Eagle Point Farm

Eagle Point Farm

There’s an often-used expression about how a marriage is like tending a garden. Keep it well-nourished with love, patience and warmth and it will produce a bountiful yield.

For more than 30 years, Gayle and Steve Ganser have lived and embraced that metaphor by fulfilling a shared dream of owning and operating a farm. Friends since sixth grade and junior prom dates at Central Catholic High School, the Gansers purchased a 15-acre farm in Maxatawny Township, Berks County, in 1979, a year before they wed.

In 1983, Steve, a graduate of Delaware Valley University with a degree in horticulture, was laid off at Rodale Institute Experimental Farm, and Gayle was working in sales at Kraft Foods, pregnant with their first child.

“We always talked about having a farm,” Gayle says. “We grew up on the east side of Allentown and loved it there, but we had a mutual desire to live in the country.”

The alignment of ambition and circumstances pushed them to reach for that dream.

“I think it was God’s way of throwing us into what we always dreamed of doing,” Gayle says. “It was truly a blessing in disguise.”

Fertilized by fate, Eagle Point Farm took root.

The Gansers began by selling baby vegetables to a food distributor in Phoenixville, Chester County, which brought the produce — squash, edible flowers, green beans, asparagus — to chefs across the world and into kitchens at landmark restaurants such as Tavern on the Green in New York.

Back home, Steve and Gayle established a local network for their baby vegetables, selling to Lehigh Valley restaurants and running a huckster route to deliver produce to 600 local homes and three senior citizen communities in Allentown and Whitehall Township.

“We went door to door for a couple years,” Gayle recalls. “We started to look for a spot to have a retail outlet to sell our vegetables.”

Wrapping up their huckster route, they found a location to establish a market on Route 100 (853 Trexlertown Road, Trexlertown) in 1986, the same year their second child, Monica, now a part owner, was born. Eagle Point Farm Market opened in 1987.

Open April to December, the 1,500-square-foot market and its inventory change with the seasons—poinsettias, wreaths, and locally cut Christmas trees at Christmastime and bedding, ornamental and hanging plants, and perennials during the growing season. Let no one forget the summer fruits and vegetables, an Eagle Point tradition.

From their Maxatawny Township farm come 50 varieties of tomatoes, heirloom varieties, and hybrids. “Customers know they were grown here—they’re varieties that grow well in our area,” Gayle says.

“We do everything from asparagus to zucchini to cantaloupe and watermelon and specialty melons,” she adds. Favorite specialty melons among Eagle Point customers are the canary, which resembles a large yellow almond with a sweet, light green flesh like a honeydew, and the ananas, which looks like a cantaloupe but smaller. “It’s like a personal size melon, slightly larger than a softball,” Gayle says. “People love them; they’re so sweet.”

Eagle Point Farm Market also offers 400 varieties of perennials and herbs, including 15 varieties of basil. “One of the most spectacular is African blue basil, which grows four feet high,” Gayle says. “It’s a great pollinator; bees just love it.”

“We squeeze a lot into that little store,” Gayle says. “We produce all of the vegetables we sell. And we’re sustainable. We incorporate organic methods and use other alternative methods only when necessary.” To help maintain an inventory of fresh produce on opposite sides of the growing season, the farm has greenhouses and a high tunnel season extender—a covered structure for cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce that supports a taste of summer throughout the year for Eagle Point customers.

“We try to have tomatoes before July 4 and till Thanksgiving,” Gayle says.

On Monday nights in May from 6-8pm, Eagle Point hosts a gardening series and features a local winery, a bonus for its loyal customers from Allentown’s West End and the East Penn and Parkland areas.

Among them is Karen Schwartz of Macungie, who’s come to the Eagle Point market since moving to the Lehigh Valley in the summer of 1989.

“It’s so family friendly, and Gayle has taught me a lot over the years,” she says. “I used to want to plant things separately, and when I looked at Gayle’s displays that clumped together different plants, they were so beautiful, so I did that home.”

Schwartz says her most valuable tip from Eagle Point was planting a fresh herb garden outside her kitchen, making rosemary, thyme and oregano instantly available to provide freshness to every recipe.

“They are greatly missed after Christmas when they close,” she says. “I look forward to them opening every year.”

Adds Gayle, “People are thrilled to have us. It’s a real mom and pop, and there are not many around. It can be a struggle with all the competition.”

It’s been a late start for the growing season this year, as the Gansers and other area farmers deal with wet soil as a result of the heavy precipitation last year. Steve has been laying plastic for weed control and spreading mulch for tomatoes in the high tunnel; cucumbers are soon to follow. They have to have hanging baskets done by the end of February to have them in time for Mother’s Day. 

“It’s hard work, but it’s a good way to make a living,” Gayle says. “All that we do at our market wouldn’t be possible without our daughter, Monica, and our store manager Tina Mullen and our great staff.”

“We’ve had many of the same customers the 32 years,” she adds. “You grow a big connection with your customer base, and they’ve grown up with us. Looking back, it was a real blessing. We love growing things, and we love our customers.”


Gayle Ganser, one of the owners of Eagle Point Farm and Market, has provided gardening tips to generations of customers. Interested in starting a home garden? Here, in her own words, Gayle offers some sage advice.

Many people come to our store wanting to start a vegetable garden for the first time. Sometimes they have just purchased a new home or their first apartment and want to try their hand at growing their own food.

My first word of advice is to start small. So often people see all the unique varieties of seeds and plants and want to grow them all. This can be a big mistake for a first timer.  It is like painting the Last Supper when you first pick up a paint brush. 

I try to steer them to a manageable diverse selection of veggies and fruits and advise them on how to plant, care for, and harvest their future crop. I want them to be successful so the following year they feel confident to expand their garden. Sometimes people can even start their gardening venture in containers. If you are in a small apartment with a little patio, you can still have a garden. There are many new varieties of vegetables like Fairytale Eggplant and Patio Baby tomatoes that are bred for containers.

Another word of advice is to always go to a reputable local seller/grower for your plants. When you shop a local establishment, you will usually get someone who will help you pick varieties, plan your garden, and offer help along the way. This goes for either a vegetable or flower garden. Large big box stores and online shops can be overwhelming and may not have the expertise to answer all your questions or offer you plants that have been grown successfully in our area.

853 S. Trexlertown Rd, Trexlertown


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