Know Your Farmer: Priapi Gardens

Priapi Gardens
One of the greenhouses turning out fresh vegetables at Priapi Gardens.

Vic Priapi, owner of Priapi Gardens in Cecilton, MD, has been running  the farm since 2003.  I recently spoke with him on the phone as he was preparing plants at his greenhouses. Vic has quite a lengthy family history of farming that goes back to the 1600s.

Where are you located?

We’re in Cecilton, MD, on route 213, the Eastern Shore. We’ve been in business here for 18 years and I’ve been doing farming my entire life. I grew up on a farm on the east end of Long Island (of Suffolk County) where my grandfather had a farm.  The family farm history goes back to some of the first settlers in 1632 who came from Southampton, England, to New York.  It was my mother’s side of the family.

How many acres?

10 1/2 acres. We have 3 acres of certified organic vegetables and some greenhouses with certified organic vegetables, and some ornamental trees, ornamental flowers, shrubs, and perennials too.

How many employees work here?

We have 5 in the slow time and up to 10 in the spring and summer.

When did you start?

We started in 2003 with the farm.

What do you enjoy the most?

We are being kind to the environment, working with people, and nature. It’s also very healthful. There’s a lot of physical activity. It’s never boring.

What’s the most challenging?

The weather and markets (finding a market for the product). It’s the plant end of it is the challenge with the big areas because we’re just six miles away from Home Depot and Walmart.

Where can we find you?

We have a stand-alone farm market on site Monday through Saturday.  Monday through Friday 8-5:30pm and Saturday 8-5pm.  We also have 5 area farmer markets:

Thursday afternoon at Kent Island farmers market.
Saturdays at Easton and Anne Arundel Annapolis farmer markets.
Sundays at Anne Arundel Annapolis farmer market, and the Newark, Delaware farmers market.

What’s special about this farm?

Our products are all local, whether we raised them ourselves or purchased for resale. We offer individualized customer service you won’t find in other stores.

Anything unique for this year’s season?

We have a signature plant — the passion vine — we a planting now and it is an exotic looking vine and very hardy and blooms beautifully on trellises!