We sat down with co-owner of Corwith's Farmstand Ryan Corwith to talk family, farming and the future.
Can you tell us a little bit about Corwith’s Farmstand’s history? Five generations ago, my great-great-great-grandfather moved a windmill from Sag Harbor (North Haven) to Water Mill, the one that is still present there to this day. He started grinding grain for the farmers as well as running the first post office general store. After some years, he decided to sell the general store and mill and purchased the first 40-acre parcel. I think to some degree he saw the money the farmers were making and wanted his piece. Sometime around 1900, he purchased the land that we have been farming on here in Water Mill ever since. What began as a dairy farm evolved into a chicken farm, which once was home to over 5,000 chickens. From there we expanded into the potato business, which is still our biggest crop to date.
On top of the traditional farm to-dos, Corwith’s Farmstand has also expanded with private events such as goat yoga and more.
How has the company evolved with the different generations? In the last 122 years, our farm has evolved immensely. My grandfather Paul and his brother Pete worked very hard to mechanize by virtue of purchasing modern equipment, or if needed they would build their own. ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ as my grandfather would say.
The next generation of farmers were my uncle Mark and uncle Dickey. Mark had a passion for growing trees after studying horticulture in college, and it was then that our nursery business began. Dickey was focused on growing potatoes and other crops, continuing on his father’s legacy.
Then, my cousin Richie and I took over, and in 2015 we decided it would be a smart business idea to open our own self-serve farm stand. Over the last seven years, we’ve worked endlessly to turn Corwith’s Farmstand into what it is today. In 2018 we dipped our toes into the ‘agritainment’ world and opened our pumpkin patch, which was paired with classic fall activities such as a corn maze, hay rides and barrel train rides. The following spring, we opened our farm stand building, which has now expanded to carry all fresh local goods from all across the East End. As if the farm stand and pumpkin patch weren’t enough, we slowly expanded and transformed our property into a little kids’ wonderland. We now are home to 35 goats, a donkey and a sheep, which families often visit to pet and feed.
Are there any new programs or events that you’re excited for this summer? We are very excited to host our second annual farm camp this summer. It warms my heart to see children spending time on the property that made me who I am today, learning all about nature, farming and our animals. Growing up on the farm has taught me many valuable life lessons, and it is an amazing feeling to share that with the next generation.
How has the Hamptons community supported and responded to Corwith’s Farmstand’s legacy? The Hamptons community has been so amazingly responsive to our ever-growing farm. Many of our customers have watched us expand and grow each year and are along for the ride with us. We’re very grateful to be a part of a community that has so much love for our farm and animals!
What is your favorite part about life in the Hamptons? It’s hard to say what my favorite part of the Hamptons is. In the summer, I love to get away from the farm in the afternoon and go down to Flying Point and do some body surfing. In the fall, I love watching the harvest come in and watching all of my hard work pay off in our busiest season.
Anything else we can buzz for the summer? This summer we have a lot of fun private events planned on and off the farm. As our farm family has grown, the love for our animals has as well. In addition to events for kids, we are hosting private goat yoga events throughout the summer, both on and off site. Just when we thought the goats and children’s birthday parties were a perfect match, we introduced them to bachelorette parties! Adding a private goat yoga class to a Hamptons weekend is the perfect balance of basic and unique. 851 Head of Pond Road, Water Mill, corwithsfarmstand.com
Photography by: FIELD PHOTO BY BRANDON RANDOLPH/PEXELS; GOAT YOGA PHOTOS BY MIA ISABELLA PHOTOGRAPHY; FARM PHOTO BY KEVIN COLE PHOTOGRAPHY