It’s that time of year again: “Pick your own” signs are popping up all over the North Fork.
From U-pick strawberries to U-pick peaches, many farms let visitors partake in the fun and satisfying activity of picking your own produce.
Picking your own peas is officially back at Krupski Farms, the 70-acre farm in Peconic known for its giant pumpkins and corn mazes in the fall. Right now, shell peas and sugar snap peas are on the agenda.
The practice was stopped for a period when owner Al Krupski Jr. was elected Suffolk County Legislator.
“We gave up peas a few years ago because it was too time-consuming and I had to devote more time to the county job,” Krupski said. “Peas are one of my favorite vegetables, so it was really sad when we didn’t grow them.”
What’s changed this year is that staffer Brandon Lonk is getting more involved in managing the farm’s early season plantings. Lonk has worked for Krupski since he was in high school. Now a college graduate with a degree in agriculture business, Lonk is independently growing his own vegetables at Krupski Farms.
“Brandon has taken over some of the operations on his own,” Krupski said. “He’s got other crops that he has to raise and sell. He’s going to use our farm stand, so it’s a good way to transition someone into agriculture, letting him have access to land, certainly a little expertise. He’s transitioning now into a lot of decision-making on some of these crops and learning more crop practices.”
Picking your own peas is Lonk’s “baby,” you might say. He is supervising their development on two acres set aside for him on the farm.
“This is my investment,” Lonk said. “When Al became county legislator he cut back and offered me to do the early season.”
On a recent visit, Lonk pulled back a handful of thick pea plants to inspect his crop. The plants are heavier than they look, because underneath they are attached to pea pods.
“I’m very happy with the peas this season,” he said. “All a customer has to do is come in and grab a bushel basket and pick as much as they want. Shelling peas are $2.49 a pound and sugar snap peas are $3.99 a pound. If I pick and sell them it’s a higher price.”
“This is a nice family activity,” Krupski added. “These are unsprayed peas, so people can come and eat them right in the field and really enjoy them; that’s the beauty of it. There’s nothing better than fresh peas.”
You can pick your own peas on Krupski Farms on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Krupski Farms is located at 38030 Route 25 in Peconic.