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Twin Oaks Fun Farm brings agri-tainment to Lamar

“My strawberries are being eaten by birds,” or “I keep finding little bugs on the leaves of my plants.” So goes many of the stories Chuck and Elizabeth Patterson hear at Twin Oaks, the family U-pick farm they have owned for three years in Lamar County. ”We’ve always enjoyed agribusiness and we chose to get into (this) because it has always been a dream of ours; a strawberry field,” said Chuck. “Naturally the pavilion and playground just add to that.” The agribusiness and agri-tainment arena is responsible for revitalizing so many communities across America. Twin Oaks is one of those ventures. To generate revenue on what would be a traditional farm, many locales are taking advantage of their unique nostalgic, rural and outdoor appeal by developing entertainment attractions. These options range from such strategies as pick your own (like Twin Oaks), petting zoos, hay rides, children’s play areas and children’s discovery farms to destination mazes, school field trips and unique eating destinations. Before beginning their strawberry fields the Pattersons owned and ran a pecan grove where folks could pick their own pecans. The couple knew they would have to do more to continue to attract customers. ”Agri-tainment is extremely wholesome and family oriented,” he said. “It keeps the kids from in front of the television and allows them to play outdoors.” Twin Oaks offers over 20,000 strawberry plants where one can purchase by the pound or pick and pay for one’s own. They are happy to host birthday parties, family reunions, corporate outings, church socials and school field trips. ”In the fall we’re going to add a corn maze across the street as well as provide our traditional pumpkin patch,” noted Chuck. “This goes without saying. We’ll have hay rides and other family activities.” Perhaps the allure of a farm like Twin Oaks is the taste of homegrown strawberries. The enjoyment of pulling a strawberry off the vine and eating it on the spot is incomparable. Ecologically speaking, places like Twin Oaks are also (and generally unknowingly) on the cusp of carbon-footprint consciousness. When vegetables and produce are grown, harvested and sold in one community there is a significant drop in the use of fossil fuels for industry and transportation to bring food to market from overseas or even cross-country. Neither the Pattersons nor Twin Oaks claims to be agricultural experts. However, they are quick to offer advice on growing strawberries or to just serve up a fresh cup of strawberry ice cream. Twin Oaks is at 1946 Johnstonville Rd. You can also find them at www.twinoaksfunfarm.com

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