When New York City native Carmen married second-generation farmer Blake Gendebien, the couple left urban life to move back to northern New York and buy a farm neighboring the one where he grew up. They joined his parents, Peter and Sharon, to create an expanded Twin Mill Farms and have treasured the opportunity to provide a childhood deeply connected to nature for their three sons. “The most amazing thing is when I’m out there on the tractor with one of my boys, and I remember riding on the very same tractor with my father,” Blake says.
Twin Mill uses farming practices designed to reduce the number of times the soil is tilled and to keep herbicide and pesticide use to the absolute minimum. “This helps keep our soils full and rich with nutrients, which reduces our carbon footprint and makes for a healthier farm and a healthier planet,” Blake, who is an Agri-Mark Board member, explains. “We believe in sowing seeds of sustainability now to create happy and healthy growth always and produce the best products we can for years to come. This is where food comes from.”
The farm also inspired Carmen’s unique line of Wholesome Glow farm-to-spa products made with incredible ingredients like rich, restorative milk direct from the cows; fragrant alfalfa and red clover from the fields; and herbs like mint from her own garden. Along with “the richest soap I could make,” the licensed esthetician says proudly, she crafts tub tea sachets filled with red clover blossoms, mint or lilac; blueberry, tea and mint body scrub and apple-lavender body cream inspired by the area’s many apple trees.