm.com

Pallman Farms

For four generations, Pallman Farms has provided delicious poultry and produce to customers in Northeast PA. Founded in the 1800s, the farm was handed down through the years to its current owners, brothers Bruce and Brian Pallman and their sons, Craig and Doug. The Clarks Summit farm is comprised of 128 acres with 12-15 acres in strawberry production annually. The Pallmans operate a U-Pick Strawberry operation for local customers and sell fresh turkeys and capons at the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Craig and Doug began farming at a young age, and believe the profession is incredibly rewarding. “It was a great lifestyle to be a part of and provided us with much more than just a source of income,” says Craig. “We continue to be educated every day in this business, and truly enjoy working with family.” Craig and Doug also own Summit Harvest, Inc., a repacker, broker and distributor of tomatoes and seasonal fruits and vegetables. “The push for ‘local’ is obviously a trend right now,” Craig says. “But I believe that consumer awareness of their food source will continue to increase if we are effective marketers and educators of our products.” Visit www.pallmanfarms.com/

Roba Family Farm

John Roba always dreamed of owning a tree farm. He made this dream a reality in 1984 by purchasing a farm in North Abington Township. The farm expanded gradually over the next 33 years, and today it’s a seasonal attraction that features a fall festival, apple orchard, pumpkin patch and two Christmas tree locations in North Abington and Scott Township. The North Abington township farm is 54 acres and  Scott Township encompasses 276 acres. Each farm produces many crops that are sold at Roba Family Farms and Roba Family Orchard. This includes over 20 varieties of apples, pumpkins and gourds, field corn for the maze, Indian corn to sell as fall decorations and Christmas trees. Additionally, the farm sells spruces and shade and flowering trees for landscaping.

John, his wife Sue and three children work the farm today. “People rely on farmers to find ways to provide goods at an affordable price, allowing society to diversify its own resources and grow the economy,” Sue says. “Coming to Roba Family Farms or Roba Family Orchard allows us the opportunity to share a little portion of the farming world with our consumers while also providing a fun, family based day.” The farm promotes agriculture to the public by welcoming families and schools to visit the farms throughout the year and providing educational programs, including the Bee Barn and Farm Discovery Center.

Miller’s Orchards Family Markets, Inc.

The Clarks Summit farm provides nutrient-dense meat, eggs and produce each season, along with delicious treats from the farm kitchen. During late summer and fall, customers can find everything from apples and berries to meat, eggs, veggies, fruit pies, apple cider and homemade canned goods. According Amber, one of many members of the Mille family, “That’s the time of year when farmers are moving fast (and probably talking faster!” One of Miller’s newest programs is their home delivery system. They recognize that many people are busy during the season and encourage all who live in Clarks Summit and Scranton to take advantage of the program, which allows customers to get fresh products delivered right to their doorTo keep the farm healthy and revitalize crops, year after year, the Millers strive to continually build soil health, which rejuvenates the land and creates nutrient-dense crops and livestock. The family-owned farm is committed to playing an active role in economic and community-health development. By allowing visitors to explore the farm and meet the farmers, they strive to be as transparent as possible and encourage the importance of agriculture. www.millersorchard.com  –Megan Kane