Northforker Weekend: Get ready for sweet corn and tomato season

Tomatoes at Wickham’s Fruit Farm. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Weather has made it a bit of a rough go for local farmers this year. Growers are pointing to prolonged cool, wet spring weather as the reason crops — everything from local flowers to corn — have been pushed back a couple weeks.

The recent temperature spike is helping move things along. Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski  — a fourth generation farmer and owner of Krupski’s Farm in Peconic — recently told the Suffolk Times he’s optimistic corn will be here for the holiday weekend.

“Warm nights and long days… that is corn weather,” he noted.

Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue also recently announced the end of strawberry season and the beginning of tomato season. I picked some up on Monday and I’m looking forward to trying former northforker editor Vera Chinese’s recipe for North Fork tomato and corn salad.

Picking leaves off the vines at Castillo de Borghese. (Credit: Cyndi Murray)

Local fruits and veggies take center stage this time of year, but North Fork grapes are quietly reaching a pivotal point in their development. Castillo de Borghese cellar master and vineyard assistant Allissa Goodale invited me to tour the property late last week. It’s Long Island’s oldest vineyard and much has remained unchanged since it was first planted by Alex and Louisa Hargrave in the early 1970s.

To this day, the grapes are tended to by hand — and it’s not just during the fall harvesting. Goodale and her team are out in the fields early each morning picking leaves from the vines to unveil the fledgling grapes underneath.

The process helps the grapes become accustomed to the harsh summer sun to ensure the skin does not burn — a base tan, if you will. That’s something we can all relate to this time of year.

• Speaking of the origins of great local wine, Shinn Estate Vineyard is hosting a ‘From the Grapes to Your Glass’ winery tour on Saturday.

• You can check that out before watching  fireworks.

• Or catch some live music on the water.

• Speaking of watching fireworks, this midweek holiday has everybody confused about when to celebrate. Was last weekend the holiday weekend? Is this coming weekend when we should live it up a little? Newsday reporters recently went out and asked people about this.

The Lin Beach House in Greenport is opening its much anticipated bar, dubbed Days Like These, on Friday.

• The Manhattan Film Institute’s seventh annual North Fork Summer Workshop series is underway. The two-weeks long event runs until July 14 and features special Q&A screenings hosted by Peconic Landing, including one on Saturday.

• In the wake of last week’s Capitol-Gazette newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Esquire asked, ‘What Does a Local Newspaper Reporter Do?’ Government reporter Erin Mansfield of Tyler Morning Telegraph in Texas responded in the article, “Covering places and subjects that others wouldn’t consider to be sexy,” in a time when “we have the president calling out fake news everywhere.” Mansfield added, “Living in a small town doesn’t mean you don’t deserve good journalism.”

• In heartfelt goodbyes, Long Island Pulse Magazine is ending its 13-year run. I was an editor there for awhile and it was great to be a part of the unrivaled arts and culture pieces published each month. They’re hosting a farewell party that also benefits Stony Brook Children’s Hospital in Aquebogue next weekend as one last hurrah. Best of luck to all.

Cyndi Murray is a reporter for Times Review Media Group, covering all things fun and engaging about our area for northforker.com and northforker magazine. Send her your feedback and story ideas at cmurray@timesreview.com.