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Several weeks back, I was on a road trip with family and, while driving back to Long Island on the Cross Island Parkway, I noticed what I thought might be a harvest moon.

It was mid-August, so I knew that couldn’t be the case, but this beautiful orange moon was so big, bright and impressive it evoked the harvest in me. (It turns out what I was witnessing was the full sturgeon moon.)

This wondrous sight got me thinking about the upcoming harvest season, which for many who live or work on the North Fork means grunts and groans and trying to figure out how to cut through traffic on a short commute turned long.

These negative feelings about the seasonal traffic have at times overshadowed the positive aspects of the harvest season.

When we say harvest, we’re really talking about the fall here, as the grapes are picked from the vines and the pumpkin fields turn a bright orange. (October is also harvest season for our hunters, who seek out bow-hunting opportunities and also continue in the local tradition of taking waterfowl this month.)

In reality, this is a nearly year-round harvest community. Starting in the spring with asparagus and horseradish, we’re always picking something here and, outside of maybe our open waters, it’s the farms that best define our culture.

At Northforker, we write about our farms in nearly every issue, but in October we always take care to dedicate a greater portion of editorial space to harvest-themed content.

For this issue, we explored the harvest process at a small winery like Mattebella in Southold. We included a list of pumpkin farms and peeked in on the apple harvest with a profile of Riverhead Ciderhouse cidermaster Will Coughlin. We also dropped by McCall Wines in Cutchogue for a look at how owner Russ McCall has worked to preserve a piece of the past.

Our story on Peconic Escargot, a fascinating operation launched by local chef Taylor Knapp, is one of our more unusual harvest-themed pieces. His story is just the latest to illustrate how agriculture has been so consistently redefined on the North Fork.

Ultimately, we hope these stories help guide you through another fine harvest season. It’s a time to enjoy all this magical place has to offer.

Grant Parpan

Content Director