About

A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education. Visit us to see why everyone leaves saying “I Love That Place!”

A 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education. Visit us to see why everyone leaves saying “I Love That Place!”

Overview

Linvilla Orchards is a 300-acre family farm dedicated to agriculture, entertainment and education. A trip to Linvilla creates family memories that last a lifetime and generations of Delaware Valley families have returned year after year to experience all of the things that make Linvilla Orchards special.


What to know

Linvilla Orchards is fun for the whole family! Each season brings more things to see and do at Linvilla. Take a hayride through our fields and orchards; pick your own fresh fruit and veggies, climb aboard our passenger train,  get your face painted like a princess or pirate; visit with the farm animals in the Barnyard, go fishing at Orchard Lake and play in our Playland Playground.

Been going here since I was 9. I take my children as well. I love this place. We go just about every year if we can.

— Tay on Facebook

Our History

In 1914, Arthur Linvill and his mother Lydia purchased a dairy farm with an eighty-foot tall octagonal barn. Arthur and his mother delivered fresh milk and cream to Swarthmore by horse and buggy, but Arthur wanted to grow fruit. Arthur planted orchards and then sold the fruit from a horse-drawn wagon. With the increased use of automobiles, people started coming to the farm where the Linvill family sold their produce from the front porch of the farm house.

As the produce became more abundant, the farm became more popular and the Farm Market opened in the Octagonal Barn. Over the years a bakery and gift shop were added which complemented the operation. Neighbors from all over the Delaware Valley have been coming back ever since.

In 2002, the picturesque barn was destroyed in a fire. Arthur's son Paul, Paul's wife Peg, and their children and grandchildren continue to operate Linvilla Orchards — staying faithful to the tradition that has made Linvilla such a great place to visit for over a century.

We hope you'll be a part of the next great era in Linvilla history.

Our History- time line

  • 1914 – Arthur Linvill and his mother Lydia Linvill purchased the original 110 acres of Linvilla with farm house and octagonal barn.  Additional pieces of property added throughout the years to create the current 350 acre farm.  The Octagonal barn housed some cows and horses, but the dairy herd was not included in the purchase of the farm.  Arthur purchased cows to continue the dairy, but Arthur’s interests were in orchard fruit. He planted fruit trees shortly after the purchase. 
  • 1914 - Arthur farmed buckwheat on the property his first few years. 
  • 1915 – first apple and peach trees planted on the farm
  • 1915  - Fruit  and milk sold from cart and wagon
  • 1922 -  Arthur married Mabel Wolf
  • 1925 – 1929 Arthur and Mabel have three sons born Lawrence, Paul, and Donald
  • 1927 – Knowlton Swim club mud hole started with horse and scoop
    •   Raised three boys and work on the farm – two were drafted
  • 1940’s – peaches and apples moved off the porch and into the barn and the last of the animals moved to outside pastures.
  • 1953 -   Paul attempts to sail around the world
  • 1952-1958 Lawrence and Esther Linvill have four children – David, Kenneth, Deborah, and Brian
  • 1955 -1960 Donald and Libby have three children – Cathy, Marie, and Barb
  • 1956 -  Paul returns to farm and works with his two brothers and His dad (Arthur) and his mother (Mabel) working the farm
  • 1957 – Paul Linvill married Margaret Fisher from East Haddam Connecticut(Peg Linvill)
  • 1959-1965 Paul and Peg Linvill have four children born – Susan, Steven, Nancy and Jean
  • 1962 - Donald, the youngest of the three brothers,  sold his shares and started Linvill’s little red barn in California.
  • 1964 – Porch added to octagonal barn
  • 1965 – Hidden Hollow Swim Club Opens
  • 1960’s (Late)- Bakery ovens purchased and bakery started in farm market
  • 1969 – Dried flower shop added "Weed Pod & Posy Shop"
  • 1971 Linvilla’s Pumpkinland display wins first place at Philadelphia Harvest Show
  • Arthur Linvill's grandchildren grow up helping out on the farm
  • 1970's-David Linvill ran the PYO operation - mostly strawberries.
  • 1980 - Arthur Linvill passed
  • 1987 – Larry Linvill retired and sold his development rights to Middletown Township
    • Paul's family obtained 'Life Estate' rights of township property
  • 1987 – Paul’s four children come home from all over and agree to keep working the business.
  • 1988- Purchased neighboring warehouse building 
  • 2002 - Devastating Fire destroys Octagonal Barn
    • New farm market built
    • Maintenance workshop moved 
  • 2010 - 15,000 sq foot greenhouse and garden center added
  • 2013 - Linvilla purchased 36 acre neighboring property
  • 2018 - Margaret Fisher Linvill passed 
  • 2019 - Beer garden added

Misc Tidbits

  • Arthur held a degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University
  • Grandfather, Arthur,  loved his roses and took amazing care of them. For many years you could see him working in his gardens.
  • Paul - Also loves his roses
  • Arthur had planted 12 different kinds of heather around his waterfall garden.  One heath or heather bloomed each month of the year.
  • Had a Nut farm in Landenberg
  • Lydia did not permit the sale of apple cider on the farm because of its alcohol potential

We Recycle! "Greening" the farm

 
Here are a few examples of what we use to make our farm system “greener.”

