Author Archives: TLF

Q&A: Development Rights

As you may have seen in the news recently, Tilden Lane Farm welcomed some visitors to the Farm. Bruce and Jeanne were pleased to join officials from the Town of Huntington and Suffolk County for a press conference to announce the sale of the development rights for Tilden Lane Farm.

A Banner reading "Town of Huntington Suffolk County and Tilden Lane Farm Partner to Preserve Farm Land". To the left is a photograph of TLF's sign.

We’ve heard quite a few questions about what this all means and how it affects the future of the farm, and we hope to answer those questions for you now!

  1. What does it mean to sell development rights?
    Selling development rights restricts the future use of a property, so that the land can only be used for agricultural purposes. The Farmland Development Rights program for Suffolk County is the first such program of its kind in the United States, and its goal is to help preserve farmland and ensure that these vital and historical properties are able to maintain themselves and their historical agricultural character.
  2. Who purchased the development rights for TLF?
    The Town of Huntington and Suffolk County came together in a 50/50 partnership. With this purchase, Tilden Lane Farm becomes part of nearly 20,000 acres of preserved open farmland throughout Suffolk County, 300 acres of which are located within the Town of Huntington.
  3. Does this mean the farm is public property?
    The farm is not public property. The farm continues to be owned and run by the Tilden family. We are a working farm and are constantly planting and tending to our crops as well as caring for our beehives; all of this work means that the farm is only open to the public during Christmas tree season.
  4. What does the development rights sale mean for TLF?
    This sale means TLF will be able to continue farming as the family has done for generations, and allows us to keep planting trees, instead of planting houses. The sale of the development rights is our promise to the community that Tilden Lane Farm will continue to be a farm.

2021 Schedule

There’s starting to be some color on the trees and everyone’s back in school… and that means it’s time to start thinking about the holidays!

For the 2021 season, Tilden Lane Farm will be open for the following weekends:

Saturday November 27 and Sunday November 28

Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5

Saturday December 11 and Sunday December 12

We are pleased to be able to start prices at the same amount as last year: trees begin at $75. Hand-made wreaths, crafted fresh on the farm by Jeanne, are available for $40 or $35 with a tree. (They make great gifts!)

As in past years, our hours will be 9 am – 3 pm, and we accept cash or local check only.

Please note our supply of cut-your-own trees is EXTREMELY limited this year so if you would like to cut your own tree we STRONGLY advise you come on Sat. 11/27/21. We cannot guarantee availability after this date. We will, as always, have pre-cut trees available in multiple varieties.

A backlit Christmas Tree grows in a field.

While this year our selection of trees to cut is limited, we have cleared away much old overgrown stock and are continuing to plant new fields of Christmas trees. Look around the farm and you’ll see blocks of fir and spruce seedlings growing- they take from five to seven years to reach a salable height, and Mother Nature can’t be rushed! Every year we are planting new blocks, and along with our reestablished strawberry bed and our vegetable farming partner, we are committed to the future of Tilden Lane Farm. And once again, we have farm produced honey available. The honey production was outstanding this year and if it’s a warm day you may be able to see some of the bees at work. Ask one of our “branch managers” to show you the hives!

We are still being mindful of Covid precautions: we will be providing hand sanitizer and cleaning saws between each use. If you are unvaccinated please bring and wear a mask, and if you are not feeling well or have tested positive for Covid, please stay home for the safety of everyone. Due to New York State regulations, we unfortunately cannot allow dogs on the farm; we will miss seeing your furry friends but please leave them at home!

We are very glad to be able to welcome you back to the Farm for another Christmas season and we look forward to seeing you all in a few short months!

Farming in Huntington

We are very pleased to be a part of the Town Clerk’s “Farming In Huntington” exhibit at Huntington Town Hall to celebrate the history of farming as part of Archives Month 2020. Tilden Lane Farm is one of 19 Huntington farms that have contributed artifacts, photographs, and antiques to the exhibit. Viewing is by appointment. Information on visiting the exhibit can be found in this release.

Bruce was invited to attend the official opening of the exhibit and received a certificate from Town Clerk Andrew Raia recognizing TLF’s contribution to the Farming In Huntington exhibit and to the community. We’re so pleased and honored to participate in this exhibit!

Over Memorial Day Weekend we transplanted several hundred baby trees to prepare for future seasons!  Right now these baby trees are only as tall as Logan but in four or five years they will be just right for Christmas trees.

l-r: Rebecca, Abigail, Logan, Andrew, Bruce and Mike, tired but happy after a long weekend planting 100+ new trees. (Lucy the Puppy helped too!)

l-r: Rebecca, Abigail, Logan, Andrew, Bruce and Mike, tired but happy after a long weekend planting 100+ new trees. (Lucy the Puppy helped too!)

Herbert S. Tilden

As many of our friends and neighbors have heard, in early November Herbert S. Tilden died at the age of 92 at his home on the farm, surrounded by his family.   We look forward to honoring his memory this season. In addition to his lifelong work as a farmer, with his  wife of 50 years, Mable Flathmann Tilden, at his side, he raised five sons- the late Jeffrey (Ann), Bruce (Jeanne), Lee (Diane), Donald (Cyndy), and John (Christine). He was the  proud grandfather of Abigail, Rebecca (Mike), Andrew, Emily (Jon), Daniel,and David, and great-grandfather of Logan.


Following in his own father’s footsteps, Herb was a 68 year member of the Greenlawn Volunteer Fire Department.  He also served four terms as a Commissioner of the Greenlawn Fire District.  Herb was instrumental in the founding of the ambulance service of the GFD Rescue Squad in 1961.  He is shown below (far left) with fellow Squad members receiving an award in 1964 for a rescue where a car accident victim with a broken neck was safely extricated and transported without further injury or paralysis.

His sons Bruce and Lee, and Lee’s wife Diane, are proud to carry on the family tradition of GFD service for the third generation.



Like dandelion seeds in the wind, our memories of a life well lived will always surround us.