Life on the Farm- “You just never know.”

Gorgeous Columbus Day Weekend on the Farm | PRIME Apple Picking | Get Your Pumpkins | Farmer Hugh’s blog
Interesting Image
It’s Fall Y’all! Great weather Sat-Sun-Mon, spend family time on the farm.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Beautiful sunset over the Pumpkin Shed.
Things to Know this Week:
  1. APPLES: Granny Smith, York, Stayman, Rome, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Just $15 per half-bushel. PUMPKINS: Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, but NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
Life on the Farm: “You just never know.”


What a crazy time of year. On the farm when it’s harvest time, you still have all the other work to do and you have to harvest all the crops. During this time, it’s akin to being “in the Red Zone” 24/7. You just never know what’s going to happen.

This past week alone, we had hurricane threat, a long-time church friend pass away, clarinet lessons, (I’m writing this before we leave for..) soccer practice, social media posts to share, CSA boxes to pack, construction to supervise, supplies to pick-up, a family to feed, kids’ homework to check – you just never know what’s going to happen.

So what do you do when you don’t know what’s going to happen?

Step 1. Prepare as best you can. We knew rain was coming. We knew we wouldn’t be selling hundreds of baskets of apples and hundreds of tickets, so we enacted our plan to reduce hours and staff, update our communications with our guests and make wise decisions based on staff and guest safety. Sure, we weren’t busy in the rain, but we minimized the impact on our staff and guests.

Step 2. Stay positive. In farming, you live by the weather which happens to be completely out of your control. We know rain is a bummer for everyone, but we’ll be open next weekend and the sunshine will be back. The sun will (actually) come out tomorrow!

Step 3. Keep your eyes on the prize. At Maize Quest, we don’t have a Mission Statement, we have a mantra: “Make People Happy.” That’s it. That’s the mission, the filter for choices, the guiding light for our business and our staff. When a situation comes up, we evaluate the response with “What will make people happy?” We often say, “It doesn’t matter how you feel, it’s what you do that matters.” We are going to take care of each and everyone of you, our farm guests, no matter what.

So here we are, a week after the big rain event. The apples are still on the trees, the corn maze looks great, the fields are dried out, the cool weather is great for hot chocolate, the pumpkins are freshly washed.

We can’t possibly know what next weekend will bring, BUT this weekend looks great with sunny weather Sat-Sun-Mon.

Are you ready for a break?
Get lost with your family on the farm.
Get lost from the hassles.
Get lost from the over-scheduled schedules.
Get lost from the hustle and bustle to breathe clean air, walk the stalks, eat from the trees and sample treats in the market.

Purposefully take the time, choose to use your time to unplug from the world and escape together, just for one day this weekend.

You just never know what next week will bring.

See you soon on the farm,
PS Need a farm field trip for your learning adventure? Groups are booking right now. Email Michelle at or call her 717-495-1759. Over a dozen groups booked last week alone and time slots are going fast! Learn more about groups at Maize Quest [CLICK HERE]
PPS We almost never have a good crop of Granny Smith Apples, but this year is exceptional. Granny Smith will SELL OUT of the orchard, likely by Monday, so if you like the tartest apple out there, get here soon 🙂
Maize Quest Open Every Weekend!

What’s FUN at the Fun Park?

Interesting Image
Hugh, The Maze Master

Maple Lawn Farms & Maize Quest – “As young as you can, as long as you can.”

