10/13/16 6:01am
Beach plums freshly picked from the beach (All pictures by Monique Singh-Roy)

Beach plums freshly picked from the beach (All pictures by Monique Singh-Roy)

Beach plums aren’t typically found in supermarkets, but the fruit — which looks more like supersized blueberry or grape than a plum — makes some of the most flavorful jam I’ve ever tasted.

Since Colonial times, and likely before, the wild fruit, which grows on the North and South forks, has been harvested to make preserves, jams and jellies. According to Cornell University, which undertook a nearly 20-year project to establish the beach plum as a commercial crop, it’s native to the Northeastern U.S. (more…)

09/01/16 6:04am
Drianne Benner and Kevin Perry, co-owners of North Fork Flower Farm.

Drianne Benner and Kevin Perry, co-owners of North Fork Flower Farm.

The air is hot and humid as bees and butterflies flit from bloom to bloom at North Fork Flower Farm.

Located in the heart of Orient, the farm is hidden behind a tall fence and layers of brush and bramble. A narrow tree-lined path brings you to the middle of a large open field, where the farm sits like a secret garden.

That’s where co-owner Kevin Perry collects a bouquet of zinnias, as his wife and partner, Drianne Benner, inspects the dahlias.

“The dahlias and zinnias will go until the frost,” Ms. Benner said. “We’ll have plenty to continue harvest and we’ll see what else we can complement them with.” (more…)

08/31/16 1:38pm
Sadly, we spotted these pumpkins for sale at Krupski Farms in Peconic on Tuesday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Sadly, we spotted these pumpkins for sale at Krupski Farms in Peconic on Tuesday. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

I’ve been ignoring those displays of mums lined up outside the grocery store and popping up at our local farm stands.

It’s because these bright yellow and purple plants make me start thinking about the end of the tomato harvest, the end of bottles of Long Island wine shared on the back deck and no longer dressing my infant daughter in the cutest pair of denim overall shorts you’ve ever seen. Also, I’ll be reminded of how little my family used the pool this sumer, and that if you add up opening, closing and chemical costs, we spent about $237 per dip.

But take a ride out to Peconic and you’ll see some round, orange reminders that the days of running into the bay with abandon are in the single digits. (more…)

08/11/16 12:44pm
Wickham Fruit Farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

Congratulations are in order for Tom and Gekee Wickham, owners of Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, as they’ve been named the first Suffolk County farm to win New York State’s Agricultural Environmental Management Award.

Additionally, they are the first fruit farm to receive the accolade, which was first awarded in 2002, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. (more…)

07/19/16 10:27am
Alpine Strawberries Glover Perennials

Alpine strawberries were among the varieties Martha Stewart purchased from Glover Perennials in Cutchogue. (Credit: Lauren Lustgarten)

Glover Perennials received a nice plug last month from none other than Martha Stewart, who raved about the strawberry patch she started in her garden with plants purchased from the Cutchogue wholesaler.  (more…)

05/19/16 6:15am
Chef Taylor Knapp holds up a snail at his farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Chef Taylor Knapp holds up a snail at his farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

The first thing one notices when passing the barn on the Peconic Land Trust property in Cutchogue is the fortresslike security of the 8-by-16-foot greenhouse behind it.

The front door opens to another door, creating an airlock. The windows and floor drains are covered with plastic netting. The greenhouse is filled floor to ceiling with plastic shelving, each leg resting in a plastic container filled with salt water.

So, just what are these safety measures protecting? Snails — or, more accurately, escargots.  (more…)