It has been a decade since Tannwen Mount returned to Lawrenceville to help manage her family’s farm, Terhune Orchards. The Mount family has owned and operated Terhune Orchards since 1975. The farm includes 200 acres of preserved farmland, and produces more than 40 varieties of fruits and vegetables. The Mounts also operate a farm store and a winery, and host festivals, educational programs, art exhibits, corporate events, and pick-your-own educational programs throughout the year to share the beauty and bounty of the farm with the community. The farm welcomes more than 700,000 visitors a year.
After graduating from Princeton University Tannwen spent six years on the west coast. She felt the pull of the family farm life calling her again and decided to return to New Jersey to play an active role in the future growth of Terhune Orchards.
When she returned to the farm in 2003 she suggested starting a vineyard at Terhune Orchards. Living in San Francisco, she had explored the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine-growing regions and learned a great deal about wine, what she liked in a good wine, and the possibilities of wineries as a destination. The Mounts had no background in the field of growing wine grapes, but they applied their years of farming experience growing apples, peaches, berries, and field crops to growing grapes.
In 2003 Tannwen and her dad planted five acres of grapes, with the first crops of grapes being picked in 2009. By September of 2010, the wine was in the bottle and the Terhune Orchards tasting room was opened inside the long-standing historic barn, which has been a fixture of the property for more than 150 years. The risk paid off in delicious wine and numerous state awards. Terhune Orchards Vineyard and Winery now offers 12 wines, including three apple-based wines, and the Mounts now grow eight acres of grapes.
In addition to overseeing the winery and tasting room venture, Tannwen manages the farm staff of more than 30 people. She has also expanded Terhune Orchards community partnerships, selling fresh produce to local schools and restaurants. One of the roles she find most rewarding is developing Terhune Orchards’ ever-growing community programs. The farm hosts corporate and group events, barnyard birthday parties for children, and a variety of educational activities.
Pre-school children experience the farm through Read & Explore in winter and Read & Pick during the growing season. Thousands of children learn about agriculture during school tour programs each year, and farm summer camps offer children an inside view of life on the farm.
“It’s really exciting to show children where food comes from through a hands-on experience,” Tannwen says. “Children listen to a fun story and education program and then are able to get out and experience what the farm is all about. They get the feeling this is really their farm.”
Being the mother of a kindergartener, Becket, 5, has helped Tannwen see the farm anew through children’s eyes.
“The farm is an outdoor classroom that brings lessons to life,” Tannwen said. “I experienced the excitement and curiosity of the students in a new way as a parent, sharing the farm with my son’s class and seeing the lessons incorporated into the classroom.”
Terhune Orchards welcomes visitors year-round to enjoy its farm store, winery, multiple festivals and pick-your-own and educational opportunities.
Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Lawrenceville. 609-924-2310. www.terhuneorchards.com. See story, page 20