Pumpkins patch OPEN | PRIME Apple Picking | Maize Quest Flashlight Nights | “Young as you can.” blog
Interesting Image
The BIG pumpkins go FIRST! Get here early to pick.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Early pickers get the BIG ones! Checkout this family’s haul. Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Fri-Sat at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, BUT NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Mac, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Just $15 per half-bushel. Mr. Allen is in the gazebo with baskets!
  2. Maize Quest OPEN Friday 10AM-10PM, Saturday 10am-10PM with Flashlight Nights, Sun 1PM-7PM. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing.
  3. SAVE on Maize Quest Tickets and experience our newest attraction the Hidden Gem Railroad Trackless Train Ride. [CLICK HERE]
Life on the Farm: “As young as you can, as long as you can.”
On top of every thing you have to do in a week, you still need to parent your children. Wait, strike that, reverse it. During this hectic week we stumbled into some very typical “kids growing up and dealing with issues” moments. It led me to revisit a premise upon which my wife and I whole-heartedly agree: “Keep them as young as you can, as long as you can.”
Dress code. I have a fashionista daughter, who by some miracle of wife, church and modesty, has not yet fallen prey to Justice, booty shorts, and “Princess Butt” sweatpants.
For some reason, as boys shorts keep getting longer and they pull their socks up to meet the bottom of their shorts, girls are pushed into “adult revealing clothes”, though most adult women I know, wouldn’t where stuff like that.
Keep the dress code, young as possible, as long as possible.
Media. Please, we don’t even have an Xbox and we have one TV in the house. We’re not Amish, but we’re too busy to watch hours of media each day. Video games are monitored, devices aren’t allowed in rooms, the computer stays in the kitchen we’re we can see it. Don’t fall for “Everyone else is playing/watching/listening to…” Our rocking family nights are more “So You Think You Can Dance” than “Call of Duty VI”.
Keep the media inputs as young as possible, as long as possible.
Family time. I love this time of year, because we see so many familiar faces. After 19 seasons in the maze and longer on the farm, we have watched families grow up in the orchards. I saw a great, long-time visiting family this weekend; just happened to run into them before they left.
Both 20-something sons have full-time jobs, parents are busy with their lives, but they prioritize time together as a family. They were smiling, laughing and joking because one soon had been in a severe auto accident a few months ago and had a concussion, so they brought him to test him in the maze!
They were having good, old fashioned fun together as they had for over a decade at the farm.
They are staying young together, enjoying time together, as long as they can.
I know this email might sound a bit preachy, but this is what’s happening now, in my 40-year-old life. Am I way off base here?
This is a beautiful weekend, apples are ready, pumpkins are ripe, the Fun Park & Amazon Corn Maze are ready for your family. Call a time out on your hectic life and escape to the farm.
If you’d like to keep your kids, kids a little longer, no matter how they are, nothing beats some Fall fun on the farm.
See you soon on the farm,

“Things Grandmother told me.”

Pumpkins patch OPEN Sat | Big-Name Apples | Maize Quest Adventures | “Grandmother told me…” blog
Interesting Image
The BIG pumpkins go FIRST! Get here early to pick.
Eric Big Pumpkin
Eric found big pumpkins in the patch! Pumpkin Express Wagon Rides are FREE starting Saturday at 11AM, just pay for the pumpkins you pick: $.75 per pound, BUT NO PUMPKIN costs more than $12, no matter how BIG!
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Gala, Mac, Smoothee, Red Chief, Empire, Fuji, JonaGold for apple picking in the orchard. Mr. Allen is in the gazebo with baskets!
  2. Maize Quest OPEN Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 10am-10PM with Flashlight Nights, Sun 1PM-7PM. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing.
  3. SAVE on Maize Quest Tickets and experience our newest attraction the Hidden Gem Railroad Trackless Train Ride. [CLICK HERE]
Life on the Farm: “Things my Grandmother told me.”

Oh, Hugh,

What did your Grandmother tell you that you remember today? Chances are good, you got some wisdom that, at the time, sounded like “something old people said”, but means more now that you are aging.
Here are a few I was thinking about this week:
“Waste not, want not” – I was convicted this past week as I wasn’t sure what to do with all my CSA box produce, but remembered a friend who like d the stuff I didn’t. I got the produce and friend connected 🙂
“If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” – Depression era stuff, right? I was thinking of this as an expanded idea to be unpacked a bit more. My son’s soccer team worked really hard at practice and defeated our co-practice nemesis team for the first scrimmage win all season. They worked hard and well, and they got the victory. Maybe, “No work, no win.”
“Say your prayers daily.” – This was more demonstration than saying. She was a regular prayer sayer and scripture reader. As a farmer, there are so many things out of your control. She understood the value of unloading that burden through prayer to a higher power.
With 10 acres of pumpkins ripe, 28 acres of apples hanging on the trees, thousands of guests ready to have fun in the mazes and 700+ acres of corn to pick in the next month, I, too, need more power than I could muster on my own through willpower and positive thinking alone.
Grandmother is gone, but her life continues through the McPherson family and the lessons she taught. Your grandmother might be with you or already gone as well, but this week, pause for a few minutes early in the morning to reflect on what she passed on to you.
It’s harvest season on the farm and our doors stand open, welcoming you and your family to make some memories together this weekend. I hope you’ll join us and help us pick some of those pumpkins and apples
We grew them exclusively and specifically for you.
See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh
PS Need a farm field trip for your learning adventure? Groups are booking right now. Email Michelle at or call her 717-495-1759. Over 20 groups booked last week alone and time slots are going fast! Learn more about groups at Maize Quest [CLICK HERE]
Maize Quest Open Every Weekend!

