Our partner farm, Gilbertie’s Organics, boasts 34 acres of farmland located in Easton, Connecticut. It is the largest USDA Certified Organic greenhouse grower in the Northeast USA offering over 4 acres of greenhouse production that grows and harvests year round employing up to 50 full time and seasonal people.
Sal Gilbertie, 3rd generation grower, is one of the country’s leading experts on herbs, vegetables, specialty botanicals, microgreens and organic growing for nearly a half-century. The farm has grown to become the largest organic potted herb grower in New England, with over 200 varieties. It all started in Westport, CT in 1922 with Sal’s Grandfather just selling cut flowers. During WWII Eleanor Roosevelt started the Victory Gardens and people had to go to greenhouses for vegetables. At that time people had large herb gardens. They were canning and preserving. After WWII air freight came in and the cut flowers business in the Northeast ceased to exist. That’s when Gilbertie’s decided to diversify and go into potted plants such as geraniums, poinsettias and other ornamentals.
In the late 1960’s when the ecology boom started, the demand for herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and sage increased dramatically. No one else was growing/selling herbs at that time in the area so Sal’s father started growing 100 pots of each which were either personally delivered or sold out of his Westport shop. They outgrew the Westport location and then moved to the Easton, CT farmland.
Sal met Duane Carrubba in 1984 in his quest to look for a local business to work with and says, “It was an easy back and forth right from the beginning. Duane is a master perfumer.” Gilbertie’s has been growing many plants and supplies including witch hazel exclusively for Carrubba for many years. Carrubba recently produced a 20,000 lb. batch of a certified organic witch hazel at Carrubba’s new manufacturing facility in Monroe, CT on June 8th which coincidentally is Sal Gilbertie’s father’s birthday.