Spring is here, which means North Fork farm stands, despite the uncertainty, ahead are preparing for another busy summer season.
This is also the time of year for the start of Community Supported Agriculture programs. By buying into a farm share early in the season, you can help sustain local farmers and their businesses, while getting very fresh produce.
Being on the North Fork means there are tons of CSAs to choose from.
Here is a roundup of some traditional ones, along with others that include something a little different from produce.
A classic choice for a classic CSA is Zilnicki Farms.
Through the use of a software called Harvie, members are able to have a choice in what they receive for their CSA. You can order extra produce or indicate what items you never want to see in your share and pick items you do want. You can add on eggs, flowers or a fruit share and they will even partner with businesses for a workplace CSA, where your share can be directly delivered to your work.
“People have gotten so disconnected with knowing where their food comes from,” said John Zilnicki, whose family has owned the farm for generations. “That’s been our focus the last five or six years, to reconnect people back to Mother Nature and the CSA model fits that goal for us.”
The small share starts at $20 weekly.
3123 Sound Ave, Riverhead, 727-2121
This 25-week program offers organic produce for a weekly subscription fee. They have free local delivery or an added fee for further deliveries. They also guarantee that the food you get was picked less than 24 hours before it arrived at your door.
“We are an exclusively CSA farm — that’s all we do,” said Maggie Wood, owner and farmer of Golden Earthworm. “We’ve been around for a long time (26 years), and we really love what we do. We love that we’ve been feeding our members, their kids, and now their kids’ kids with our nutritious, delicious and wholesome food!”
As a CSA member, you’ll be invited for U-pick in June for their strawberries and a Harvest Festival in October. They also have two add-on options: a fruit share from Briermere Farms or meat and dairy products from an upstate farm.
Prices start at $24.88 per week.
652 Peconic Bay Blvd, Riverhead, 722-3302
Sep’s Farm offers traditional produce, but with a twist.
The pick your own option comes from a menu. Each week, before picking up your CSA box, you’ll receive a list of options to choose from, depending on what they have harvested. Then, stop by the farm and choose your items for that week from the menu.
“A lot of people that we talked to that had done a CSA, one of the complaints was ‘We want to pick something that we want, and then not waste the food,” said CSA manager Brenna Leveille. “This was the way to do it where it gives people more options and it brings people into the stand.”
Sep’s also has a pre-packed option, where members can pick up a box with a selection of produce that has been chosen for them. With this feature, there is still an element of choice. When signing up for it at the beginning of the season, you can select three produce items you don’t like, and those items you will never find in your box.
Prices start at $180 for a half season small share.
7395 Main Rd, East Marion, 477-1583
If you want to be able to brighten up your home in the form of flowers, becoming a member of a flower CSA is the way to go. And North Fork Flower Farm offers plenty of seasonal options.
Choose the nine week long Spring Delight program (Early May – Late June) for tulips and daffodils, the 10-week Summer Blooms program (Early July – Early September) for asters and dahlias or the eight week Fall Color program (Early September – Late October) for snapdragons and Queen Anne’s lace. Or choose their Flowers by the Month program for a shorter option.
North Fork Flower Farm will deliver to Orient, East Marion, Greenport, Southold, Cutchogue or Mattituck.
“Participating in our flower CSA gives you a weekly mason jar arrangement of the most unusual, delightful and freshest flowers you have probably never seen before,” co-owner Drianne Benner said. “Here is how it works: Each weekend, just leave the empty quart mason jar provided to you, and a new, long-lasting bouquet will magically appear in its place, ready for you to enjoy.”
Prices start at $80 for the monthly option.
1110 Terry Ln, Orient, 212-727-9907
Spice up your life with an herb share. Herricks Herbs and Heirlooms offers a bunch (pun intended) of options to pick from (and again).
Choose the box option and have the farmers pick the herbs, or choose from a selection of u-pick frequencies to browse the farm and pick your own.
“We grow over 100 varieties of various medicinal herbs. Sourcing the highest quality, certified organic, locally grown herbs will only improve the potency and effectiveness of herbalists’ or home herbalists’ herbal remedies,” owner Nicole Orens-Williams said. “Our farm offers a unique opportunity to its herb share members—they are welcomed into our medicinal herb garden to self-harvest the herbs as well as develop deeper connections to the plants and other wildlife that make up the garden.”
Prices start at $80 per box or $100 a season for a monthly self-harvest option.
81-91 Herricks Ln, Riverhead, 722-2293
If you are itching to try some of the more unique poultry items the Nork Fork has to offer, look no further than Feisty Acres.
Each month, you’ll receive a selection of eggs and meat from the farm.
“Members will have the opportunity to try — at least once — every bird and egg we offer at our farm and markets,” said Abra Morawiec, co-owner and operator. “Every month has a different combination of poultry, game birds, and eggs and can include quail, chukar partridge, French guinea fowl, heritage chicken, silkie chicken, heritage chicken eggs, heritage duck eggs and quail eggs.”
And if you are feeling even more adventurous, try their pickled quail egg share. Or make an awesome breakfast with one of their two egg shares.
Pick-ups can typically be done either at their farm in Southold or at Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays or Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket on Saturdays. The poultry and egg share is $500.
45375 County Rd 48, Southold, [email protected]
Other CSAs to check out
Some deadlines to sign up for these CSAs may have passed, but bookmark this and keep it for future reference.
Sang Lee Farms 25180 County Rd 48, Peconic, NY 11958, 734-7001
Biophilia Organic Farm 211 Manor Ln, Riverhead, NY 11901, 769-9732
Sylvester Manor Educational Farms 80 N Ferry Rd, Shelter Island, NY 11964, 749-0626
Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market 4558 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901, 722-8777
Goodale Farms 250 Main Rd, Riverhead, NY 11901, 905-5975
Long Seasons Farm 953-999 NY-25, Riverhead, NY 11901, 779-3360
Andrews Family Farm & Greenhouse 1038 Sound Ave, Calverton, NY 11933, 929-5963
Browder’s Birds 4050 Soundview Ave, Mattituck, NY 11952 477-6523
MarGene Farms 2230 Soundview Ave, Mattituck, NY 11952, 298-7688
KK’s the Farm 59945 Main Rd, Southold, NY 11971, 765-2075