What’s NEW at the Fun Park?

How about…
The Hidden Gem Railroad! [CLICK HERE for ticketing…]
Interesting Image
What’s happening with your group?
We host hundreds of groups like yours for adventure each Fall. Michelle, our group tour director, schedules each group for start time and activities to make sure you get the day and time that works best for you.
Have you scheduled yet? If you need more information, click one of the links below. If you are ready to book your group right now, Click here to reserve instantly online. You may always reach Michelle directly at with any questions.
We work really hard to make sure you get the time you want, but some activities have limited availability, especially Preschool Tours with Farmer Hugh & Friends, Middle School Maze Adventures, Geocaching and Scout Tours.
Hugh, The Maze Master

This document has been composed with the free HTML edior. Click here to give it a try.

Life on the Farm – Life on the Farm: “Firsts & Lasts”

Hidden Gem Railroad Station nears completion.
Interesting Image
Jesse admires his handiwork on the station. The train loads between the Rope Maze & Stone Labyrinth.

Come celebrate with us. We love it when you come over to the farm, so come celebrate with us. This weekend features a number of Lasts & Firsts as Labor Day often does. It is a milestone in the farm year, just as it is, or used to be, in the school year. Here are some for this weekend.

First – Gala Apples are in for their very limited season. The are so sweet and crunchy they are like candy to me. They are the last sweet taste of summer.
First – Macintosh apples are in as well, so you can get a bit of tart with your sweet Galas. Macs are best early in the season, so don’t wait for the rest of the varieties if you like TART.
Last – Peaches and nectarines finish up this weekend in the orchard and Mr. Allen will be moving his gazebo to the apple orchard to serve you better this Fall.
First – Blondee Apples are our newest variety in our newest orchard and we have picked all of the very limited quantity, but you HAVE TO taste them! I predict they will become a Maple Lawn Farms Signature Apple just as many of you know the Smoothee Apples to be.
Last – This is the last weekend WITHOUT Apple Cider Donuts. We are making donuts this Saturday to kick-off the fall season. We’ll have them every weekend from now through November in the farm market.
First – The Amazon Adventure Corn Maze opens to the public! Saturday Sept 5th at 10AM, you can be the first to challenge this year’s adventure and play in the Fun Park.
Last – This year we said good-bye to and rebuilt Perilous Planks, our tilting plank puzzle in the Fun Park into the Step-Over Maze. It’s a challenging puzzler that has you step over the colored planks in order: Red, then White, then Blue in an effort to escape!
First – The Hidden Gem Railroad takes it’s first passengers this weekend! This is a big new attraction for the Fun Park and for train lovers. We had this Trackless Train built special for our farm. It loads at the station between the Rope Maze and the Stone Labyrinth then travels behind the Pedal Karts to a special crop of Sudan Grass.
First – We are FINALLY able to open our new patio area this weekend with stamped concrete, new railings, new tables, chairs and umbrellas for you to enjoy. Grab an ice cream cone and relax on the NEW farm market patio!
So many Firsts and Lasts as the seasons start to change and Fall arrives. The weather is set to cool off a little for the weekend with the sun shining on this little farm in Pennsylvania.
Sure, you might have plans for some of the weekend, but you might want to carve out a little time to bring your family out for some good old fashioned fun.
We’re here for you 🙂
See you on the farm,
Farmer Hugh

Maple Lawn Farms – “No, Mom, it’s fine. Seeeeeeee.”

