History is what makes us who we are today.
In the year 1942, our 110-acre farm was purchased from Alfred and Phoebe Higinbotham. Dietrich Froehlich Sr., his wife Sarah, and their three children, Dietrich Jr. ‘Sonny’, Wanda and Evelyn, moved from Philadelphia out to the open farm land of Bucks County, where they established what is now Froehlich’s Farm.
Through hard work, long hours and dedication, Dietrich, Sarah and their children became devoted farmers. Froehlich’s Farm quickly became a staple of the community and the main supply for produce, meat and other groceries.
In June of 1949, Sonny married his sweetheart, Gertrude Grey, otherwise known today as our treasured ‘Grandmom Trudy.’ If you have the chance to meet her, you will understand what an admirable lady she is: words could never be enough. Next came along, more hands to help on the farm, Sonny and Trudy’s children: Dietrich III, Sarah and Daniel.
The two sisters eventually married and moved off the farm to each begin their own families on each of their own farms, just down the road in Forest Grove, PA.
In the 50’s and 60’s Froehlich’s Farm did custom butchering, raising our own pigs, steers and chickens. Acres and acres of vegetables and small fruit were also raised to sell at the road side produce stand, along with additional produce from the weekly Philadelphia trip to ‘Dock Street’.
For years, our farm supplied Campbell Soup tomatoes by the truckload. In addition to meat and produce, we grew our own pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn, pressed our own cider, and sold ice cream, fruit baskets, Christmas trees, fresh greens and more.
With a demanding produce stand, how did Froehlich’s Produce get into the greenhouse business? Well, it all started when it became difficult to find the right tomato plant varieties to grow in our own fields; after all, we had to have the best. So as a solution, up went Froehlich’s Farm very first greenhouse. However, once word got out, people wanted to grow the same great quality produce at home; that’s when our greenhouse business was born.
What started out as a small roadside produce stand, quickly evolved into a steady seasonal operation, offering a great selection of farm grown flowers, vegetable, herb and perennial plants. Slowly, the produce end of the business was phased out in the 1990’s as the current generations running the farm were getting older. This allowed them to be more dedicated to the greenhouse and other seasonal business.
As development soared in our Bucks County area, our family was dedicated to never let our land be developed. Any time developers called or knocked on the farm house door, they would be told to ‘go pound sand.’
Most of the farms around our land were sold and houses soon developed, but on July 21, 1999, the Froehlich Farm became officially preserved. No amount of money was worth giving up our family farm.
After the passing of Sarah Froehlich in 2003 and then the passing of Sonny Froehlich in 2005, Trudy was left running the farm on her own, along with help from her own children and grandchildren, but eventually is became too much on her own.
In March of 2009, the grandchildren stepped in and took over the greenhouse business. Since then, we have been dedicated to cleaning up the farm, building back up the business and offering something new every year.
With the beginning of the fifth generation already in training, we look forward to each and every new generation of Froehlich’s Farm in the future. Every day we do our best and work our hardest to keep the farm in the family.
All of those who cannot be here today have been amazing role models, who we miss every day. We like to think they are up there smiling down on us, or, if you knew Sonny, he is probably mumbling about all the changes and this new thing called technology. Nonetheless, we believe they would all be proud.
Fun Farm Facts:
- Originally part of the Penn Land Grant, consisting of 500 acres stretching across both sides of York Rd, from Sugarbottom Road to Swamp Road. The Penn Grant was eventually sold or left in wills, and divided.
- General Washington and his troops, after breaking up camp at Valley Forge, passed over our land on his way to New Jersey. He made his headquarters right down the street, long owned by the Fell family.
- In 1968, York Road went from a 2-lane dirt road to a 4-lane highway. We lost 3 acres to the road and the store needed to be moved back 60 feet, or it would be sitting in the middle of the highway.