The East End lost one of its heroes last week. Lyle Wells, known around these parts as “The Asparagus King”—died in an accident involving farm machinery in Mattituck on Thursday, January 25.
An 11th-generation farmer, Wells was legendary throughout the East End for his passion for farming, his incredible aptitude for it, and for his dedication to preserving Long Island’s farm land. He was at one time the president of the Long Island Farm Bureau, and served as a one-time member of the Riverhead Town Planning Board.
To celebrate Wells’s life and legacy, his family has started the Lyle C. Wells: Passion for Agriculture Fund, which you can contribute to here. According to the family’s YouCaring page, the fund will “support aspiring farmers who are studying or beginning their careers in local agriculture.”
Take one look at the fund’s list of supporters—whose contributions have already exceeded $4,800—and you’ll see a veritable “who’s who” of East End agriculture: The Corwin Family at Crescent Duck Farm, Alex Balsam, the Riverhead Town Planning Board, and more.
“Thank you, Lyle and family, for your courage and dedication in preserving the best of Eastern Long Island,” wrote fund-supporter Michael Capkanis. “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
“Lyle was a great man,” echoed Ken Cereola of Palmer Vineyards. “I will always picture him farming the land next to Palmer Vineyards. It has been a pleasure to see and talk to Lyle throughout the years. He was always smiling… that’s something I’ll miss the most.”
For more on the Lyle C. Wells: Passion for Agriculture Fund, please visit the fund’s YouCaring page.