93 year old Frank Treadway sits in the shade, on a swing with his wife, in front of his Centerville farm and produce stand. He talks about getting married in 1946, and driving from his Cumberland Kentucky home to Dayton on his honeymoon.. He and his wife fell in love with Dayton, and the rest as they say, is history. And what a history it is, Treadway’s Garden, on State Route 48 near Social Row Rd., has left a legacy of fresh farm produce through 3 generations.
The whole family is involved, even grandkids, students and part time adults. The result is a haven of produce and flowers that has become a staple in Centerville.
Treadway’s Gardens is a favorite stop of Chef House, The Big Ragu and Hungry Jax. Why? The inviting atmosphere, the great local fruits and veggies. And finally, of course the friendly service is the clincher. You feel welcome, they treat you like family. It is a true joy to stop by the garden and see what’s happening.
And who better that the Food Adventures Crew to give you the inside scoop on Treadway’s!
HERE’S THE SKINNY:
— TREADWAY’S GARDEN is located at 10245 Dayton Lebanon Pike, in Washington Township/ Centerville
— Treadway’s Hours – 7 days a week , 10am – 7pm, Memorial day thru Halloween.
During Sept and Oct., they usually stay open until 6pm.
Don’t forget they sell Frazier Fur Christmas trees from North Carolina in the winter !
— A true family owned business. Mr. and Mrs. Treadway started selling produce at the farm in 1969. Today their three children all have a hand in the farm. Stephanie has been running the operations for the past 9 years. Her brother Jeff tends to the bees, and honey making. Janet, who recently retired form teaching, is now involved with the farm too! All of the grandkids and that have lived in the area have worked at the garden and benefited in a lot of ways. They learned the meaning of hard work and family values. Mr. Treadway told Big Ragu, “If you wan’t to lose that belly, I can get you working here picking some produce in the field.” Farm chores are a heck of a workout.
–— Stephanie Treadway Wilson took us on a tour of the 10 acre farm. They rotate farming 5 acres each year. We saw the bees and an old smoker near the farm house. Those cluster of structures are some of the oldest buildings in Montgomery county.
— They have a “pick your own” option for some of the vegetables throughout the summer. In past decades, adults would mostly do this, in recent years, there has been a trend where parents take their kids to the field to help them learn about freshly grown fruits and vegetables. There motto is “Our garden is your garden.” Each child who comes to the garden gets a free Zinnia Flower from the farm. They make you feel welcome at every turn.
— There are also some local sauces, jams, etc. for sale at the garden, including Housemade Sriracha and Housemade Hot Honey, which of course our close to our heart.
— Giving back to the community – Treadway’s supports many local organizations such as MDA and Alzheimers local charities. The Big Ragu can remember when he worked MDA fundraising events from 1994-2002, the Treadway family would donate much of the concession stand produce used for hamburger and sausage toppings. Stephanie’s 3 children all worked for the MDA camp as well. The family is humble and quiet about their local charity involvement, but we want to sing those praises here.
Now it is time to taste some of the bountiful harvest. They are all fresh and delicious products, but we have our faves.
Without further delay, here at the MUST EATS at Treadway’s Garden !
— PEACHES: The cleanest, plumpest, juiciest peaches known to man are here. We find ourselves unable to get to the car before taking a chomp out of one of the peaches we bought. Freshness in every bite, tell us what you think after trying one of these gems. Hungry Jax and The Big Ragu recommend these as favorites.
— NATURAL HONEY: Made on site from bees on site ! Mr Treadway himself and son Jeff tend to the bees. The result is your benefit, with some of the tastiest honey you have ever tried. On toast, or drizzled over good food, you cant go wrong. We also love cooking with this stuff!
— SWEET CORN: Some of the best in the area and 50 cents per ear. Like all of Treadway’s produce, you can count on them to be beautiful, fresh and delicious. We have been making them 3 ways this summer: steaming, boiling and grilling the corn in the husk. It kicks your cookouts up a notch. So sweet, so delicious, we add a bit of butter and salt and as Jackie Gleason said .. “How sweet it is !” The Big Ragu highly recommends this corn on the cob!
— CANTALOUPES: Hungry Jax says you cant go wrong with the cantaloupe at Treadway’s Garden. Juicy, fresh and beautiful, they make the healthiest of summer time treats and eats. A versatile fruit, this deliciousness goes well with practically any meal.
— TOMATOES : Giant, plump and juicy tomatoes in trays adorn the greeting area. The display speaks for itself. Slice them up alone with some salt or sugar, or use them in a salad. We prefer a slice with our grilled burgers. Also, Hungry Jax and Big Ragu like them for helping make the perfect marinara sauce. Here is a Food Adventure tip from Chef House: The 50% off tomato bin is great!
— ONIONS: Some of the best looking, large onions around are found here. We asked Mr Treadway, what is your favorite thing on the farm? He answered, :Onions and tomatoes! You can make a meal with them by themselves.” You know what, he is right. Listen to the expert with 68 years of farming experience.
— SUPER CHILE PEPPERS: These are some very tasty peppers. They are grown like Thai chilies, pointing up towards the sky, but they are in the cayenne family, which are not as hot as Thai Chiles. Chef House knows good, spicy food, and she says these peppers are perfect for cooking.
— CAYENNE PEPPERS: You have never seen cayenne peppers this big. Chef House recommends these magnificent looking peppers to give some heat to your summer cooking. Truth be told, Chef House also walks around sometimes, munching on these peppers. Now that’s a hot habit.
— PUMPKINS: Chef House is always impressed and obsessed with the beautiful pumpkins at Treadway’s. Carving or cooking, you have found the perfect local place to grab your Halloween and Thanksgiving Pumpkin needs
What’s on the horizon for Treadway’s Gardens? Frank’s grandson (Stephanie’s son) Taylor is being groomed to eventually take a more leading role in operations. One of his current additions to the mix, is putting Treadway’s produce in the Oakwood Farmer’s Market. This has helped introduce more Dayton people to their amazing goods.
What is the secret to 46 years of successful farming and produce sales?
Frank Treadway says “word of mouth,” and points to the customers who were sitting and talking to each other. He feels the inviting atmosphere makes customers comfortable and coming back for more.
Stephanie says passion plays a big part too. “If a person has passion for what they are doing they will succeed. It seems that success comes if you are passionate about anything you do and are a well rounded person.” Great advice from one of Centerville’s iconic families.
Make sure you visit Treadway’s Garden, have a seat in the shade, and enjoy the field of dreams yourself.
Please browse the photos below and see what the garden has to offer.
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