Tri Gable Lea Farm LLC is the parent company for a collection of outdoor brands that we offer, including In the Lea, In the Lee, and SaltStar.
Being "In the Lea" means being grounded and connected to the earth - relaxing in a clearing and gazing at the stars with the earth beneath you. "In the Lee" represents being in the flow of the ocean, embracing the salt spray and finding balance in the calm. As a "SaltStar," you're on an adventure at the edge of the water, making connections and exploring the shore.
Our family-owned farm is located on the homestead of Mark Gostkiewicz and Naomi Niemann, next to the Wasnewski family farm on Marvin Road. It's an honor to manage this sacred family land, which has been passed down for generations. Mark's grandfather, Stephan Gostkiewicz, fled German-occupied Poland and met his future wife, Stella Wasnewski, on the Wasnewski farm. Over the years, Mark's father, Ron, acquired a building lot from his uncle Ira Wasnewski, which remained a hayfield until Mark and Naomi decided to build their home there.
Mark's passion for sustainable farming began with his first job at the certified organic Highland Thistle Farm in Canterbury, CT, where he learned about holistic management and sustainable practices. He later worked at Hart's Greenhouses, where he was inspired by the successful farm business run by Dave and Joyce Hart.
Mark and Naomi have been together since high school. Both are educators - Mark is a middle and high school math teacher and certified in special education, while Naomi has worked as a special education teacher and administrator. They started working on their own garden when they moved to Marvin Road in 2008, and as their children were born, they planted orchard trees to mark their birth years.
In 2013, Mark's cousin David Wasnewski tilled the first market garden, and in the fall they started their first CSA. The success of this encouraged them to keep going, and they offered CSA shares for the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Mark also attended an MBag series of farm planning classes at UCONN, which helped them plan for the future of their farm.
In 2014, Mark and a friend and co-worker started a school farm/garden program where they worked, teaching students about natural processes, organic and sustainable practices, homesteading, and how to care for a plant from seed to plate.
In 2016, they started using their website to improve their products and services, and in 2017 they faced a health issue that shifted their focus from growing produce to teaching sustainable practices and spending more time with their family. In 2018, they started teaching classes on the farm and building chicken coops to support local families in their homesteading efforts.
Thanks to Covid, in 2020 we started offering our classes online to reach more people and continue to spread our knowledge. In 2021 we made a shift to On-Demand recorded classes. This has helped us connect with families all across the USA and other countries. It's been rewarding to get support from people from so far away, as well as to answer their follow up questions and see pictures/videos of their own projects inspired by our lessons. However, as 2023 approaches, we are reminded of the value of in-person classes. We're excited to offer them again, in addition to continuing to offer Zoom and On-demand recorded classes.
2023 marks our 10-year anniversary and our expansion into branding our passions. We love the earth and continue to keep the homestead going by being "In the Lea" (in our calm meadow). We've also been lifelong outdoor enthusiasts - hiking, traveling, biking, kayaking, surfing, and boating - and fishing is something we've always done together. Mark's passion for fly fishing and fly-tying has helped us fish the salt. As we explore the ocean beaches and live our life on the water, we want to bring that passion for salty connections to our brands. Launching "In the Lee" (the calm in the storm) and "SaltStar" is our next adventure.
We are keeping our future open. However, we have transformed this homestead into an agricultural education center for home gardeners, homesteaders, children/families, and market gardeners. As we explore life and become experts in other areas, we'll add those to our list of offerings.
Feel free to contact Mark Gostkiewicz in one of these ways.
text/voice: 203-415-2048 cell
voice: 860-531-9271 office
Mail: 140 Marvin Road, Colchester, CT 06415
In past year's we've taken CT NOFA's Farmer's Pledge. Although we didn't fill out the paperwork this year, we still abide by the pledge. http://www.ctnofa.org/farmerspledge.html