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Gajeski Family Protects Farmland in Jamesport and Northville

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Conservation News
September 15, 2020

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

In June, the Gajeski family built upon the conservation legacy of Benny and Eleanor Gatz with the protection of additional farmland in the Town of Riverhead.

Felix and William Gajeski of Jamesport completed the sale of development rights on 7.5 acres of farmland through the Suffolk County Farmland Preservation Program.

The land, which has been actively farmed for over 100 years, sits within a 410 acre block of productive, but unprotected, farmland. The Gajeski brothers are the first landowners to come forward and offer to preserve their farmland in this area of Jamesport, between the Main Road and the railroad, between Herricks and Laurel Lanes.

Also in June, Brian and Deborah Gajeski sold development rights to the County on two building lots, which total 3.1 acres in the Northville area of Riverhead on Sound Avenue. The lots are adjacent to previously protected farmland and are part of a nearly 1,000 acre contiguous block of protected farmland.

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Gwen Gatz Gajeski, Abigail Gajeski and Deborah Gajeski outside the family farmstand, Northville Farms in Riverhead

The Gajeskis’ are descendants of Benny and Eleanor Gatz, who sold development rights on over 50 acres of farmland — in 2002, 31 acres to the County and in 2003, 18 acres to the Town of Riverhead (the Trust assisted with both transactions). Mr. Gatz is the father of Felix Gajeski’s wife Gwen Gatz Gajeski and the grandfather of Brian Gajeski.

The family operates the wholesale vegetable business, Gajeski Produce, which also includes a retail farmstand, Northville Farms, on Sound Avenue in Riverhead.

“We are honored to once again be able to help the Gatz/Gajeski family with the protection of farmland in the Town of Riverhead under the Suffolk County Farmland Protection Program. As the first program of this type in the country, the County’s program continues to work with our farming community to ensure that agriculture remains strong and viable on Long Island. We thank the Gajeskis for their commitment to farming!” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust.

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