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Browder's Birds in their pasture. (Credit: Charity Robey, file photo)
Browder’s Birds in their pasture. (Credit: Charity Robey, file photo)

Some of the North Fork’s old potato fields are giving way to free-range chickens and Icelandic sheep — and the New York Times has taken notice.

The increasing number of Long Island farms producing items like grass-fed beef, organic eggs and pastured pork was the subject of a story published in the Sunday, May 3, edition in the New York section of the Times.

“Former potato farms are now home to sheep, pigs, chicken, and Charolais cattle,” the article states.

And the three farmers interviewed for the story — 8 Hands Farm’s Carol Festa, Browder’s Birds’ Chris Browder and Brewster McCall of McCall Vineyards and Ranch — all farm on the North Fork.

“More people every day want to understand where their food comes from,” Browder told the Times. “There was no pastured poultry out here before we started five years ago. So I was not surprised at the demand.”

However, a movement to become more environmentally stable has not necessarily translated into economically viable models, the article notes. To do that, many farmers are looking toward diversifying their products.

“My father understood that in order to keep this agrarian culture going, you couldn’t just keep growing potatoes,” Brewster McCall told the Times. “The beef was my father’s dream to create a high-end product with a modern, fresh take on the agricultural land of our region.”

Read the full article here

In other news, several Long Island wines, like Shinn Estate Vineyards’ 2007 Grace and Macari Vineyards’ chardonnay, were mentioned as local favorites by New York City women sommeliers in this Gothamist article.

And New York Cork Report publisher Lenn Thompson (and our wine columnist) reviews Macari’s 2013 No. 1 sauvignon blanc, here. He describes the wine, which was selected as a “pro pick” in the spring 2015 Long Island Wine Press, as having an exceptional texture.

“It is at once rich and mouth-filling while remaining focused and lively,” he said.

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