Fun is important! Our team works hard and plays hard. We’re definitely a farm family.

If you click on the image above you’ll see a short clip of a few of our younger members making a video for our Name of the Day Facebook Posts. (Each day a new name is picked for free ice cream!)

We’re looking to add to our farm family – don’t worry, singing isn’t a requirement, nor is jumping, haha…but willingness to work hard and have fun is!

We’re primarily looking for fall seasonal help (September & October):
  • Group Tour Leaders (Farm Educators – we train you)
  • Tractor Drivers for Wagon Rides
  • Corn Maze Guides
  • U-pick Cashiers
  • Kitchen assistants
  • Store Stockers

Minimum age is 15; several positions must be 18 or older. Most require weekends in September and October (tour leaders are weekdays, tractor drivers are weekday and/or weekends).

All staff are provided with a T-shirt, have free admission to PlayLand and the Corn Maze on non-work hours (plus immediate family members of staff also get free PlayLand admission!), receive an employee discount, treated to an end of season party, are paid a competitive wage, and have paid training.

Are you a “Go-Getter?” We actually prefer to say….a “Day-Maker” but I haven’t found that on a Coke can yet. Ha! Come join our team and YOU can be a Day-Maker by providing a young child a scoop of ice cream or high-fiving a guest as they make their way through the corn maze, or giving our guests a tour of the farm….there’s endless opportunities!

“It is far better to give than receive.”

Several years ago, we asked our farm friends (that’s you!) to tell us about someone that needed some encouragement. We chose several of these people and delivered a bag of apples with an encouraging word and let them know who nominated them for the gift. I anticipated the receiver would be happy that a loved one nominated them. What I didn’t realize, was just how blessed I would feel to be a part of it.

It’s been several years since we did that, but I was reminded this week that giving is more rewarding than receiving. My son, Matt, has been out of town for almost 2 months doing some training with Bonefish Restaurant. He has gotten to know some of the hotel staff, including a young, single mom. She is worried about how she’s going to buy her son Christmas gifts as most of her money goes to necessities. A power wheels jeep is at the top of her son’s list. Of every toy my three children ever received, my son’s own power wheels jeep was the most loved and most played with toy. That jeep was driven for hours and hours and hours so this touched Matt’s heart.

Matt called me this week and asked, “Mom, do you think it would be crazy of me to buy the jeep for her to give to her son?”  Matt has always loved cars. Still does. I’m touched by his heart. Well done Matt. Yes, it’s a little crazy but oh how I love your heart. Thank you for this reminder that to give is far better than to receive. This time, I will follow your lead. I want to give back to people who need a smile and a word of encouragement.

Who is that someone in your life that you are thankful for who may also need some encouragement right now? Have someone in mind? This is what you need to do:

  • Email me (karen@paulusorchards.com) with the subject “Giving Thanks”
  • In the email let us know why or how this person is an encouragement to others and why this person could use some encouragement back
  • Provide the person’s zip code (If chosen we will email you back to request the full address)
  • Send your email by Thanksgiving Eve (November 21st). Then on Thanksgiving Day my family will pour through the letters to try to narrow it down. We’ll pick 5 local people that I can drive to and drop off the apples and 2 people that are a bit further but we can cover the shipping costs to ship the apples.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I believe we tend to fear what we do not understand. How often in life have we overcome a fear once we learned more?

Recently a friend of mine was excited about a new peach flavor of a family favorite cereal. To share this new treasure, she posted a picture to Facebook.

Very quickly someone posted this comment, “The worst part of [cereal name removed by me to not slander the company] is trisodium phosphate. It’s an industrial cleaner that’s not even safe for household use, but they put it in our food!!!” A few others joined in on the negative comments to which my friend ultimately posted, “I fed this cereal to my kids their whole lives! I feel like such a bad mom now!!!” Yikes! My friend went from excitement to thinking she’s a bad mom! Is she really a bad mom?

An ingredient IN something does not mean that the ingredient IS that something. In addition, the same ingredient in more than one thing does not mean those things are the same either. Sodium bicarbonate is also used in heavy-duty cleaning just like the compound mentioned above. Other uses of sodium bicarbonate are to de-tarnish silver and to put out fires! If that’s the case it must be awful for us and we should never ingest it, right?

Not quite. Sodium bicarbonate is also known as baking soda. We add this to our foods because when it reacts with something like vinegar, lemon juice, milk, or honey it produces carbon dioxide gas which bubbles in your dough and causes the dough to rise. But wait, isn’t carbon dioxide toxic? Technically, yes, it is. People have died from carbon dioxide inhalation so are you a bad parent if you do any baking in your house? OK, this is clearly a ridiculous question so please do not send me angry emails. I’m being extreme to make a point that we need to understand more about substances in our foods and when we do understand more we can make an educated decision about the safety of the foods we eat.

