Part of the charm of the North Fork is the abundance of quaint residential farm stands where small-scale agriculture is governed by an honor box.
All across Riverhead and Southold towns are oyster stands, egg carts, firewood boxes and vegetable stands positioned in the front yards of locals.
Among our favorites is Wild Child Farmstand (@wildchildfarmstand on Instagram) at the corner of Old North Road and Lighthouse Road in Southold. There you’ll find, depending on the season, an assortment of fresh flowers and produce ranging from shishito peppers and figs to watermelon and, of course, heirloom tomatoes. It’s all from the garden of resident Meg McGinnis, but you’re mostly supporting the hard work of her 7-year-old daughter Una and 6-year-old son Orson.
Ms. McGinnis said when she moved to the North Fork her thumb was far from green, but she installed four garden beds to start and enlisted the help of local garden designers Connie Cross and Jeff Negron.
“It’s all organic and great for the pollinators and the bees and the butterflies,” Ms. McGinnis said.
As much as the young mother enjoys working in the garden, she stresses that the farm stand is a true passion project for the farmstand’s namesakes.
“They really love it,” McGinnis said of her kids. “Una in particular enjoys putting together the bouquets … It’s a nice way to connect with the community and give back.”
At Wild Child, philanthropy is the bottom line. The money raised is donated to local charities of the kids’ choosing. Una donates her share to Peconic Community School, where she’s a student. Orson chose Group for the East End because he wanted his hard work to benefit the environment. Only a small portion of the proceeds go straight to the kids’ piggy banks and spent at places like Magic Fountain in Mattituck and Goldsmith’s Toy Store in Greenport.
“They work hard,” McGinnis said. “So they get a little treat at the end of it.”