Sunday, December 04
Follow us

Off the Beaten Path

Fall Comes to the North Fork

Fall rolled up quickly on the North Fork this year and the crowds have been humming since Labor Day Weekend. The usual North Fork establishments are filled to the max with visitors picking pumpkins, apples, peaches, sunflowers, corn, squash and tomatoes. Grapes on the vine are ripe, plump and soon to be harvested; wineries are packed with friends and families spending warm, fall afternoons quaffing local vintages and listening to music. The beauty and tranquil vistas of the North Fork beckon… 

But how about that traffic? Main Road and the North Road are almost impassable, and the crowds at many places are overwhelming. If you want to skip the Halloween festivities and are not interested in paying for cornstalk mazes or hayrides, maybe you’d be interested in meandering off the main highways and byways to visit a few gems off the beaten path?? No entrance fees required… 

Andrews Family Farm
1038 Sound Avenue, Wading River
Open daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
andrewsfamilyfarm.com

Located near the western end of Sound Avenue in Wading River since 1983, Andrews Family Farm is a local gem and one of the North Fork’s best kept secrets. Worked by three generations using sustainable agricultural practices, the Andrews Family offers the finest of fall’s harvest including fresh-picked herbs and vegetables, fall squash, corn and ornamental corn. Fresh eggs and local honey are also available. Pick up ornamental kale, cabbage, Montauk daisies and mums for your patio planters as well as fresh-cut bouquets and sunflowers for the vase on your kitchen table. And don’t forget pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales for Halloween! Fresh baked pies and roasted corn on the weekends as well!

Cooper’s Farm Stand
2200 Breakwater Road, Mattituck
Open daily 8:00 am to dusk

“If we sell it, we grow it” is the mantra for Cooper’s Farm Stand, hidden away near the Sound in Mattituck. The farm offers daily-picked tomatoes, Swiss chard, beets, red and white onions, zucchini, zucchini flowers, eggplant, oriental eggplant, bell peppers, hot peppers, watermelons, musk melon, okra, asparagus, potatoes, string beans, sweet peas, fava beans and cucumbers. At Cooper’s you can pick your own vegetables from the fields – no entry fee is charged. Wagons and boxes are available for use. The farm is also home to about 150 chickens which have been hand-raised since chicks; swing by for fresh, farm-raised eggs and to visit the farm’s pigs, peacocks and ducks. Straw bales are also available for decoration, animal bedding and erosion control. 

Cooper’s Farm Stand

Cutchogue Village Farm
31025 Main Road, Cutchogue
Open daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Quaint, charming and perfect for families with small children, the Cutchogue Village Farm is a happy place to while away a fall afternoon. Grab some feed corn ($3 per bag) and wander down the “Pasture Path” where you and your kiddos can feed the horses, ducks, goats and sheep. When the animals have had their fill, meander over to historic, NoFo red barn which houses the farm stand. Pick up some fresh vegetables, pumpkins, baked goods and fresh cut flowers. If you’re a bit thirsty, the iced tea comes highly recommended. Local artwork adorns the walls of the stand and is available for sale.

Cutchogue Village Farm

Bayview Market & Farms 
891 Main Road, Aquebogue
Open daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sound Shore Market
5629 Sound Avenue, Jamesport
Open daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Two locations – one on the Main Road and the other on Sound Avenue – makes this farmstand option very convenient for a fall afternoon on the North Fork. Owned and operated by the Reeve family for seven generations, Bayview Farms sits on 150 acres of prime Peconic Bay waterfront. Originally, the Reeve family sold their produce from the back of their truck, later building a small farmstand called “Little Chief”. In 2002, the farmstand was expanded to its current footprint; in 2014, the Reeve family opened the Sound Avenue location in Jamesport. Local produce offerings include sweet corn, sunflowers, lettuce, zucchini, peaches, green beans, melons, tomatoes, eggplant, berries and beets. Pumpkins and mums abound, and weather permitting, roasted corn. Visit Bayview’s market shop for such local NoFo foodstuffs as duckling, cheese and milk. And don’t forget pie – Bayview Market’s delicious, fresh-baked pies are legendary!

Bayview Market & Farms and Sound Shore Market

Lavender by the Bay
47 Manor Road, Calverton
7540 Main Road, East Marion
Open daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Even though the bloom has ended for the season, these lavender farms remain a peaceful and relaxing way to spend a day. The original family-owned farm in East Marion boasts 17 acres of secluded fields with over 80,000 lavender plants; the 20-acre Calverton location is home to the “One Mile Trail” through fields of English and French lavender. Rest and commune with nature mid-field in the shaded pavilions. Visit the farm stores for a variety of lavender gifts and goods, like essential and aromatherapy oils and bath and body products; culinary lavender offerings include Herbes de Provence, fleur de sel and extracts. 

Lavender by the Bay

Sang Lee Farm
25180 County Rd 48, Peconic
Open daily 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (5:00 pm on Wednesday)

Another family-operated farm with a rich, Long Island history, Sang Lee Farm originally grew Asian produce for New York City restaurants in Melville during WWII, moving to East Moriches and then ultimately to Peconic in 1987. The Lee family continues to take its obligation to the environment and sustainable agriculture very seriously, no longer farming for wholesale and using only Certified Organic Growing Practices. Visit the farmstand for more than 100 varieties of specialty vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, baby greens and herbs as well as such Asian produce as Chinese cabbage, greens and radishes. Spend a quiet afternoon sitting at the picnic tables and availing yourself of all the organic offerings from the onsite, Certified Organic kitchen. Available for sale is pesto, pickled products, jellies, fermented vegetables, vegan soups, cooking sauces, roasted veggies, vegetable packs and prepared salads.