In the last years of the 19th Century, a young farmer on the fertile central plains of Belgium became frustrated because no land could be had to expand his five acre ancestral farm and meet the needs of his growing family. He set sail for America with his wife and three children.
Pierre Joseph Van Dessel soon found a suitable farm and established himself growing fresh vegetables for wholesale markets. His two sons, Victor and August, joined their father as they came of age, buying more farmland to add to the home farm. The boys became interested in specialty vegetable production, particularly Horseradish root, and in time became major Horseradish suppliers for the eastern United States.
The Van Dessels are now in their fifth generation of vegetable production in America. Horseradish remains a major part of their business, as well as beets, carrots, leeks, parsnips, turnips, and winter squash. They also grow some grain and cover crops for rotation purposes, always striving to leave the land in better condition for the next generation.
The Van Dessels are the first partner farm to work with Local Food Hub from the Eastern Shore.