For 20 weeks over the growing season, farmer Phil Barbato and as many as eight of his worker/shareholders arrive at Biophilia Organic Farm in Jamesport as early as 7 a.m. on Thursdays to harvest vegetables for its CSA program.
Harvesting on CSA pickup day guarantees the freshness of the veggies when the other shareholders stop to pick them up in the late afternoon.
Barbato has been farming his 14-acre farm for 16 years, ever since he gave up his former career as an environmental engineer for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He grew up on a family farm in Smithtown called “Barbato Brothers” or “Yellow Top” farm. In Jamesport, he grows 300 varieties of vegetables, including 60 varieties of tomatoes and nine varieties of garlic. He has 41 members in the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and he’s adamant about giving his members a variety of products each week.
“You can’t have the same thing,” he said.
This week’s share contained: three kinds of squash, beets, radishes, Swiss chard, scallions, broccoli, fennel, garlic scapes, mixed berries, herbs, sugar snap peas, kale, kohlrabi and a bouquet of flowers.
He also hosts an annual tomato and garlic tasting at the farm, this year to be held on August 22.
CSA members, like Mike Civitella of Sayville, drive from all over Suffolk to pick up their shares on Thursday afternoons.
“It’s a good farm,” Civitella said.
See more photos from the farm below.
Your North Fork Sunday Scene features weekly snap shots of life on Long Island’s top fork.