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Sweet potato pecan butter by Bayview Farms (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Flowers are blooming, the weather is warm and it’s the beginning of local produce season. One of the harbingers of spring is seeing which local fruit or vegetable is on the sign outside Bayview Market and Farms in Aquebogue. This one-stop shop stocks everything from local produce and game to fresh mozzarella and Bayview’s own cider. They not only celebrate their local items but also include other ingredients you may need to complete a dish like a lemon or imported cheeses. If you’re like me, a simple squeeze of fresh lemon juice on local asparagus takes the vegetable to another level, and having one place where you can gather it all makes their market and farm stand the reason why seasonal cooking is easy-breezy, the way it should be.

1) Peach cider by Bayview Farms $18.99

Peach cider by Bayview Farms (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Nonalcoholic cider made specifically for Bayview with all-natural ingredients is great on its own or mixed into a summery cocktail.

2) Crescent Farms duckling $6.65/lb.

Crescent Farms duckling (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Fresh duck from Long Island’s legendary duck farm is available in the meat case in at Bayview. You can buy duckling or even duck fat alone to add to your favorite recipes.

3) Potted herbs $8.95 each or two for $17

Potted herbs (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Fresh herbs make every dish taste better, even sweet dishes. Think of adding thyme to some muffins or basil to your favorite fruit jam.

4) Harvest grain bread by Bayview Farms $8.99

Harvest grain bread by Bayview Farms (Photo Credit: David Benthal)

This round boule with a crisp exterior and soft center is the perfect addition to your dinner table or picnic basket.

5) Strawberry plants $25.99; fresh strawberries, market price per quart

Strawberry plants (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Whether you want to just enjoy the sweet fruit or plant your own berry patch, the farm stand has everything you need from freshly picked berries to strawberry plants ready for the ground or basket.

6) Rhubarb market price per pound; strawberry rhubarb pie $22.99

Strawberry rhubarb pie (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Often misunderstood because of the whole don’t-eat-the-leaves thing, the tart stems of rhubarb become mild when being cooked and pair well with a sweet food like strawberries. Bayview sells not only this vegetable but also their own strawberry rhubarb pie.

7) Sweet potato pecan butter by Bayview Farms $11.99

Sweet potato pecan butter by Bayview Farms (Photo credit: David Benthal)

Sweet with slight savory notes, this reminded me of the sweet butters I’ve enjoyed while traveling in the south. Add it to oatmeal for a treat or swipe on some toasted bread from the farm.

8) Spinach $2.49/lb.

Spinach (Photo credit: David Benthal)

A versatile vegetable, spinach is loaded with iron and nutrients whether eaten raw or cooked. Try your hand at creating your own spinach artichoke dip by sourcing all the ingredients from the farm stand and market.