Torrey Farms

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Elba muckland onion fields

Torrey Farms is the name of a large family farm located in Elba (town), New York, with another farm located in Potter, New York. It is one of the largest vegetable-crop farms in New York. [1] The land itself, which is over 10,000 acres, is primarily muckland, which is drained swampland. The farm grows mainly specialty crops, which includes sweet corn, onions, carrots, cabbage, squash, cucumbers, and potatoes, which is generally what is produced on muckland. The main farm in Elba, which makes up about 8,000 of the total acreage, is located in Orleans, Niagara and Genesee counties. [2] The 1,200-acre (4.9 km2) farm in Potter, New York, makes up the majority of a valley of muckland that stretches all the way from Potter to Gorham, New York along Flint Creek. It was a swamp until it was drained in the 1950s.[3] Not all of this is owned by the Torrey's and the valley itself was close to being the 12th Finger Lake. The muckland in Elba is thought to be the largest continuous section of muckland in the world. [4]


In 1626, the Torrey family left England due to disagreement with the church. The family first settled in Connecticut, but later moved West in search of better soil. In 1803, John Torrey arrived in Bethany, New York. In the year 1948, Elbert Torrey purchased the Higley Farm in Elba. [5]

Today, the Torrey family farms over 10,000 acres (40 km2).


The farm makes use of migrant workers. In October, 1997, 25 migrant workers from Torrey Farms were arrested and set to be deported by Immigration. [6] This was one of the largest immigration raids in New York history and, along with other raids of the time, it caused a significant labor shortage on Torrey Farms as well as on agriculture in the area in general. Mareen Torrey, owner of Torrey Farms said, "I’m probably going to end up leaving $2 million worth of crop in the field and it’s adding up every day" [7]

Significant events[edit]

On May 26, 2009, at 11:07 am, about 14 tons of ammonia leaked from a bulk tank that had about 15 tons in it. The ammonia was being transferred from the bulk tank to a smaller tank on a truck; however, a hose from the truck caught a valve from the tank and pulled several hoses off of it, resulting in the spill. Ammonia, which is used as fertilizer, is poisonous and flammable. [8]

On July 2-6, 2009, the Tripoli Rocketry Association held the 28th annual LDRS (Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships) rocket launch event at the Potter, NY portion of Torrey Farms. [9]

On July 12th-16th, 2012 the Tripoli Rocketry Association is holding the 31st annual LDRS (Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships) rocket launch event at Torrey Farms [10]


  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Elba Mucklands
  5. ^ Torrey Farms
  7. ^ IMMIGRATION RAIDS: Local farmers reeling from busts
  8. ^ Ammonia leak reported at Torrey Farms
  9. ^ LDRS28 Site [1]
  10. ^ LDRS31 Site [2]

External links[edit]