Interesting Image
Interesting Image
Potato Cellar right before demolition.
Life on the Farm – “No, Mom, it’s fine. Seeeeeeee.”
Farmer Paul’s celebrated another birthday, but he almost didn’t make it at all, which would mean, no Maple Lawn Farms, no me or my sisters, no my kids, no freestone peaches this week, no Maize Quest. That’s right, Farmer Paul almost didn’t make it past childhood, and it would have been his own fault. His mother told him.
My Dad just turned 73 on August 2nd. That means he was born in 1942. That’s #alongtimeago and back then, Maple Lawn Farms was big into potatoes, chickens, and green beans.
We had an old barn we called, and still do call even though it’s gone, the Potato Cellar. It was a big, classic Pennsylvania Bank Barn, but featured an enormous dark, high walled-cellar for keeping potatoes cool and fresh.
(The Potato Cellar is gone now, victim of time’s ravages, but we have a great video of its last moments if you’d like to see it and try to spot the key door…CLICK HERE)
Anyway, young Paul was helping with the work in the barn, and in between loads was exploring and playing as kids often do. Old barns have many load out doors to make it easier to move farm products into wagons or trucks and the Potato Cellar was no exception.
Paul played near a closed door on the third floor level and his mother, Mabel McPherson called, “Stay away from that door, Paul!”
“Oh Mom, it’s fine. It’s latched. Seeeeeeee….”
Paul leaned on the door, the latch popped open and Mabel later replied that all she glimpsed was his feet as he tumbled out of the door; the door that was 20 feet off the ground. (See pic)
Have you even seen your own child hurt or sick? I know I can barely stand my kids with the flu. I’m a ‘fixer’ and when I’m powerless to do anything to help my kids, well, it’s about the worst feeling a parent can have, but I hope I never experience anything like my Grandmother did that day.
That day, Mabel didn’t run over to the doorway to see if Paul was alright, she ran to see if her only son was alive.
It was a busy day. My Grandfather Hugh apparently never did anything small. He had big ideas, a big crew, big equipment, big fields, big risks and always had irons in the fire. I never met him, but I grew up with the stylized caricature of him large in my life as my Grandmother was a big part of my childhood. I wanted to grow up to be just like my stylized, highlight-reel-only Grandfather.
We’re hard workers. McPhersons work. It’s who we are. It’s what we’re proud of. It’s our life. We’re farmers, so workaholic is a badge of honor. As Paul Harvey says, “Farmers… will put in 40 hours by Tuesday and go to town to sit at the school board meeting until 10PM..”(CLICK to Hear the rest of Mr. Harvey’s famous “Farmers” monologue.)
Wrapped up in ourselves. While all that sounds noble, workaholism in a form of self-focus. We get so wrapped up in ourselves, in what we want to accomplish, that we miss the moments, the time, the people around us, our family we’re supposedly working so hard for.
On the run. I can tell you with absolute conviction that Mabel wasn’t thinking about the potato crop; she wasn’t thinking about the house chores; not about preparing dinner. I can tell you that on the run out, down and around the barn hill… she was praying.
Why it takes a 30 foot drop. We are such creatures of habit, most big changes take a 30 foot drop. Think about your busy life. Think about how many coping systems you have in place. Think about how you habitually do things that same way, every time, just to make it through the day.
If you want to invoke some major change in your life, it often takes an emergency; a great big, makes-you-feel-powerless moment to wake you up and open your eyes to the reality of what’s truly important to you.
Good news, Paul made it. As we like to say, he landed on his stubborn head and pulled through. They say that in might have been the weeds that broke his fall and to this day, Paul lets other people do the mowing around here.
He had a massive concussion before concussions were in vogue. There was no ambulance, so some workers that had witnessed the fall, laid his unconscious body in the back seat of the car and drove 45 minutes to York Hospital. (Imagine that emergency services people! No backboard, no stretcher.)
So, right now, where are you in “the barn”?
Are you in the basement, toiling away with no idea what’s going on outside?
Are you playing, having a good time but way too close that trap door?
Are you watching someone who’s too close to the edge?
Are you falling into the weeds?
Are you running, praying, to see if you can save someone you love?
It doesn’t need to take a 30 foot drop. It’s OK if you call a timeout, make a call, go home early, hug friend, send a note, say a prayer, wake up, slow down, steal your time back from the cult of busyness in which we are so quick to enslave ourselves; even our children.
My own daughter, who is a major activity “joiner”, as I was at that age, finally said, “I think it would be too much” when her friends and teachers asked her to join yet another activity. My wife and I lept at the chance to reinforce her setting a purposeful limit for herself.
Set your own limit, call a “ time-out” and escape with the ones you love. If you need a place to escape with your family this weekend to just spend a little quality time together, we’re here for you. It’s quiet, peaceful, relaxing and the fruits delicious. Picture your family, doing nothing together but enjoying the time with each other in and amongst the orchard trees.
We’re here, heck the farm is here, for you because Farmer Paul bounced. He made it. That day, the answer to Mabel’s “prayers on the run” was “Safe”, and Paul has lived to grow and maintain the farm, to plant new trees, to continue the McPherson family.
And, yes, there are days I think Dad like to push me out of the barn himself, but he’s been a great support and advisor to me. I treasure each day I get to work with my innovative, thoughtful, hard-headed Dad – Farmer Paul.
Happy birthday, Dad.
Have a great week,
Farmer Hugh

Maple Lawn Farms: “Running with Flies.”

