Passing of Miles Slack, Jr.

Many of you may have known Miles Slack. Some of you did not. But I bet many of you ate his vegetables and fruit, sold at a small farm stand by the road in Furlong, along Forest Grove Road.

The sign says “The Center Farm,” so don’t be fooled. The farm itself has been in the Slack family for years. Miles’ brother, Fred, farms the land adjacent, and sells some of the best tomatoes in the county come July.

I only met Miles once or twice at the stand. He taught me the easy way of preserving tomatoes one day. I was hesitating over a box of “hurt” tomatoes he was trying to sell me. The thought of standing over a pot of boiling water in August to get the skin off of three dozen tomatoes didn’t appeal to me. “No,” he said, with a smile. “Here’s how you do it.” And he told me to wash and core the fruit, cut off any damaged spots, and lay the tomatoes out on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer, he explained, and after the tomatoes are fully frozen, pop them in a ziploc bag and throw them in the freezer. “Then, when you want to use them, place the frozen tomatoes in a pot in the morning, and let them defrost all day.” It’s a small thing, but not really. I’ve been using this method for a few years now, and always think of him – gratefully.

My heart goes out to Wanda, Miles’ wife and her family now, since I just learned that Miles passed away in early May at the age of 86. Please read all about him here in his obituary in the Intelligencer. May he rest in peace.

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  1. Very sad news indeed. I am puzzled as to why you are puzzled regarding the farm name. Nothing about “Center”, to me, implies a surname. I don’t understand why it would seem odd. Lots of people name their farms with random names (vs. surnames). “Center” might refer to a location. That is how it struck me.

  2. The loss of Miles Bennett Slack, II is the passing of a Bucks County Legend. A piece of what old america was. Family farms are often kept in the family when one of the family members would like to carry on tradition, however, this does not come without serious cost. The farmer usually must “buy out his family” with a mortgage. In this case it was more than just Miles Slack Farming.. Wanda and Guy are the Farmers now and they have excellent produce and crops. With two Slack Farms back to back I don’t think anyone needs to be told of the confusion two exact family names created. Miles and Wanda chose Center /Centre Farm for the exact reason Mary states.

    Center / Centre Farm is in the Center of everything.. As Miles was, this is just a simple pure reason for the name with bit of distinction.

    Thank you for the post. I am sure the family appreciates Miles’ story of how to put up “hurt” tomoatoes. He left us as a legend and gift.

  3. Miles B. Slack, II is the passing of a Bucks County and Farming legend. It’s so hard to drive down Forest Grove Rd and not see his weathered twinkling smile and wave.

    The family farm is not always kept in the family the way the outside world assumes. If one or a few of the family choose to carry on farming; this is not without serious cost. The farmers usually buy out the other non-farming members as Miles and Fred had to do. They purchashed that land from the previous generation. With two Slack Farms back to back there was much confusion on farm distinction, hence the beginning of Center / Centre Farm. Wanda and Guy are carrying on tradition at this farm.

    As Mary states. Quite simply the farm is right in the middle / Center.

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