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Doug Cooper of Cooper Farms in Mattituck proved an able cover model for this month’s issue of northforker magazine. (Credit: David Benthal)

When people hear that I live more than a half-hour from our office in Mattituck, they seem genuinely concerned about the time I spend commuting.

But unlike folks who roll out of bed at 5 a.m. to catch a train or beat the Long Island Expressway traffic into the city, my commute is spent traveling on Route 25 or Sound Avenue through Jamesport and Mattituck. 

I never have to share a seat with a stranger, and when I look left or right, I see rows of vineyards, not lanes of traffic.

My ride to work is at its best in these summer months, when the roadside farm stands are open — as are the windows in my car. I’ll often stop off on my ride home to pick up heirloom tomatoes for a salad or berries that are likely to be eaten before I ever reach my front door.

This month’s issue of northforker, which hit newsstands this week, pays homage to some of the many farm stands that help make the North Fork such a special place. We chose seven very different operations — from Riverhead to Orient — to focus on this time around. From the hidden gem that is Cooper Farms in Mattituck, growing the best ’maters in town, to the organic super-farm that Sang Lee has become, these businesses each have unique qualities that set them apart. We aimed to shine a spotlight on each one’s special expertise.

Throughout this issue, there is the theme of a better lifestyle, from the food we eat to the coffee we drink and the fun we make.

Farms have long been improving the quality of life on the North Fork, through both nutrition and land preservation. You’d be hard pressed to find a better view than the one you’ll find as you enter Orient and pass the Latham farm stand, with its mostly green scenic vista overlooking the Peconic Bay.
And if you ate nothing but produce sold at places like KK’s The Farm or Country View Farm Stand, you’d have a very happy physician.

So as you make the rounds this summer on the North Fork, hang on to this magazine and find the closest farm stand in our guide. Buy their zucchini,
pick their strawberries, shuck their corn.

Summer on the North Fork means blue skies and fresh produce. It’s about clean living and fresh air. The tagline for this magazine is eat, drink, live, breathe and there’s no better time to live this way than the month of June. Even a little commute is nothing this time of year.

Grant Parpan, Content Director