Lyle C. Wells, 62, Long Island's largest asparagus grower, died...

Lyle C. Wells, 62, Long Island's largest asparagus grower, died Thursday in an accident involving farming machinery in Mattituck. Credit: Randee Daddona

A celebration of the life of Lyle Wells, an 11th generation North Fork farmer and the Island’s largest asparagus grower, will be held on Feb. 1 at the family farm in the town of Riverhead.

Wells, 62, died Thursday in an accident involving farming machinery in Mattituck, police said. The service will take place at 11 a.m. on the hill at Wells Homestead Acres, at 185 Phillips Lane, in Aquebogue.

His family’s farm was established in 1661, when an ancestor, William Wells, purchased the property. On the farm’s website, the property is described as “the longest running family farm we know of.”

His family has set up the Lyle C. Wells: Passion for Agriculture Fund, which will support aspiring farmers specializing in local agriculture. Donations to the fund are being accepted in lieu of flowers.

On the fundraising website, his family describes him as a “true leader in the Long Island farming community with an outspoken voice and a gift for growing produce” who had a lifelong love of farming. Nearly $1,500 has been raised as of Sunday afternoon through the website.

C.P. Vera, Wells’ son-in-law, said that Wells was somebody who could always be counted on. “There aren’t too many people that will drop everything to help when somebody is asking for it,” Vera said. “The doors were always open.”

Wells was also a strong advocate for preservation, and once served as president of the Long Island Farm Bureau and a member of the Riverhead Town Planning Board.

One of his mantras was “positive is how I live,” according to the fundraising page.

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