There are just 92 naturally occurring elements, with just 25 of those being found in living things. Everything we come into contact with is made of elements that come together in amazingly different ways to make compounds with amazingly different properties. It’s glorious. (Please forgive my chemistry lesson. It is one of the things I love, and I could probably drone on for hours, but I’ll attempt to keep it brief.)  Just as these elements come together to make incredibly different compounds, compounds will come together to make incredibly different foods or materials that we use in every-day life. So now we need to understand the properties of the different compounds. Does it matter if they are combined with other compounds? And how does concentration come into play?

Concentration is HUGELY important. A quick example: would you willingly consume something that has been known to cause liver damage or even death? Would you give it to your children? If you thought no, you might want to think again. I’m talking about acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. A wonder drug when you have a headache or muscle ache. In low doses it is extremely helpful (and almost seems miraculous to a crying toddler with an ear infection!) but in high doses it is very harmful. So it’s not an easy answer. We need to have more understanding.

The short answer about trisodium phosphate is it’s not something you want to ingest in high concentration but in low concentrations it is safe for us and it actually provides food benefits. Food-grade trisodium phosphate is often used as a leavening agent for baked goods, an emulsifier for processed cheese, a flavorant for certain beverages, and to control the pH of processed foods. If you would like to read more, here’s a link to the Tennessee Poison Center’s post on the safety of this compound in your food: https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/poisoncenter/50686

I admit, it’s scary trying to read an ingredient label. And I don’t want to tell you that you should eat something you’re not comfortable eating. Just because I’ll continue eating said cereal, doesn’t mean you should if you choose to make that decision. I just wish we would focus more on eating less processed foods and eating more fruits and vegetables. Yes, I’m biased to that idea because yes, I’m a farmer and therefore I profit if you eat more produce. So of course I vote that you should add more apples to your diet! But it’s still the truth that choosing more fresh produce and reducing processed foods will be a far better way to improve your health than boycotting a cereal for having an ingredient that can also be used in a different way. Hopefully my friend doesn’t throw the box in the trash and take her kids to the nearest fried food venue or candy isle of the grocery store. Come on over to the orchard…we’ll be happy to help you pick out some “great-for-you” foods! :-)

The Pros and Cons of Working in the Kitchen at Paulus Orchards

No this isn’t the kitchen … it’s the cow train, but keep reading and it will make sense. I promise.
This past Wednesday, I was working on a project and I got a text from my kitchen manager. “Have you seen the list in the kitchen? Apparently some of the staff decided to make a list of the pros and cons of working in the kitchen.”
OK, put yourself in my place. What’s your first thought? I immediately dropped what I was doing and made a beeline to the kitchen. As I approached I could see a list carefully taped on the glass window opposite a menu item — opposite a menu item so customers couldn’t see the list. It had multiple types of handwriting so quite a few people were adding to it. Oh boy. I was nervous.
Would you read the pro or con list first? I went straight to the con.
Here are just 5 of the cons, with the last being my personal favorite:
  • When there’s no customers.
  • When someone orders 2 scoops of ice cream in a cone. (Note: our scoops are big)
  • When you’re working by yourself and wish you had someone to talk to.
  • Spending the money you just made on food you want to buy.
  • When one of the Pauluses orders something and you’re all of a sudden paranoid that everything you’re doing is wrong.
Having a good laugh is the best. It really makes a big impact in your day. OK, I can live with these cons. Not one of them was “bad.” I felt much better.

 

Here are 5 of the pros, again the last being my personal favorite:
  • Little kids who are excited to ask for their own orders.
  • Nice customers.
  • When there’s a new ice cream flavor.
  • There’s air-conditioning (Note: the rest of our staff don’t get this luxury!)
  • Those days in the fall when you get scheduled to drive kids around in the cow train instead of having a nervous breakdown in the kitchen.
I hope this made you chuckle too. If you’ve been to the farm on a fall weekend it can get a little crazy so you might be able to understand how driving the cow train sounds like a great idea! Ha! I don’t know who started the list, or who has since added to it, but I left the list on the window. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I really love our staff.

There’s a lot of good in this world. There’s a lot of good in our local community. I bet you know people who volunteer, and maybe you also volunteer. Maybe with coaching a children’s sport, or tutoring children or youth who need extra help, or helping adults learn how to read or speak English, or serving meals to the homeless, or donating supplies to shelters, or helping with animal rescue shelters, or helping fix or build homes for those in need, or visiting with the sick,  or…the list goes on. They’re all awesome & worthy! They’re all doing good. They all need financial support.

