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…)

04/21/16 10:00am
Chris Kelly, a Mattituck entomologist and beekeeper, surveys the Italian Carnolian Cross bees in one of his backyard hives. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Chris Kelly, a Mattituck entomologist and beekeeper, surveys the Italian Carnolian Cross bees in one of his backyard hives. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Here’s a piece of information that might surprise some people in our area — even those involved directly in agriculture. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 35 percent of the world’s crops rely on pollinating animals like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to reproduce.

Over the decades, however, these species have experienced steady population declines due to factors like loss of habitat. In 2014, the USDA reported, there were just 2.5 million honeybee colonies around the country. Compare that to 1947, when there were six million. (more…)