About Us

We are a small, family-run fruit and vegetable farm in northern Wilmington. We have been growing fabulous fruits and vegetables for the community since 1832! We have a farm market in our big red barn and deliver CSAs to various locations in northern Delaware and Philadelphia. Take a peak at what we do and then stop on by, we’d love to see you visit!

A note from Farmer Matt

Great food and community mark the days at our farm. Growing up on the farm was a special treat, full of hard work, sweat, innovation, determination and love of family, friends and a simpler (and busy) way of life. Connecting with the earth and the magic of caring for crops as they grow is something we have come to eagerly anticipate each season. I joined Ruth again after 25 years apart to work the farm together. Together, we have a vision of great food and a healthy community. 


From all of us at the Orchard, welcome to our small farm with big ideas!

What do we grow?

Vegetables

Asparagus, summer squash, winter squash, lettuce, spinach, red & green & russian & spigarello kale, collard greens, swiss chard, slicing & heirloom & plum & cherry & grape & pear tomatoes, kohlrabi, beets, onions, scallions, radishes, green & yellow & purple beans, sorrel, hull peas, snow peas, snap peas, fava beans, lima beans, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, celery, purslane, cucumbers, arugula, mustard greens, okra, rhubarb, brussels sprouts, eggplant, and more.

Fruits

We have several varieties of red raspberries, black raspberries, amber raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, sweet cherries, pie cherries, apples, pears, asian pears, white & yellow peaches, plums, apricots, pluots, kiwi berries, persimmons, currants, gooseberries, grapes, figs, white & yellow nectarines, paw-paws (note - we are building up our paw-paw patch; give us a couple years to have them in quantity), and probably a few other things I've forgotten. We carry local, pesticide-free honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon too

Herbs

Anise, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, dill, parsley, cilantro, spearmint & chocolate mint, chives, lavender, rosemary, tarragon, bay leaves, etc.

Flowers

We have peonies, snap dragons, asters, dianthus, daisies, sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, gladiolas, ageratum, tulips, fresias, celosia, straw flowers, gomphrena, carnations, lilacs, cosmos, statice, salvia, baby's breath, gerbera daisies, lilies, roses, and more for our cut flower bouquets. We have just put in a new tulip bed too to have fresh tulips early early in the season!

Growing Practices

We use crop rotation, our compost, our own aged manure (chicken, duck, rabbit, horse, goat), fish emulsion, seaweed, beneficial insects and beneficial nematodes, plant and mineral based sprays and powders for insecticides and fungicides. We use plastic, straw, wood chips, and leaf mulch, and hoeing to suppress weeds. We consider air flow in planting distance and pruning. We plant with seeds we have saved or from businesses like Johnny’s Seeds. We start our own herbs and vegetables in one of our greenhouses. We start our own flowers for the cutting garden.

We do not use sewage sludge, organophosphates, synthetic chemicals, or GMOS (’cause… ewww) 

What don't we grow?

  • Corn, melons, and pumpkins. These crops simply require too much land for us to be able to grow them and everything else. So we contract with a couple small Pennsylvania farmers who grow the same way we do – no synthetic chemicals, no GMOs, hand weeding, hand picking, etc. We pick these crops up fresh each morning when they are in-season. 
  • Mushrooms. Our knowledge of growing mushrooms couldn’t fill a thimble, let alone a mushroom, so we buy from a Pennsylvania farm with a couple mushroom houses. No worries, we made sure they treat their employees and mushrooms right before doing business with them. 
  • Meat. We do not raise beef, pork, lamb, or chicken for meat. We do not have the land or the setup for that kind of operation. So, again, we contract with a few farmers and commit to buying whole animals. All the animals are on pasture with access to hay and/or grain. The meat is processed at a small USDA-certified slaughterhouse in Maryland. 

Farming since 1832

Clark Webster purchased the land in 1832, and the original deed is written on sheepskin. At that time it was mostly rocky pasture. In 1835, Clark’s son, Isaac, began clearing the ground of the multitude of rocks, and thus began the Webster farming of this land. 
 
Our Grandfather John Webster gave the farm the name Highland Orchards, officially when he was registering his Guernsey milking herd in 1940. But, by then he had been farming successfully for 26 years and everyone informally knew it as “Webster’s.” In 1941 John purchased the Pennsylvania farm outside of West Chester, which he also named Highland Orchards. 
 
As the father of five daughters, John Webster used to say, “All my boys are girls!” So, when his daughter Elizabeth married Robert Hodge, they became managers and then owners of the Pennsylvania farm. They and their six children expanded the plantings, buildings, and property to the prosperous, efficient business of today. Elizabeth and Bob have now turned over the farm to their children. 
 
Meanwhile, John’s daughter Elaine had married Jack Linton and they enjoyed six children. By 1970, Jack, Elaine, and the Linton children were working the remaining five acres of the Delaware homestead. Now in 2022, Elaine, her daughter Ruth, and son Matthew, plant, harvest and sell their produce, including some fruit from trees planted by John Webster fifty years ago.
Sharing wisdom

For current happenings, check out our blog.

Scallions growing in th eground in a high tunnel

5 more tips for winter growing:

Alright, dedicated grower, here are some more tips on growing for winter. Remember, patience is key! As you already know, every growing area has its own micro-climate and ecosystem. 

More Blog Posts

Highland Orchards Farm Market

1431 Foulk Rd, Wilmington, DE 19803

Open Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 9-5, closed Sunday

(302) 478-4042       highlandcsa@gmail.com