A Farmer’s Breakfast | Blueberries! | Apricots | Running
Interesting Image
Interesting Image
One of my favorite ads from ad king Nike.
Interesting Image
This was my farmer’s breakfast treat, fresh blueberries in a fresh apricot. No, just enjoy!
Life on the Farm: “Running with flies.”
Analogy time: After my morning run, I concluded that life is like running… with flies.
Part 1:
I am not a runner. If you’ve ever met me, I’m 5-foot-nuthin’ with shoulders wide as a truck. I’m meant to pick up heavy things, not run. Still I persist in running because I live to play Ultimate Frisbee and I need to be competitive.
Here’s the life part:
I never wake up thinking, “Gosh, I can’t wait to get out there and run.”
Yet, I roll out of bed, lace up and go for it. Sheer mental determination and a look towards the next Ultimate game with the goal I’ll be a better, faster player.
Isn’t life like that? You always have to work hard to get ahead, sometimes without seeing results for your labor for weeks, months, even years.
The fruit business is like that. We plant trees and don’t see an apple for 4 years, yet still we care for the trees, mow, prune and hope.
It’s a mental discipline to keep working.
Part 2:
After all the mental victory to get out the door with my sneakers on, I run down the road, doing what I’m supposed to and suddenly, “Ouch!” A giant horse fly bit me in mid-stride! I was attacked for the next 300 yards hoping for the best case scenario, which would be smashing a gross, giant, biting fly on my head.
Now seriously, I’m out here exercising like I’m suppose to and I’m attacked by biting flies?! Something’s wrong with this picture.
The life part:
Isn’t that always the way? You get started working towards your goals and you meet resistance. You get annoyed along the way and you start to lose focus on your objectives. Biting flies are very distracting.
I’ll share with you a bit of small business person struggle. We work very hard on the farm and at the maze to make sure our guests feel comfortable. We don’t want you to see any struggles, but I’ll pull back the curtain on a few.
We’re working hard to expand the farm market and our business in a secret-for-now way (more on that later, stay tuned!) This expansion employees a dozen contractors, our employees, and we’ll end up added 5-10 part-time positions.
Great for the economy, right? We’re doing a brave, good thing, right?
We took off running towards our goal, only to be bitten by permitting delays, regulatory delays, 20 inspections, loan meetings, on and on and on. Bite, bite, bite.
It makes you wonder if it’s worth all the work to do good and grow!
Sometimes, pardon the very brief political rant, I think “It’s no wonder business is struggling in America. It’s super-hard to get started in business!”
Swat, swat, swat!
Of course it’s worth it! A few flies along the run don’t take away from the value of running, the good feelings at the end, the fitness, the victory, the growth in physical and mental toughness. Of course it’s worth it. Swat!
I kept running. I was going to have a few welts on me but, by God, I wasn’t going to stop. That’s just not who my parents raised me to be. It’s certainly not what the forefathers of this country envisioned. They envisioned a united people, ready to work hard once lifted from the hand of tyranny.
This week, keep running. Swat the annoying flies that are trying to distract you. Set your sights on goals, big and small, that light a fire in you, put one foot in front of the other and
Have a great week,
Farmer Hugh

Maple Lawn Farms: “Freedom Farmers”

Interesting Image
Interesting Image
It’s time to share your best Red, White and Blueberry Dessert!
Blueberries! | Freedom Farmers | Zig Z | Arnold Schwarzenegger
3 Things to Know this Week:
  1. Blueberries are PRIME! [CLICK for more]
  2. Fruit picking everyday Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM, Sun 1PM-5PM – Last Orchard entry hour before closing – July 4th – 6PM
  3. We’re social: Connect for updates on Facebook [CLICK HERE]
Interesting Image

Life on the Farm – “Freedom Farmers.”