Recycling

Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of fresh raw materials and reduce pollution. We recycle just about everything on the farm!

Recycle

Cardboard.  - We have a cardboard baler and all of the cardboard that is delivered to us is baled and recycled. Plastic, glass, aluminum, steel, cardboard, plant material, food waste, trees and waste wood, water and even the rays from the sun above and the heat from below our feet.

Water

The garden center has garden retention tanks that can hold up to 13 thousand gallons of water. The rain water that rolls off the roof is collected in the tanks. 1 inch of rain = 10,000 gallons of water! We use the collected water to water our plants in the greenhouse.  What doesn’t fit in the tank goes back into the water table. We also have a water retention pond that reduces the rate that rain water enters our local streams and rivers, preventing erosion and flooding.

Heating with our Wood Chip Burner

Our green house and garden center is heated by our friend "Chip".  Chip heats the water for our radiant floor heating system.  With the addition of “Chip,” our wood chip burner, we recycle waste wood into fuel to help heat our buildings. Chip burns at such a high heat that the ash and particulate matter is much less, so we have a clean, more efficient system. We accept trees and branches from tree surgeons and gather them when pruning our orchards to make our wood chips.

Radiant floor heat

Radiant floor heat is a very efficient form of heat.  By heating the concrete floor the heat is more evenly spread out and the floor holds the heat making it more efficient and requiring less fuel to maintain the heat in the building.

Geothermal Heating and cooling System

Only a few feet below our feet the earth’s temperature stays at a fairly consistent 55 degrees. During the winter when the air is colder than 55 degrees, our system collects the Earth's natural heat through a series of pipes, called a loop, installed below the surface of the ground. Fluid circulates through the loop and carries the heat to the greenhouse. This process uses much less fuel to heat or cool the water since the temperature of the water is neither too hot nor too cold. Our gift shop is cooled in the summer months by the geothermal cooling.  The 55 degrees cools the air it is then distributed through our cloth ducts that hang on our ceiling of the gift shop.

 

Christmas Trees

Linvilla raises lots of trees!In one season, one green tree produces as much oxygen as 10 people inhale in one year. So, by raising Christmas trees alone we provide enough oxygen for 400,000 people each year! One adult Christmas tree can absorb approximately 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year! Did you ever wonder what happens to all the unsold Christmas Trees? We collect Christmas trees from around Delaware County and use them on the farm. Our Blueberries love the acidic mulch produced from pine trees.

Solar

Our greenhouse has solar panels on the south facing roof on the north side of the building.  The electricity produced by the panels produces enough electric to run the garden center.  The solar sun rays that come into the  greenhouse  heat the concrete floor and the building in the winter months.  They also provide the necessary light for the plants. While nice and toasty during the day from all the sunlight.  Our farm market uses a solar hot water heater on the roof of the Farm Market to heat all of the water used in the bakery, farm market and building!

Farm Animals

Everyone on the farm has a job, even the animals. Left over fruits and vegetables from the produce department get fed to the animals – animals make manure – manure is used as a fertilizer. Manure contributes to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients.

 Compost

Linvilla works with Kitchen Harvest to create our homemade compost.  Our compost is made at Linvilla from food scraps, non-usable produce, yard waste, plant waste, shredded leaves, and other compostables to create a highly nutrient filled compost.  Our compost is OMRI certified (Organic Materials Research Institute) as an organic material that may be bagged as a product called Ecoscraps. We are proud of our contribution of reducing food waste in the landfills.

Mulch

The leftover wood chips, twigs and leaves get ground up into mulch. The burner and mulch processing both keep brush from being trucked long distances and filling valuable landfill space. Mulch has many benefits, such as organic matter, ground cover to keep weeds away and it helps retain moisture in the soil.

Contour farming- Soil and water conservation

 

Fore the Planet Mini-Golf

This exhibition pairs important environmental issues with the fun of miniature golf. 18 unique educational holes explore butterfly metamorphosis, a tropical rainforest, evolution, dinosaur extinction, food chains and more!