Staff - Meet Your Farmers!
Hi folks! My name is Ben Wenk, seventh generation to farm in our little corner of Adams County. I'm a 2006 graduate of Penn State's Agroecology program, minoring in Horticulture. I returned to our family farm not long after that, responding to an email seeking out vendors for Philadelphia's new Headhouse Farmers Market. Since February of 2007, I've managed our weekly trips to farmers markets in Philadelphia and the Baltimore and Washington DC areas and grown the small fruit and vegetables to supply these markets. Through this retail operation, I've picked up a number of wholesale opportunities and I'd be eager to schedule delivery of our local fruits and vegetables to your business in and around these towns. Much in part to my experience working in the Entomology Department at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center, I've also been put in charge of insect scouting and monitoring on all of our fruit acres - a large part of our effort in reducing our sprays here at Three Springs. I'd like to thank you for your interest in our farm and your support of the "buy local" movement! See you at market!
I am the oldest farmer in the Wenk family. I graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Horticulture degree in 1980. I returned to the farm and partnered with my father Donald G. Wenk. We called the business Three Springs Fruit Farm. Four years later my little brother John also returned to the farm and joined the partnership. When we brothers both married and started families, we were lucky that opportunities arose that both expanded our business and our diversity. Through leases and acquisitions our operation grew from one eighty acre apple farm to nearly 500 acres of apples, peaches, cherries, pears, small fruits, and vegetables. I have mostly focused on production and managing the overall operation. This has kept me on the farm and office, so coming to market is my break. I enjoy talking to our customers when I get a chance to go to a market, so please introduce yourself to me whenever I’m around.
The second-oldest of the Wenk farmers, John went to Penn State for Horticulture and raised three children on the farm; Ashley, Lindsay, and Greg. John started working on the farm at a young age and has continued to work here ever since, save one summer at the Penn State Fruit Lab in Biglerville under Dr. Larry Hull. His experience at the Fruit Lab gave John an interest in the entomology field and understanding orchard pests, their life cycles, and how best to conrol them. John was the 2009 winner of the Adams County Fruit Growers Association Fruit Grower of the year, highlighting his work at Three Springs and his contribution to that Association's fundraising during the Apple Blossom Festival over the years. John is a passionate hobby wine enthuisist, making many small batches of tasty homebrews, ciders, and wine using the fruits he helps grow each season. John is recently remarried to Karen Kuntz in November of 2009. Away from the farm, John enjoys the outdoors and winding his motorcycle through the country roads of Adams County and the surrounding areas.
My family moved to Adams County just before I was born when my father took a job as a food technologist at Knouse Foods, a local growers' cooperative. I met Dave in junior high school and we became good friends. Twelve years later we were married and I began teaching computer science, first at Gettysburg College and now at Penn State York where I have been for twenty years. It's so much fun to be part of this new venture for Three Springs Fruit Farm because I get to work with my children, Ben and Rachel, as well as our terrific marketeers and I meet such wonderful people each week at the markets.