Hickory Dell has been in the Omasta family for three generations and is one of very few working farms remaining in Northampton, MA. In the 1930s, Paul Omasta, who emigrated from Slovakia earlier in the century, purchased the land as a homestead for his growing family. Along with vegetables and livestock, he raised broad-leaf tobacco, a popular crop at the time, used for cigar wrappers.
Over the next 50 years, Paul and his three sons and their families continued to work the land, growing a variety of crops and raising beef cattle.
Paul’s grandson, John studied forestry and agriculture at the universities of Maine and Massachusetts, and assumed ownership and management of the farm in 1981. Until 1996, he worked full time at the University of Massachusetts, while raising beef, producing/harvesting hay on the family farm and two additional hay fields, and growing and selling bedding plants, vegetable starts and cut flower bunches from a roadside wagon.
In May of 1999, John and his wife, Faye, added a farm stand, and over the next several years the selection of plants, hard goods and gift items increased. Llamas began replacing the beef cattle in 1996, and the herd currently numbers 21.
The gift and gardening store is open 7 days/week from early April through year end.