Flower Hill Primary School students enjoyed a perfect fall day at White Post Farms in Melville. The warm and sunny weather and the colorful plants all around the area helped create an enchanting scene for the youngsters.
The annual trip is a Flower Hill tradition and never fails to produce smiles. There was plenty to do on the spacious grounds of the farm. “Our students love going to White Post Farms and always return to school with plenty of stories to share,” Principal Marlon Small said.
“White Post Farms has been a Brigati family tradition on Long Island for more than a century,” according to its corporate website. “It began in 1876, when our great-grandparents came to New York and settled on Long Island. They purchased land, built their home, and began planting vegetables, including potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, and celery. There were horses to pull plows, chickens, and pigs, too. The townspeople knew us well. By the 1920s, potatoes had become Long Island’s most important cash crop, and our family increased potato production on the farm to keep up with the growing demand. When the Depression hit, prices dropped and harvest production slowed, but we persevered. We grew and raised all our own food and helped neighbors who were also struggling in the tough economic climate.”
The Flower Hill youngsters enjoyed a spectacular time feeding all of the farm animals living on the grounds. They even were able to visit the large birdcage area and feed the birds popsicles that had seeds on them. “This was a huge hit,” one teacher said.
“The end of the Depression marked a new beginning for farming across the country,” states the White Post Farms website. “While the potato was still king, our family started focusing on other vegetable crops, including tomatoes, cabbage, celery, and onions. Greater vegetable yields on the farm inevitably led to grocery store distribution in the ‘50s. The demand for our produce eventually led to the creation of a farm stand, where people knew to come for fresh, locally grown vegetables. It was around this time that our father, Ron Brigati, began growing plants and flowers from seeds and selling them to customers, effectively making us the first farm on Long Island to sell annuals.”
The Flower Hill kindergarteners were also thrilled to go on a hayride at the farm, traveling along the trail to the large pumpkin patch, where they picked one out for themselves and took it home. “Everyone had a great time,” Mr. Small said.
Some of the Flower Hill youngsters asked “where did the name ‘White Post Farms’ come from? The company website has the answer.
“The name ‘White Post Farms’ was our grandfather’s idea in 1971,” states the website. “Our farm stand had become extremely popular, and customers were eager to spread the word. We needed a name for the farm that was more than our surname but just as distinct and very much our own. So our grandfather got to thinking. That night, just like he did every night, he rolled out a snow fence to protect our pumpkins and mums and hung it, like always, from the white posts we had set up out front. Clearly visible from the street, these posts signaled to travelers that they had arrived at our farm. Upon realizing this, our grandfather knew he had found the spark he was looking for, and with that, we became White Post Farms.”