The family-owned farm is thriving on the North Fork. With its diversity of local and organic vegetables, fruits, pies, goat cheese, and fun activities for the kids, North Fork farmstands are a gourmet’s delight. Here is a variety.
Bayview Farm & Market on Main Road in Aquebogue, is a 200-acre farm, owned by Paul and Lorraine Reeve. This seventh-generation family farm from the early 1800’s is one of the oldest in Suffolk County. Open from late March until December 31, they specialize in sweet corn, tomatoes, and berries. In June, you can pick strawberries. From July through September, sweet corn is available fresh or roasted. In fall, cauliflower and cabbage are ready, and in winter, Christmas trees and wreaths abound.
Wickham’s Fruit Farm on Main Road in Cutchogue, is a 300-acre family farm overlooking the Peconic Bay, owned by Thomas and Gekee Wickham and their son Jonathan. This thirteenth-generation family farm started in the 1600’s. The farmstand is open from May through December. Their specialty items are vine-ripened tomatoes and tree-ripened fruits. They feature educational tours and membership in a U-Pick Club for fruits and berries. wickhamsfruitfarm.com
Briermere Farms on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, is a 300-acre farm settled in 1959 by Leonard and Gertrude McCombe. Gertrude baked pies and made jams from the fruit trees and berries grown on the farm. The McCombes are now retired, but the tradition continues with their sons Clark, Michael, and Phillip, who run the farm. A multitude of pies including apple, cherry, blueberry cream, and pumpkin are all made from scratch. Open all year-round, except January, fruits, vegetables, jellies and jams are available, along with their famous pies. briermere.com
Garden of Eve on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, is a 60-acre certified organic farm by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-NY), started in 2001 by Chris and Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht. Using no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, they have a wide diversity of crops, with tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, and lettuces among their major produce. They are open April 1 through Halloween and feature an on farm café for lunch. They have festivals, workshops, and a “Secret Garden” for children to view farm animals. gardenofevefarm.com
Sang Lee Farms, Inc. was founded by George Kim Lee and his brothers in the mid-1940s in Melville. In 1987, his son Fred and wife Karen moved the farm operations to the North Road in Peconic. The 25-acre organic vegetable farm is certified by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-NY). They grow over 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs, including heirloom tomatoes and specialty Asian greens, without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Open from April to Thanksgiving Eve, they have their own line of prepared foods including dips, dressings, and pickled products. sangleefarms.com
Catapano Dairy Farm on the North Road in Peconic, is a five-acre goat dairy owned by Dr. Michael Catapano and his wife Karen. Begun in 2003 with 18 goats on one acre in Mattituck, they moved to Peconic in 2006 and now have 95 dairy goats. The goats are milked for goat cheese and goat milk soap. They also have 50 free-range chickens for eggs. They are open from early April to Christmas Eve. In 2005, their Chevre Cheese was awarded first place for “Best Goat Cheese in the USA” by The American Cheese Society. catapanodairyfarm.com
Harbes Family Farm, owned by Ed and Monica Harbes, a thirteenth-generation farming family, includes the 100-acre Family Farm & Vineyard on Sound Avenue in Mattituck, (open May 1-October 31); the 44-acre Western Farm on Main Road in Jamesport, (open July 1-October 31); and the 70-acre Farm & Orchard on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, (open Labor Day to October 31). They feature super sweet corn, heirloom tomatoes, and pumpkins. For the kids, Barnyard Adventure in Mattituck has pig races. Frontier Land in Jamesport has pony rides and a Western Corn Maze. And you can pick apples and catch a hayride in Riverhead. The Harbes Family Farm is one of the most diverse farms on Long Island. harbesfamilyfarm.com
From the main road you can see the landmark of La Fattoria, Breeze Hill Farm’s farm stand. Enjoy a rich cup of brewed coffee or cider and nibble on a homemade treat while perusing an array of uncompromised epicurean produce, local cheeses and nursery stock. Breeze Hill Farm’s 72 acres are home to vast row crops, blueberries bushes and acres of apples. Pick up pumpkins in the fall and sweet tomatoes, eggplant, herbs and more all summer. breezehillfarmpreserve.com
Visit a North Fork farmstand and relish the experience!
Ruth Thomas, a freelance writer on the East End enjoys history, music, literature, art, nature, the beach, and her cute dachshund, Clancy. She can be contacted at [email protected]