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Just about everyone has picked their own strawberries or pumpkins, but it’s a bit more rare to pick sunflowers.
At Waterdrinker Family Farm & Gardens in Manorville, guests are invited to walk through the fields of bright yellow blooms and create their own bouquet to bring home.
Located at the corner of Wading River Road, right off the Long Island Expressway at exit 69, the farm and garden center boasts one of the area’s most plentiful selections of plants and herbs.
The indoor and outdoor greenhouses grow colorful annuals, exotic tropicals, hardy perennials and groundcover, but its Waterdrinker’s robust open fields of tulips, wildflowers and sunflowers that attract hundreds to the farm in the warm weather months for a chance to harvest their own arrangements. The farm’s 100,000 tulips peaked in the spring, but its selection of colorful wildflowers and beaming sunflowers are ripe for the picking.
“We want people to enjoy the sunflowers as an activity and more than just a pretty view,” said manager Brittney Weiss, whose in-laws own Waterdrinker. “We are always looking for fun ways to differentiate the farm. Hands on activities bring people out and our goal is to make it a place for the community.”
It’s $2 per stem for sunflowers and $5 a bunch for the wildflowers. The sunflowers are expected to last through September while the duration of the wildflowers is a little more unpredictable, Weiss noted.
In addition to strolling through the fields and picking sunflowers, the sunny backdrop is ideal for photo shoots, which Waterdrinker encourages. It is $25 an hour for professional photography shoots during regular business hours and $75-an-hour to gain access when the farm stand is closed.
The family friendly farm is also home to farm animals and a children’s play area. And while Waterdrinker doesn’t grow its own fruits and vegetables (aside from corn and pumpkins), it does carry a variety of produce sourced from other Long Island farms at its farm stand, which also sells fresh-baked pies and home décor.
Come fall, Waterdrinker will offer u-pick pumpkins and hayrides on weekends. And local craft beer lovers can look forward to the opening of the on-site brewery, Long Island Farm Brewery, in early 2020.
Waterdrinker Family Farm, located at 663 Wading River Road, Manorville, is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.