Owned by the Haskell family since the early 1900s, SIW Vegetables’ Hill Girt Farm is nestled along a winding country road downstream along the Brandywine River. Open April-October, the CSA offers shares to the public in season and sells produce at local farm markets. There’s a farm stand, and a barn on the property serves as a venue for SIW’s popular Field to Fork dinners in summer and fall. “We farm about 50 acres of fruits and veggies,” says H.G. Haskell. “The entire farm is more than 700 acres, most of which has conservation easements to protect the land forever.”
Vegetables’ resiliency was tested this past August, when the remnants of Hurricane Ida paid an unwelcome visit to the region. The normally meandering Brandywine quickly became a muddy torrent, and the farm stand was demolished. “Thirty-six years of buildings, coolers and wagons were wiped away in about a 10-hour period, leaving nothing but an empty parking lot,” Haskell says. “Some things we found; many things were gone. Very little was usable.” The support of the community was swift and compassionate. Within hours, neighbors showed up to offer assistance, and the stand was up and running within a month. “All that selflessness helped us navigate the unthinkable,” Haskell says.
Looking forward to the future, SIW Vegetables is continuing its partnerships with local restaurants—and the Farm to Field dinners will play a part in maintaining those relationships. “It’s a great way for local chefs to get the word out to the community,” Haskell says.
4317 Creek Road, Chadds Ford, (610) 388-7491, siw-vegetables.blogspot.com