Riverhead, NY

Wading River Initiative

Project Type

Conservation

Acreage

38

Things to do

Visit a Farmstand/Tasting Room

Access

Limited

Address
6164 NY-25A, Riverhead, NY 11792

About

Join us on Zoom to learn more about this community conservation effort! 

Thank you to all who attended our first project planning meet and greet last Tuesday! We're so excited to build on that momentum and bring together more friends and neighbors who are passionate about preserving this landscape. 

To RSVP for the upcoming information sessions, follow the links below:


For 100 years, the Condzella family has farmed on North Country Road in Wading River. Over the years, parcels were sold. And the family farm, once over 60 acres, today totals just 16. But hopefully, that's about to change!

Please join with the Peconic Land Trust to permanently protect the farmland, so the Condzella family can buy the land back.

We need your help to raise $520,000 from the community by March 31, 2022 ($180,000 has already been raised)! The money will be used to match grants the Peconic Land Trust will be awarded by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The grant and the matching funds raised from the community will be used to purchase the development rights on six properties totaling 38 acres. The Condzellas will then be provided with an affordable path to buy back the two parcels not currently in their farm operation. 

By permanently protecting this farmland, our community will forever benefit from:

  • Availability of fresh, locally grown produce, including strawberries, asparagus, and honey!
  • Scenic viewshed and source water protection
  • Continuation of the area's bucolic farming heritage

Take Action! How You Can Help:

Conservation is absolutely within our reach if we can move quickly, creatively, and generously - together!

  • All gifts count! Please join us with a gift in any amount to help us reach our $700,000 goal! You can also make a one-time or multi-year pledge, payable over three years.
  • Become part of the outreach committee! Help us organize this community effort by lending your time, advice, and connections. Email Amanda Abraham, Director of Development today!
  • Spread the word! Share our story on Facebook or Twitter, and ask your friends and neighbors to help support this effort!

Conservation in Action

The Trust was recently awarded a grant by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to purchase the development rights on 15 acres currently owned by the Condzellas and is actively working with Ag and Markets to secure funding for an additional 17.6 acres owned by the Zoumas Family (south side of 25A) and 6 acres owned by the Peconic Land Trust (north side of 25A). But the grant will only cover a percentage of the total project cost. We need to raise matching funds by the community - $700,000 by March 31, 2022.

The Trust will be able to provide the Condzellas with capital from the purchase of development rights on the property they already own. This will allow them to reinvest in their own farm as well as purchase the Zoumas and Peconic Land Trust land. Because the development rights will have been sold on the latter two properties, the land value will be reduced and therefore sold to the Condzellas at a reduced price.

These conservation projects are crucial to the long-term success of the Condzella farm. It will allow them to acquire land at a price they can afford. Owning the land guarantees having this land in production over the long-term instead of the insecurity of a year-to-year lease.

Protecting the Condzella Property – What it Means

This conservation easement will allow the Condzella family to continue farming the land. It will give them the opportunity to grow their business and offer new value-added products that will increase revenues.

The community will be able to continue to enjoy the asparagus, berries, hops and seasonal vegetables sold at the farm stand, and the U-Pick experience. The Condzellas have also been trialing beach plums, currants, gooseberries and garlic.

Acquiring the Zoumas Property – What it Means

Currently this parcel is important to the health of the Condzella’s bee colonies, which they use to make fresh honey. They are growing rye and wheat on the property, which helps with protecting their strawberries and malt.

Once they acquire the land, they will have the ability to invest in higher value perennial crops like hops, cherries, and plums.

Preservation of this property will also prevent the construction of a shopping center that would tax the aquifer both from the water use demands of the project and from the potential negative effects of the septic systems it would create.

Acquiring the Peconic Land Trust Property – What it Means

This property was part of the Condzellas original farm, and they are thrilled to be able return it to their farm operation and grow their acreage. This will increase their sale of produce both onsite and at local farmers markets, including fresh fruit and vegetables grown on the farm along with value-added products like jams, honey, pickled asparagus, pickles, berry syrups, heirloom flours, and artisan breads.

Drinking Water Protection

Long Island’s drinking water is from a sole-source aquifer. By keeping the all these properties in farming, development that would tax the aquifer both from water use demands and from the potential negative effects of septic systems will be prevented.

The farm employs different strategies to further protect our precious water resource through their smart irrigation technology and promotion of healthy soils. They consult with scientists from Cornell University to help with nutrient management, integrated pest management, and reduction of fertilizer use.

Get Directions

Wading River Initiative

Get Directions

Wading River Initiative

6164 NY-25A, Riverhead, NY 11792

Things To Do

Visit a Farmstand/Tasting Room

Visit a Farmstand/Tasting Room

Get Involved

Interested in learning more, helping out, or have additional questions?

Contact Amanda Abraham, Director of Development, 631.283.3195, ext. 120 for more information.

Thank you for your interest in this project and for your generosity, and for joining the community to help protect our farming heritage in Wading River!

Give

Help Us Protect the Condzella Family Farm! Conservation opportunity in Wading River, Suffolk County, Long Island.

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