This July 4th, I’m reminded that my kids are totally tired of daddy’s “America Speeches”. I’m reminded that they need to hear them now more then ever. If I need to be a broken record, well fine. I don’t get tired of reminding myself that most everything we have is based in the uniquely American way of thinking.
It is more crucial than ever to make sure that we don’t forget what brought us this far and can can carry us into a bright future. It can also turn inward and self-destruct because we operate under a freedom principle so powerful, so free that we can use that principle of freedom to restrict ourselves; to limit our future.
I’ll share 3 ideas about freedom, and I suggest that just for a few minutes, you simple read and digest. Before you become overwhelmed with your natural internal reactions, just allow the ideas to sit and percolate a few minutes.
Farmers have had the right idea since the beginning of time. So, I propose on this Independence weekend, we all become Freedom Farmers.
Freedom Principle #1:
We, as free people, can think whatever we want to think.
How it works correctly:
Freedom of thought and being open to new ideas, the spread of ideas, the dissemination of information, rigorous debate and disagreement is central to our society.
Ever have a teacher who wouldn’t allow debate on a topic? If was his way or an “F-grade”. Debate, having-out ideas, working through the points and counterpoints of topics, criticizing the government, business, without fear of retribution is a sacred freedom we often overlook because it is embedded in the fabric of our society.
How it can go wrong:
Unfortunately, with all the positive attributes of this freedom of thought, you get some hate mongers and discriminators; some bad apples. It’s key for us, in an effort to eliminate bad apples, we don’t restrict our own positive ability to speak. In an effort to “muzzle” those negative voices, we set the stage for “someone” “somewhere” muzzling ANY voice.
How to live it:
It’s better to ignore a few hate-mongering losers then restrict everyone’s ability to speak. The power to ignore is often overlooked.
Freedom Principle #2:
Win or lose, we have the right to try.
How it works correctly:
I love the freedom to try. If I want to start a business, grow peach trees, launch an online seminar, sell produce in our CSA, help other farmers make mazes – anything! – I have the right to try. I also have the right to the profits and the right to own the failures. Fly or flop, it’s mine; it’s yours to try.
How it can go wrong:
Failure sucks. Believe me, as a farmer and a business man, I have failed countless times. The principle goes wrong if we look at the trauma of failure and feel that we have to act at all costs to prevent that failure.
Many government programs that were only meant to be a temporary stop over on the road of life through good times and bad have expanded to try to prevent any and all failures. Too much failure prevention, makes our great country soft. If you want a chance to own the profits of your labor, your ideas, your business plan, you have to be ready to own the potential failures.
How to live it:
If it was easy, everybody would do it. Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “If it’s hard I want to do it more because that means I might be the first to do it.” He also said, “Your dreams only work if you do.” Take bold risks. Live out your dreams and work your butt off. We are in a time of unprecedented opportunity.
Freedom Principle #3:
Freedom is better together.
How it works correctly:
We Americans are fiercely independent. The stereotype is of a lone man or lone woman bootstrapping his/her way to the top of success, but that’s not what I’ve found to be the case. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
How it can go wrong:
Being free is not everything and everyone at all times being equally rewarded. I detest the “Everybody should get a trophy.” mentality. No. Hard workers should get trophies because they earned them.
How to live it:
Freedom loves company. On your personal quest, who is with you? Take your family on the journey, instead of ignoring them to work more. Take your employees on the journey and help them improve themselves along the way.
Freedom Farmers. Farmers live these principles and have for thousands of years.
#1 Farmers have to be free thinkers because they have problems to solve with crops and livestock everyday. Farmers also have one of the only industry wide networks to share growing information through the extension education system. They share ideas willingly knowing that all farmers benefit from a wealth of information.
#2 Farmers are often alone out there working hard, taking risks, growing food for themselves and to sell to the community to enhance their families’ way of life. There isn’t a riskier business then one in which you could lose your entire peach crop you’ve tended for 6 months in a single hailstorm the day before harvest. Or, your entire cattle herd could be swept away in a flood over which you have no control. Farmers complain a lot about the weather, but not about farming.
#3 Farmers work together. Farmer share information. Farmers include kids in chores. Farmers swap equipment, help each other put up hay, and hire neighbors to drive truck and bring in the harvest.
In 1960, the average American Farmer grow products to feed 25.8 other people. Today, the American Farmer feeds 155 people on average. We are growing to meet America’s needs and the world’s growing population.
In addition to all the food we get to enjoy, thank your local farmer for farming with freedom and integrity.
This beautiful nation needs more free thinkers.
We need more risk takers not afraid to try and willing to live with the results of their labor, win or lose.
We need more freedom makers; more people willing to lift others up and bring them along to the bright future we so deeply desire for this great land.
Have a great Independence Day,
Farmer Hugh

