Articles by

Barbaraellen Koch

10/02/16 11:23am
Credit: Barbaraellen Koch

Marianne and Wayne Hallock, owners of Hallock’s Cider Mill, have created a gnome tree on their property, which is located next to the bakery and farm stand. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Marianne and Wayne Hallock, owners of Hallock’s Cider Mill in Laurel, reside next door to the farm stand and bakery in an old North Fork farmhouse built in 1860.

After one heavy snowstorm last February, the top of a beautiful old maple tree — some 40 plus feet tall — was ripped off. While Wayne was trying to figure out how to cut the tree down, Marianne had other ideas.

She took to the internet and found some inspiration on Pinterest. (more…)

09/11/16 11:10am
Olivia Rangel assembles gomphrena bouquets at Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

Olivia Rangel assembles gomphrena bouquets at Patty’s Berries and Bunches in Mattituck. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

Riding down Sound Avenue on the North Fork this time of year, it is uplifting to see the large expanses of sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, gladiolas and dahlias by the side of the roads.

Rows of vegetables are flanked by flower fields, often grown and harvested by the same farmers to sell in bouquets at their stands. Some are ordered and planted in advance just for special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and graduations.  (more…)

09/04/16 9:29am

We were first introduced to The Farm Beyond farmers Melissa and Ed Henrey in a story Northforker editor Vera Chinese wrote back in March, at the beginning of this year’s growing season. They announced they would be growing “farmed foraged crops” on a five acre organic plot leased from the Peconic Land Trust on Youngs Avenue in Southold and selling their produce and flowers at a “pop-up” farm stand on Fridays and Saturdays. It is the height of the harvest now and I stopped in on Friday afternoon to see how their first season was going. (more…)

08/28/16 6:00am
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Farmer Walter Hodun Jr. said picking a bushel (50 pounds) goes fast because the fruit is clustered together and plants are two feet apart. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

I talked to farmer Eddie Hodun Jr. at his 10-acre U-pick farm in Calverton this week and he pointed out that this is “the kick-off week” for tomatoes, especially for the variety of tomatoes many people want to make fresh sauce. He explained that the weather has been just hot enough “it brings out the sugar in the fruit.” (more…)

08/11/16 10:32am
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTOConnor Guditus and his sister Chelsea on the porch of their Main Road Mattituck home.

Connor Guditus and his sister Chelsea on the porch of their Main Road Mattituck home. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

When asked what makes front porches so special, architect Elizabeth Thompson of Orient said they’re a perfect hybrid of private and public spaces.

“It is protected and autonomous, giving a gently elevated view of the world,” she said, adding that people across the world love them. “You can be still and apart, and yet feel connected to the action of the world around you.”

In recent weeks, I drove the North Fork speaking with residents about what their front porches mean to them.

From Polish Town to Orient, I found people who count their porches as the favorite thing about their home — folks who seek time off from work so they can relax in their cherished spaces.

Here’s what they had to say. (more…)