Our family farm is 190 years old and still growing!
We look back on our long history here and are grateful for the generations before us. We have learned from them how to farm, how to run a business, and not to be afraid to try new things.
In 1832 Clark and Elizabeth Webster purchased this property from Joseph Derrickson. Clark was the youngest son of Thomas Webster, who had a farm in the area right behind this one, now Surrey Park. Clark’s youngest son, Isaac, and his wife, Sarah Wilson, purchased the property from Clark and it has been in the family ever since. Isaac is the one who developed the land from a raw state to a working farm.
The farm has always been multi-purpose, growing everything for the family’s needs plus cash for taxes and bills. They raised their own animals, did their own butchering, made cottage cheese and sausage, grew a wide variety of crops, and managed to have fun, too.
The Websters had a stall at the King Street Farmers Market as far back as the family memories go—to about 1830—at the corner of Sixth and King. It was John Webster, Jr., who created a store in the barn after World War II. He suspected as people settled the area around the farm, that they would come to the farm market for produce and skip going into town.
About the time that John Webster figured it was time for him to retire, his daughter Elaine, and her family came back to Delaware. Over the next several years, the running of the farm transitioned into Elaine and Jack Linton’s hands. Elaine was behind many of the innovations we now take for granted—chocolate zucchini bread, citrus products (which we never, ever grow), and out of season produce. She saw the need to make it easy for customers to get all their produce in one place.
And now the next generation is taking a turn. We are having a good time with hydroponics and high tunnels and four-season growing. We are learning about online platforms and social media. We have a lot of record keeping and paperwork to satisfy food safety inspections. We like to imagine that our ancestors are cheering us on!
We know that farms are dwindling in numbers. We know that the skills required to farm successfully are rare. We are a small farm with big ideas!
What will the next 190 years bring?
We know 2 things:
- People will still want to eat.
- Things will be different!
Thank you for being part of this wonderful journey with us. We couldn’t do it without you.
So, happy birthday to us! May there be many more!