The Condurso family decided to put up a little farmstand on property they owned in view of the new Bayhealth Sussex Campus on the east side of Route 1 in September 2020 as a test to see what public response was to a potential garden center in that area. This year, the farm market has expanded significantly.
“We are not a little stand any longer,” Helene Condurso said. “We have constructed a greenhouse and it is now full of annuals, perrenials, hanging baskets, vegetable plants and more. Right now, our greenhouse is full of color and with planting season starting, we hope to see people stroll through and find the perfect plants for their home or garden.”
The Condurso’s have owned the land for over 20 years while also owning and operating a farm in New Jersey. Howard Webb used the field for corn and beans, keeping the soil in “good shape,” according to Tony Condurso, Helene’s husband. “Our whole purpose in putting up the little stand last year was just to see if there was interest, and there definitely was.”
When the small stand opened in 2020, the Condurso’s had no power or water on the land. At the time, they were in the process of planning two greenhouses on the property, with one completed this year in time to open for the spring season. Tony stated that people immediately began asking for produce, mums and other items at the farm stand in the fall where they were selling gourds and pumpkins, so the couple knew that adding those items would be a success.
“The soil is sandy which means we may start things in the ground and transfer them to pots,” Tony said. “We were concerned that we may not get seedlings in the ground quick enough since it was fall when we started the process, but they have done nicely.”
Currently, East Gate Farm is offering flowering and vegetable plants. In late June or early July, they hope to also offer produce including tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, corn and more. In the fall, they will once again offer pumpkins, gourds and mums. Most of the items sold at the greenhouse will be grown on the farm in Milford.
East Gate Farm is open seven days each week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The farm is located just over the Wilkins Road overpass on Cedar Neck Road, east of Route 1.
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