It’s truly no exaggeration that our farm receives over 100 requests for donations every year. I never want to say no. Every request is for the good of our community. I want to help each organization. Imagine if we donated $100 to each of those requests….$10,000. It adds up quickly. And, we actually do donate over $10,000 to non-profits every year but we do it through partnership.

Much thought has been put into a plan to find a way to help as many of these worthy groups as possible. And here’s that plan – we say YES to partnering with non-profit organizations in a way that is mutually beneficial. There’s several options listed below. Check them out and then contact us (Karen@PaulusMtAiryOrchards.com) for more information and to see if you qualify. We truly look forward to helping you help others in need!

In 2020, we have made a number of charitable donations of over $6,000, some of which include $1500 to Hope Walks, $1250 to the Harrisburg Ecumenical Food Pantry, $600 to Word FM, and $420 to CURE International.

In 2019, we made charitable donations of $13,417.00; some of which included $2625 to the Navy Supply Corp., $2,300 to the Harrisburg Ecumenical Food Pantry, $1950 to the West Shore Youth Athletic Assoc., $1,550 to New Hope Ministries, $420 to Messiah College Engineering Collaboratory Project, $420 to Hope Grace Brethren Church, $360 to Upper Allen Kiwanis, $360 to Dover Elementary School, and $180 to Greenlight Operation.

In 2018, we made charitable donations of $13,502.00; some of which included $3615 to the West Shore Youth Athletic Assoc., over $3,000 to CURE International, over $2,000 to the Navy Supply Corp., over $2,000 to the Harrisburg Ecumenical Food Pantry, over $500 to the Upper Allen Kiwanis, and over $400 to Messiah College Engineering Collaboratory Project.

In 2017, we made charitable donations of $11,260.00; some of which included over $3,000 to CURE International, $2,000 to the Harrisburg Ecumenical Food Pantry, $1500 to the Navy Supply Corp., $1450 to the West Shore Youth Athletic Assoc., over $400 to the Upper Allen Kiwanis, and $360 to the Friends of Murray Library at Messiah College.

Fall Volunteers:
October is by far the busiest month of the year at the orchard and September is a close second. How do you hire enough people for several crazy weekends when you need half that amount of staff for the rest of the year? It’s a blessing to have people come and visit us…it’s also hard to adequately staff for some of the fall weekends. So…your group can help us by volunteering. Duties may include handing out u-pick bags, returning wagons to the pumpkin patch, greeting guests at the corn maze, helping at the admission shed, washing dishes, helping serve food, changing out trash bags, etc. Volunteer shifts are typically 4-hour shifts during weekends in September and October. We request a minimum of 16 total hours per organization. Minimum age to volunteer is 18. Volunteers will earn $15/donated hour for your organization. In the event of rain we will not need volunteers, but we appreciate the commitment you have made and we will still make a charitable donation to your organization in the amount of $15 for every assigned shift that is canceled due to rain.

Summer Festival Volunteers:
We hold three annual summer festivals – Strawberry in May, Blueberry in July, and Peach in August. Our summer festivals benefit organizations such as New Hope Ministries of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg Ecumenical Food Pantry, Radiant Hope, Hope Walks, and CURE, International. These wonderful organizations provide tremendous help for these festivals to run smoothly, but each year the festivals grow and we may be in need of additional support. Volunteer shifts and donations work the same as above. You help us help them, and in return your group is helped too!

Fruit Sale:
You take advance orders from your friends and family for peaches or apples (1/4 and 1/2 peck are the most common size and biggest area of profit for you). We will provide you with the crates of fruit as well as the drawstring bags for you to package the orders. You sell the fruit at retail cost (or even slightly higher to increase your profit; we will provide you with guidance on this) and we sell you the fruit at wholesale cost. Minimum order is 10 crates of fruit. 1 crate = 1 half bushel = 2 pecks = 4 half pecks = 8 quarter pecks. Estimated profit for 10 crates is approximately $250.

Gift Certificate Mailing:
Your members win by getting a $5 gift certificate to use at the orchard and your non-profit wins by getting a donation worth 10% of all the sales generated from those certificates! We’ll create a letter from you and get your approval on it. Then, after you approve, you provide us with a mailing list of the members and supporters of your organization and we will cover the cost of mailing them a $5 gift certificate and the letter explaining how it all benefits you. The gift certificates do not expire, but we will donate 10% of the sale for every purchase made within 2-weeks of sending out the certificates.

After Hours Party:
Let’s have a party! Invite your members to an after-hours event from 7pm-8pm. We’ll provide fun snacks and drinks and a place for your group to hang out, have fun, and relax! No sales pitch…this isn’t a “show.” Just a party with friends. 15% of any purchases made during this event will then be donated to your organization.