Longer days and warmer temperatures are heading our way. March 20 is the official start of spring, but before buds break at local wineries and chickens hatch at area farms, these North Fork locales are offering plenty to do to get us through the last push of winter.
Here are 10 things to do on the North Fork this March:
The five-week celebration of local culture continues through March 14 with a variety of live music performances, special wine tastings and more.
There are new “Winterfest Experience” tours this year: a “mixed” tour of wineries and breweries on March 2 and a winery tour on March 9. Participants have the option of a day package starting at $150 per person that includes transportation to the destinations on the tour, stops at other scenic North Fork locations and lunch. Tour information and a full schedule of events are available at longislandwinterfest.com.
Learn the power of pollinators
Enjoy local fruits and veggies come summer? Learn how New York State’s 450 different bee species are superheroes of our gardens and farms. Veteran beekeeper Laura Klahre of Blossom Meadow Farm in Southold is discussing practices at her farm and actions you can take to put more food on your table while supporting bee populations. This $30 class starts at 9 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 at the Northville Grange Hall, Center for Ethical Biodiversity located at 5268 Sound Avenue in Riverhead. Purchase tickets and learn more at blossommeadow.com.
Take a wine and cheese pairing class
Wine and cheese never goes out of season on the North Fork. Visit one of the area’s most charming tasting rooms to learn a little more about both provisions on Sunday, March 10. Village Cheese Shop owner Michael Affatato is expertly curating a sampling of four cheeses to be paired with four of Bedell Cellars’ wines. The two-hour class runs from noon to 2 p.m. at the Cutchogue tasting room located at 36225 Main Road. The cost is $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at bedellcellars.com/events.
Refresh at Pellegrini Vineyards
If winter has you feeling down, recharge at this wellness retreat at Pellegrini Vineyards in Cutchogue. Certified coaches from NoFo Retreat are hosting the Winter Refresh workshop on Sunday, March 10. The 5 1/2 hour course centers around yoga, mindfulness and connection. A locally sourced lunch and wine tastings are part of the package. You’ll even get a bottle to take home with you. No yoga experience is needed to participate. Visit noforetreat.com for all the details and registration information.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Get your green on and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on the North Fork. There are a couple of local parades scheduled this month.
The North Fork Chamber of Commerce will host its 15th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. The route starts at the traffic light at Cox Lane, goes down Route 25 and ends in Cutchogue village. Visit cutchoguefiredepartment.org for more information.
The East End Emerald Society kicks off its 6th annual Jamesport St. Patrick’s Day parade on Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. The parade starts at the intersection of Washington and North Railroad avenues in Jamesport and travels north to Jamesport Fire Department’s Manor Road headquarters. The parade will go on rain or shine.
Make your own Kombucha
Kombucha is all the rage in health stores and wellness cafés, but the fermented tea touted for its health properties is easy to brew right at home too. Simply Sublime, an organic market and café with locations in Cutchogue and East Hampton, will show you the way at a workshop at Peconic Healing Center on Friday, March 15. The class teaches the subtle science of the first and second fermentation processes that ensure you get a flavorful and fizzy Kombucha. The $30 course includes a starter kit to take home. Registration and deposit are required. Call Simply Sublime at 631-735-9161 to book a spot. Peconic Healing Center is located at 125 E. Main St. in Riverhead.
Brunch at the brewery
Boozy brunches are most closely associated with mimosas and Bloody Marys, but Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. has a different take. The brewery started offering brunch on Sundays at its Peconic tasting room, serving beers like its Bed and Breakfast Ale that has hints of maple syrup, bacon and coffee to pair with Chef Greg Ling’s rotating menu of brunch favorites. Get there at 11 a.m. to ensure you’ll beat the crowds — it has been a packed house on Sundays since the brunch was introduced in early February. The beer-infused bloody Mary made with house-made spicy tomato mix is a must-try.
Weave a basket
Just in time for Easter, Hallockville Museum Farm is hosting a basket weaving workshop on Saturday, March 23. Instructor Barbara Chuvalas will lead the way beginning at 10 a.m. Baskets begin with a wooden base and are constructed out of natural and pastel-colored reed. Participants are asked to bring scissors, 20 spring-clip clothes pins, a spray bottle, small flat head screwdriver, needle-nose pliers and a pencil. The cost is $85 for the class and there is a $30 material fee due at the time of the class, paid directly to the instructor. People are encouraged to bring a bagged lunch. Sign up here.
Take a scenic run
The Riverhead Rocks 10 Mile Run is scheduled for Sunday, March 24. The course takes runners through scenic Indian Island County Park in Riverhead. The post-race party includes live music, free beer and barbecue. The race starts at 8:15 a.m. Learn more and sign up at eventpowerli.com.
Eat like a hunter
Dinner is getting wild at Jamesport Manor Inn. The restaurant is hosting a four-course Hunter’s Dinner of gourmet game paired with local craft beer on Friday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m.
The menu prepared by chef Jeff Russell features dishes such as mini pheasant pot pie and pan roasted medallion of venison backstrap. Each dish is specially partnered with a local brew from North Fork Brewing Co., Long Ireland, Moustache Brewing and Greenport Harbor. Tickets are $75 per person and advanced reservations are required. Call 631-722-0500 to book your spot.