our story

Our Story - Celebrating 30 Years!

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13 Generations of Farming and July 2019 marks our 30th year as Harbes Family Farm retail Farm Market.  

Good Stewardship

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We are proud to have been been the first certified sustainable vineyard on Long Island and continue to use environmentally responsible farming methods. 

Growing Memories

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Decades of  country fun for everyone and have the joy of watching children who have grown into parents bring their own children to experience the farm life and traditions they enjoyed years ago.  It is a privilege to be a part of your traditions. .

our story

Since, 1989 we have welcomed others to experience the country and become part of our farming legacy and future....

While the Harbes have been farming for 13 generations dating back to origins in Europe, we have been farming the fertile soils of Long Island 's Hempstead area since 1920's and moving to the East end in the 60's as the Long Island Expressway was through our farm.


It was here on the North Fork in 1978 that a fruitful journey began as two high school sweethearts (Ed & Monica Harbes) married young and started a new life on the family farm in Mattituck. Ed worked with his father, becoming the 12th generation of farmers as he strove to provide for his ever-growing family with the potato and cabbage farming business.  Monica devoted her time to homemaking and motherhood, helping on the farm when time permitted (which wasn't too often since they have eight children).


The 1980's were a transitioning period for farming. An increasingly global economy made it difficult for smaller "Mom and Pop" type operations to thrive. After several disappointing years in the potato business and with no upturn in sight, we shifted focus to retail farming.


In 1989, Ed planted a new type of Super Sweet Corn, built a 14' by 14' gazebo and started retailing corn and tomatoes with the salesmanship of their ten-year-old son, Jason. They were humble beginnings to be sure, but the public has been kind to them and over the years their business has grown.


In 2003, the finest French vinifera clones were planted on a stony south facing hill, providing an ideal setting for vines and among the most promising wines on the North Fork. The tasting barn located at the Mattituck farm now provides a location for guests to enjoy wine in a rural setting. 


The expansion to three locations and a vineyard has kept  the Harbes family  busy with daily farm operations, from plowing, pruning, and harvesting the fields to producing quality wine and running the farm stands.


We welcome you to our farms and invite you to enjoy the country and make your own family memories! 


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good stewardship

Sustainable Farming Practices

The Harbes Family has been tilling the soil for 13 generations. We are committed to protecting agricultural land and preserving our family legacy and heritage as farmers. 

  •  We use locally sourced compost to enrich and protect the soil quality which minimizes the need for fertilizer.
  • We perform crop-rotation and cover cropping which is a method of replenishing the soils nutrients and preventing the depletion of the soils nutrients.
  • We utilize reduced tillage farming practices that preserves soil quality, reduces need for crop inputs and minimizes water runoff. 
  • To date, we have put over 50 acres into conservation easement which ensures that this land will remain undeveloped.  
  • We work closely with Cornell University’s integrated pest management system to grow fresh and healthy produce with a minimum of inputs. 

Each year we continue to make strides towards greater stewardship of our precious resources.  Thank you for the opportunity to share our agricultural heritage with you.

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Growing Memories

Decades of Country Fun for Everyone

 

Ed Harbes has always been about family. He and his wife, Monica, and their eight children can attest to that. He envisioned his farms as places where families could go to spend a day in the country and have fun together.


One season Ed happened to grow pumpkins by the farmstand. Even though there was a large wagon of them pre-picked for purchase, customers noticed the pumpkins growing nearby and asked if they could pick their own. Initially he disliked the idea of allowing people into the field when there was a large supply ready for purchase. After saying no many times, it dawned on him that people not only wanted the product but they also wanted an enjoyable harvest experience for themselves. This realization inspired him to later offer other enjoyable country experiences; such as hayrides, corn mazes and ready-to-eat roasted sweet corn. 


As the years passed, more and more families began to visit for the genuine farm experiences and agritainment. The corn mazes became more elaborate with costumed actors adding to the fun. Musical entertainment could be found performing on weekends and holidays. A singer was added to improve the hayride experience by singing songs and offering a guided tour of the Mattituck location. The Barnyard Adventure area was later introduced to create a space where people could have enjoyable interactive farm experiences. Visitors to the Barnyard can enjoy wide open spaces, farm animals, weekend pig races, children’s activities, such as sack races and tug-of-war, general fun and games and, of course, the overall family-friendly atmosphere.


Over the years Harbes has expanded to three locations. The flagship location, Harbes Family Farm, is located in Mattituck, the second farm, Harbes Farms Jamesport, is located in Jamesport, and the orchard site, Harbes Farm & Orchard, is in Riverhead. Each location is built on the simple premise of offering country fun for everyone.


Harbes Farms have created a lasting legacy of memories for countless families and the Harbes Family hopes to continue this tradition for many decades to come.

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