Maple Lawn Farms: “Cha-Cha-Changes”

Cherries are PRIME! | Farm Life Lessons | CSA | David Bowie
Interesting Image
Interesting Image
Repairs to the packing house include removing the side of the building temporarily!
Interesting Image

Life on the Farm – “Cha-Cha-Changes”

“Time may change me, but I can’t waste time”.- David Bowie. I don’t know what’s with all the song inspirations, but I thought about this as we are installing downs, rebuilding the side of the packing house, planting and replanting trees, refinishing the kitchen.
It’s just a bunch of cha-cha-changes.
How do you respond to change?
Fight or resist. This is a natural response to change – external forces try to make you do what’s new or different. You resist!
Go with the flow. “Just like, whatever, man.” Not always the best response either. This kind of attitude means you are subject to the will of others and the world.
Adaptive Action. Darwin said, “It’s not the strongest or most intelligent of the species that survives, but the most adaptable.” This type of change response means you are looking ahead to the new future and taking purposeful steps to adapt to the new conditions.
On the farm, you have to adapt. My father changed the business from chickens, potatoes and green beans, to row crops, peaches, apples and pick-your-own. In my lifetime, we’ve had to change from packing peaches and loading semi-trailers to retail, bakery, and agritourism.
We all go through changes, the question is how will we choose to react to those changes?
We at Maple Lawn Farms are adapting in a few new ways this year as well and we’ll keep you posted on the progress, but for now, swing on by, see for yourself, and pick some cherries before they are gone.
Only two weekends of cherry season remain!
See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh


PS Like David Bowie? Here’s a link to David Bowie singing “Life is just a bowl of cherries.” Listen to the lyrics and enjoy!
watch video


Maple Lawn Farms – When does that ripen?

Company Logo
Interesting Image
Farmer Paul checking the Red Delicious apples. He does a lot of checking to make sure the crops are healthy and well watered for you.
We are fruit farmers – for YOU!
We believe in opening up our farm to guests like you. That’s why you can pick EVERY crop we grow directly from the tree, bush or vine that grew it. You know that tree-ripened, picked fresh is the way to get “the good stuff”
Here’s a guide for you to plan your visits to the farm for “the good stuff”:
Mid-June – Sweet Cherries
Late-June – Sour Cherries & Blueberries
Mid-July – Cling Peaches & Apricots
Late-July – Freestone Peaches – Our specialty!
Early August – Early Apples & MASSIVE Peach crop picking
Labor Day Weekend – Maize Quest Corn Maze & Fun Park Opens
Early September – Big-Time Apples
Late-September – Pumpkin Picking
Early October – MASSIVE Apple & Pumpkin crop picking
Oct-November – Fall Harvest Celebration with Maize Quest, Apples, Pumpkins, Group Tours, Bakery, Cider & TONS to do, pick, & EAT!
The best way to connect and stay up to date is on our facebook page at:
Click image to connect.
See you soon on the farm,
Farmer Hugh


Maple Lawn Farms – Meet your farmers – The McPherson Family

Company Logo
Interesting Image
That’s Farmer Paul, Generation 4 of the McPhersons, with eldest daughter Gretchen, circa 1972.
Meet your farmers – The McPherson Family
A Little History About The Farm
Thanks for joining our farm family. Maple Lawn Farms has been growing food for the local community for over 160 years. The farm encompasses over 1,400 acres of Cherries, Blueberries, Apricots, Peaches, Plums, Apples, Raspberries, Blackberries and Pumpkins – ALL of which you can pick in season. We also farm field corn, soybeans and wheat in rotation as animal feed for neighboring farms.
A Little About the McPhersons
Currently 3 generations of McPhersons occupy and farm the land; Paul & Betsy, Hugh & Janine and their children Annie & Ian. It is a family affair in harvest season with “all hands on deck” to welcome guests to the orchards and fields. Hugh’s sisters, Gretchen & Sarah, ventured off the farm to California and New York City, but love returning for family holidays.
A Little About the Future
This farm is open to connecting our guests to agriculture. You can pick-your-own fruit from the farm. You may purchase a share of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) membership. We want everything we grow on this farm to leave in the hands of the person who’s going to eat it.
That’s who we are and we’re grateful you’re interested in local food, local farms and Maple Lawn Farms in particular.
Thank you!
The McPhersons