When one considers a Westport retail store, the kind of ethereal experience Gilbertie’s Herb Garden provides is often not the first thing that comes to mind. After all, the store sells garden supplies, but somehow the Gilbertie’s experience is about being fully immersed in the uplifting beauty and restorative tranquility of nature as well as inspiring shoppers to stock up and nurture their own gardens at home.
Recently it celebrated its centennial— the store and garden have deep ties to the Westport community. It’s a family business, now on its fourth generation, that embraces sustainability. In fact, it is certified USDA Organic and certified Organic by State Organic Certifiers. Its local ties and commitment to healthful offerings have made it an essential part of the Westport Farmers’ Market. Gilbertie’s grows its plants at its farm in Easton, with a year-long prep to affirm its organic certification. The inventory includes more than 300 herbs, 100 vegetables and 50 cold crops and five acres of greenhouse. This establishes Gilbertie’s as the largest crop grower in Connecticut.
With the soil taking years to perfect, Gilbertie’s micro greens, specifically, are optimized for nutrients, essential oils and taste. The champion is Sal Gilbertie, who provided delicious recipes online to encourage customers to use micro greens. He includes instructions on how to use them and other fresh produce in salads, dinner entrées and even desserts.