About Knapp Farm


Knapp Farm was founded in 1796 by Jacob Lowman.  Jacob Lowman, originally from Middletown, PA, purchased the land that would become his farm from Captain John Spaulding, a revolutionary war soldier and veteran of the Battle of Newtown.  Fully half of the land that the farm sits on has been designated as part of the Battle of Newtown battlefield.

Jacob Lowman first built himself a log cabin and began clearing the land for farming.  Then, in 1819, he built a larger home in the Federal style. The Knapp family still occupies this home today.

Jacob had seven children and built homes for several of them near his original homestead.  These houses still stand today.  His son Edward opened the Lowman Rye Whisky distillery and produced whiskey from rye grown on the farm.  The distillery operated until it was shut down by Prohibition.

Jacob's descendants continued farming the land with a variety of crops and animals.  Today, the 8th generation of Jacob's family is actively involved in all aspects of the farm.

The Farm Today

Knapp Farm is primarily a fruit farm today.  The farm's main crop is blueberries.  In 1985, Ellen and Jason Knapp, the current operators of the farm, enlisted the aid of Cornell University to begin a small commercial blueberry planting. Marvin Pritts of Cornell's Horticultural Sciences Department advised the Knapps on site selection, varietal selection, and sound cultural practices. Today, this planting is at full production and benefits from integrated pest management techniques and trickle-drip irrigation. Varieties in this planting include Blue Crop, Blue Ray, Northland, and Patriot.

In 2017, Knapp Farm significantly expanded our rhubarb patch to 400+ plants. Several of our products include rhubarb as an ingredient, including juices, jams, conserves and chutneys. Fresh rhubarb is available at the Ithaca Farmers Market from early May to early September.

Berry Picking

Jason Knapp harvesting this year's crop of blueberries.

Freshly harvested rhubarb
Newly expanded rhubarb patch

Freshly harvested rhubarb stalks (left) from the new patch (right).

Additional fruits grown on the farm include cherries, strawberries, red raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, rhubarb, and apples.  With the exception of the blueberries and rhubarb, all fruits grown on the farm are used exclusively in the production of the Knapp Farm line of specialty foods. We allow U-Pick of the blueberries from July 15 - August 15.

Awards & Accolades

Bicentennial Farm

In the year 2000, the farm was designated a Bicentennial Farm by the New York State Agricultural Society, one of only 26 Bicentennial Farms in the state at that time.  This designation is reserved for farms that have been in continuous operation by the same family for 200 years or more.

Gourmet Magazine

In June 2005, Gourmet Magazine featured a story by David Karp on high-anthocyanin juices. Knapp Farm Tart Cherry Juice was one of the drinks featured. Mr. Karp had this to say about Knapp Farm's juice:

"I was recently delighted to find that the tiny, family-run Knapp Farm, in upstate New York, sells fabulously dark, tart juice from a new cherry variety, Balaton, that is similar to the European Morello.  It's unsweetened, so you'll need to add some sugar to consume it straight, but it's so rich that it lingers on the palate like liquid cherry pie."
Mr. Karp also developed a drink made with cherry juice called the Black Forest Shooter. You can find the recipe here.