09/28/19 5:55am

Barbara and Dean Di Maggio’s home garden. (Credit: David Benthal)

Not all North Forkers are content just to hit up the amazing farm-to-table restaurants and farm stands that dot the area. Many want to get back to basics and do (some of) the farming themselves. Personal micro-farms — aka homesteads — are serving up freshly laid eggs from the chicken coop, honey from the hive, veggies from the ground, jam from the orchard or berry patch, even wine from the grapevines.  (more…)

09/07/19 6:00am

Fall’s rolling in and schools have reopened, but kids don’t have to be the only ones expanding their minds. Fall is a great time to learn a new craft or art skill, even just for an evening.

The North Fork is awash with classes where you can create everything from a watercolor painting to a macrame wine bottle holder to whale sculptures from upcycled marine debris. All levels are welcome, including beginners, so don’t be intimidated. It’s all about having fun. (more…)

07/11/19 6:00am

John and Maria Verderber and their three children at their family nursery in Aquebogue. (Credit: David Benthal)

There are lots of family businesses on the North Fork, but Verderber Nursery and landscape design company is a literal family tree. Run by husband-and-wife team John and Maria Verderber and their three children, aged 26 to 28, it’s safe to say that a love of horticulture and landscape design runs in the family. 

Headquartered in Aquebogue but with plant-growing operations in Jamesport, Mattituck, Southold and Southampton, the 300-acre Ver Der Ber casts a broad stroke, growing conifers, shade trees, shrubs and perennials for both wholesale and retail usage. Verderber’s diverse Garden Center features a 110-acre nursery space, offering everything from a small $8.99 flowering perennial to a 30-year-old tree selling for $25,000.  (more…)

06/19/19 5:55am

Village Blacksmith Thomas Barry. (Credit: David Benthal)

Next time you’re ambling down Front Street in Greenport, turn toward the water at the little red one-room schoolhouse from 1840 and step into the Village Blacksmith Shop — a true Old World feast for the senses. As your eyes take in the lovingly ramshackle space, feel the heat from the glowing 2,000-degree forge, smell the coal soot and singed metal and let your fingertips graze the wrought-iron hooks and gift items scattered about. The soundtrack? A metallic clank-clank-clank as blacksmith Thomas Barry hammers red-hot iron pieces into shape on his anvil. (more…)

03/30/19 6:00am

Chris Wines tends to the animals on his family’s farm in Riverhead (Credit: David Benthal)

The North Fork is known for its independently owned vineyards, breweries and distilleries, but there’s a small-batch beverage you might be overlooking: milk. 

Ty Llwyd Farm in Riverhead is the North Fork’s only producer of raw, unpasteurized milk — known for its creamier taste and added health benefits. And like other local craft beverages, it’s got a loyal, almost cult-like following.  (more…)

03/11/19 5:59am

Cover subject Claudia Fleming of The North Fork Table & Inn at Magic Fountain in Mattituck. (Credit: David Benthal)

North Fork Table and Inn culinary power couple Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden’s story was one of true love, in the kitchen and out. But when her husband lost his battle with ALS at just 50 years old in 2016, Fleming found herself having to go it alone — in the kitchen and in life. As she grows into her new role, the award-winning chef, cookbook author and North Fork culinary icon is tweaking her recipe for success. (more…)