The William’s Farm, which is family owned is just one of the many charms of the Cicero community. The farm and stand are located on Route 31 in Cicero. Sam Tassone runs the Farm and Toni Tassone his wife is retired. Sam rented the land from the Pierce Family, Olive and Henry in 1975. In the year 1977 Sam purchased the Farm land. Sam is a well-known very likeable person who for years has been ahead of his time.
In the 1980’s the first stand was built. With Cicero growing Sam felt that it was time to continue growing with the community. So in the 1990’s the second stand was built, The William’s Farm Stand. At their present location they are coming up to their 25th anniversary.
In 2011 an ice cream stand was added on to the building. One of Sam and Toni’s granddaughters is running the stand as well as the other grandchildren who all pitch in to help out. One of the granddaughters is also going to school to study agriculture.
William’s Grocery and Meats Fair Incorporated moved to North Syracuse in 1955 which was originally on North Salina Street. It was started by Joe and Hilde William. The business was run together with their two daughter’s Ann and Toni.
The majestic brown stallion statue was delivered to the store in the 1960’s. When the store was sold in 1995 the horse was moved out to the farm. Just last year the famous horse was brought out from the pastures to the stand where it is prominently placed in the front of William’s store, as Kellie joked when someone would ask her where the horse was. The horse was significant for anyone who had ever shopped to shop or had known of the William’s Farm. Through the years it has become a landmark. Customers reminisce about childhood memories of the horse. Everyone has a story to tell. But what was the real story? No one ever knew, until now. During the interview the question was brought up why the horse? The explanation is plain and simple their grandfather had a genuine love for horses.
The William’s family is a very close knit one with strong ties to the community. Sam and Toni’s two daughters, Kellie and Toni are involved with the everyday operations of the store. Sam and Toni have four children Joe, Dan, Toni and Kellie. There are also five grandchildren that are also involved in their long time extremely successful family business. Sam does all the growing as well as the wholesaling.
The vegetables that William’s grows are Sweet Corn, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Winter Squashes 60-70 acres of, the Winter Squashes are Acorn and Butter Nut Squash, Watermelon and Muskmelons. Strawberries are also grown on their farm. William’s supplies stores in the community just to name a couple are Wal-Mart and Maine’s Grocery. William’s also is involved with supplying two of the local Farmer’s Markets, the one in Driver’s Village which was recently opened in Cicero as well as Regional Market in the city of Syracuse.
An extremely interesting bit of information from Sam is the comment he made, “Farming is a Science”. He is connected with the department of Agriculture and Food Systems at Cornell University. Cornell University links the research and extension efforts, CU Agricultural Experiment Station in Ithaca and the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. This combined knowledge and expertise maximizes the value of agriculture and natural resources in New York State.
The agricultural programs and resources target diverse audiences in the areas of field crops and nutrient management, fruits and vegetables. Profitability, sustainability environmental stewardship, and the promotion of agricultural tourism and a safe, healthy food supply are the ultimate goals.
Sam also mentioned during the interview that so many people are under the impression that farming is basically just putting seeds into soil and that is all there is to it. But after listening to Sam’s expertise from his years of farming there is nothing that could be further from the truth. Farming is a so much more. The following elements affect all levels of farming. Starting with the seeds, the condition of the soil, the weather, the pests, the pesticides, and the combination of all of these factors can determine a successful growing season. Staying current with the constant agricultural changes and technology is critical to being a success as a farmer.
Another prominent farm in Baldwinsville, NY is Reeves. The Reeves Farm is family owned and run. Brian and Mark are the sons and are today running the business. There have been four generations of Reeves ownership and now the fifth generation contributing to its long success of their farm.
Arthur Thomas Reeves arrived from Draycott, England in 1890 at the age of 18. He worked on his aunt’s and uncle’s farm just north of Jacksonville, New York. At the end of 1898, Arthur and his wife Mary purchased their own farm on the West Road from Mud Lake which later became well known as 1100 Reeves Road. Today 1100 Reeves Road is their address of Reeves Farms daily current business farming operations. Arthur and Mary raised eight children and grew crops and also raised livestock on the farm during the first half of the 20th century.
In the mid 1920’s Edward Reeves, Arthur and Mary’s oldest son and his wife Flossie started expanding the family farming further west of Reeves Road. They raised crops and milking cows. They had and raised four children of their own and continued farming during the years and into the mid 1960’s.
Cecil Reeves the oldest son of Edward and Flossie grew up raising crops and milking cows after a stint in the military branch of the Navy during World War Two. He returned to the farm with his wife Dorothy and with his father. They worked side by side for only one year when Cecil made the decision to try to grow crops on his own. And he made a promise to himself that he would never milk another cow.
For the next several years Cecil and Dorothy leased land, rented housing and raised cash crops and children. It was in the year 1951 when they purchased Arthur’s farm at 1100 Reeves Road and moved into the family homestead. They work of growing vegetables and grain continued. Through the years nine children were born who all worked on the farm during the 1970’s
Through the years in the mid 1960’s another farm was purchased. The farm expanded by purchasing some neighboring farms and continued to grow and branch out in fresh market vegetables, berries and grain.
A fascinating bit of history with many years of work and the passion for farming. This brings us to today. Cecil and Dorothy retired in 1990. Their sons Bruce, Mark and Brian formed a partnership to purchase the farm from their parents with the vision to continue growing fresh market vegetables and berries. In 1992, Bruce decided to leave the partnership. IN 1995 another brother, Andy, returned to work with Mark and Brian.
Today, Reeves Farms spreads over 1000 acres of tillable land and employs a seasonal crew of 40-50 people.
Reeves Farms is committed to producing fresh, nutritious berries and vegetables for their customers. Reeves uses sustainable farming practices and is a proud member of pride of New York. The Reeves family has been growing high quality vegetables for more than a century in the Baldwinsville, New York area. Extensive use of crop rotation, cover crops, minimum tillage and scouting for pests have been a key ingredient to Reeves many years of success.
Reeves Farms obtained certification in 2008 for their blueberries and are currently pursuing organic status for some of our other vegetables and strawberries. They have received Organic Certification for Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Winter Squash and Summer Squash in 2009. Strawberries in 2010 and Gourmet Bicolor Sweet Corn in 2011. All certifications are by NOFA-NY Certified Organic LLC.
Reeves Farms grows a variety of produces which are delivered to our wholesale customers, non-organic produce as well as organic products. The list includes Sweet Corn, Strawberries, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Blueberries, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Eggplant, Peas, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Cherry Tomatoes, Long Hot Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Cherry Hot Peppers, Hungarian Wax Peppers, Buttercup Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Shellacked Gourds and Pumpkins.
In addition from purchasing Reeves goods in local grocery stores, the public can also visit their Farm stand which is located 4 miles west of Baldwinsville on Route 370.
Meeting with these brilliant personable farmers was an education and a real pleasure. They welcomed us and these two amazing families made us feel like we were a part of their family.