Lone Maple Farm celebrates 50 years

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:03 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Last month, Lone Maple Farm recently embarked on its 50th year of business.

Co-owner Mike Harris, who is third generation farmer, said finding new techniques to grow wholesome produce is a key to success, one of which is by growing the majority of their vegetables fresh and organically, using what’s called “nutrient film technique” or NFT.

NFT uses tubes with water flowing down them, It has a tank with a pump and that water just keeps circulating. The water has nutrients the plants need and they sit there with the roots and absorb the nutrients to grow healthy.

When it comes to what they’ve been able to produce, Harris said that changed a lot over the 50 years.

“Over the decades we’ve definitely expanded the breadth and depth of what we provide here,” Harris said. “When we first started, we just had apples and that was during September and October and then we expanded, to include the flowers in the springtime. We have a strawberry season. We jump into the summer fruits and vegetables with raspberries and cantaloupes and cucumbers and all of the great summer veggies.”

On top of its innovative practices, serving the customers and being passionate about their work is what Harris finds to be most rewarding. His passion for growing things that people eat, coupled with investing many hours of hard labor for servicing the customers, he the most rewarding.

“When someone buys a cucumber or head of lettuce and comes back and says you know that is the best that I’ve ever tasted,” said Harris. “That just makes it all worthwhile.”

The farm currently has eight greenhouses with vegetables growing, as part of the nutrient film technique and this summer Harris will be focusing on building another greenhouse to grow more romaine lettuce.