In addition to harvesting 300 acres of vegetables, the family behind Black Island Farms strives to succeed in the "agri-tainment" business. To this end, they host field trips and autumnal visits, proving that rural living is far from monotonous. Their courtyard houses more than 20 attractions for families—there's a mountain of straw, a bounce house, and even pig races. Four tractors rumble as they tow hay wagons around the estate and cross into the pumpkin patch. There, passengers disembark and pick out a complimentary pumpkin, choosing by touch or by noting which one moves when they shout "Here, boy!"
Carrots, onions, cabbage, and squash all grow on the farm, but corn often takes the spotlight. That's because in the fall, 26 acres of cornfield transform into multiple mazes called Cornfield MAiZE. The mazes have twists and turns that are appropriate for a wide range of age groups, and when Halloween rolls around, a haunted variant also appears as part of Nightmare Acres.
Lawn Doctor's roots lead back to the mid 1960s, when friends Bob Magda and Tony Giordano took on the endeavor of reviving uncared-for lawns in their hometown of Matawan, New Jersey. Their local business has since blossomed into a national franchise with more than 400 locations across the United States, each adhering to the mission of enhancing lawns' allure with time-tested techniques, dedicated customer service, and dabs of foundation makeup.
Before Lawn Doctor's assiduous staffers unleash expertise on swards, they arrive at the client's home for a complimentary consultation to gauge each lawn's specific needs. Grass gurus can thicken turf with their patented Turf Tamer power seeder and foster healthy growth for grass, trees, and shrubs with fertilizer. Uninvited lawn assailants?such as grubs, ants, and grazing neighbors?shudder at the sight of Lawn Doctor's pest-control experts. The company also helps to preserve Mother Nature's receding hairline with organic lawn treatments and natural, eco-friendly products.
Shafts of sunlight pierce Tracy Aviary?s dense conifer forest, sending great grey owls into hiding until nightfall, when they emerge to hunt silently above the treetops. The Owl Forest is just one of five diverse ecosystems that dot the aviary?s eight acres. Nearby, at the South American Pavilion, aviary keepers tend to keel-billed toucans as their colorful beaks break through the cereal boxes in which they incubate. And on the Kennecott Wetland, visitors can espy long-billed curlews and American coots roosting in the tall grass.
In addition to providing a diverse habitat in which native and endangered species can thrive, Tracy Aviary?s curators strive to educate visitors about threats to avian species and to encourage conservation. To that end, Tracy Aviary hosts daily bird encounters, small group talks with keepers, and up close encounters with many species.
In 1916, Winder Dairy still delivered its bottles of milk by horse and wagon?but only because founder John R. Winder found the quadruped "more efficient" than the Model T delivery truck brought in the year before. Today, under the new moniker Winder Farms, fifth- and sixth-generation Winders uphold their family's reputation for speed, delivering cooler boxes packed with more than 300 farm-fresh products to customers' doorsteps each night. All-natural milk?free of artificial growth hormones or antibiotics and housed in classic glass milk jugs?takes 24 to 36 hours to travel from farm to doorstep, and natural and organic skinless and boneless chicken also zips to grills and skillets.
All deliveries are made overnight and guaranteed by 8 a.m. Customers can select their desired goods online, and recurring orders grant the freedom to remove "buy eggs" from the to-do list permanently tattooed on your upper back. Winder Farms also sells wholesale quantities of its milk, juice, and bakery items, as well as complete meals such as ravioli and enchiladas.
A 3.5-acre horticultural haven, Millcreek Gardens gives bloom-seekers a means to realize dreams of colorful, lush outdoor spaces by presenting a wide array of shrubs, trees, and assorted flowerpot inhabitants. Stroll amid verdant rows of plant life, perusing prettified foliage ranging from the serene cerulean hues of a delphinium to the cheerful, bubbly blooms of a hydrangea. Accent a lovely lawn with a classic apple tree ($40+), make the bed for a plot of fragrant flowers ($2–$20), or cover up barren yards with a symphony of shrubbery ($6.50–$50). The one-stop shop also stocks organic plant foods, soil amendments, and fertilizers for keeping growing greenery as strong as a box of oxen.
Woodruff Tree Trimming & Removal isn't your standard lawn care company. For starters, it's owned by a fifth generation farmer who used to push his lawnmower 1/4 of a mile down a gravel road in order to mow the lawn of his nearest neighbor. That dedication to getting the job done is exactly what customers can expect of the Woodruff Tree Trimming team: crews will even happily meet special requests, such as leaving the grass a half-inch longer that the rest of the houses on the block. And the workers also go the extra mile when it comes to clean-up, bagging and hauling away all mowed grass and toting away felled tree trunks or turning them into firewood.