Beach plums freshly picked from the beach (All pictures by Monique Singh-Roy)
This story was originally published in October 2016. We are reposting it in anticipation of beach plum season.
Beach plums aren’t typically found in supermarkets, but the fruit — which looks more like supersized blueberry or grape than a plum — makes some of the most flavorful jam I’ve ever tasted.
Since Colonial times, and likely before, the wild fruit, which grows on the North and South forks, has been harvested to make preserves, jams and jellies. According to Cornell University, which undertook a nearly 20-year project to establish the beach plum as a commercial crop, it’s native to the Northeastern U.S.(more…)
Snapdragon apples ready to be picked at Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue (Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)
Everyone loves biting into a crisp, fresh apple — particularly this time of year. Now, a new variety is available on the North Fork for residents to enjoy: the Snapdragon.
The Snapdragon was developed following the success of the Honeycrisp apple years before, according to Tom Wickham, owner of Wickham’s Fruit Farm. His Cutchogue operation is one of two local farms to grow the new variety.
“The old varieties were Macintosh, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious,” Mr. Wickham said. “All those have been overtaken by apples that are better-tasting. Thirty years ago we got Gala, Macoun and Empire. Those new varieties have now become the mainstay of our operation.” (more…)
COURTESY PHOTO | Louisa and Alex Hargrave left Harvard University, where they met, 40 years ago to head to Long Island’s East End.
Louisa and Alex Hargrave stood under a sunny sky one unseasonably warm winter afternoon with two grape experts who had come from afar to take a gander at Long Island’s very first vineyard.
The young couple, neither of whom had any viticulture experience, were soliciting advice on growing stronger, more fruitful grapevines. The expert, who grew grapes in California, told them to keep the vines with the thickest wood and cut off the side shoots.
The Hargraves exchanged puzzled glances. Just minutes earlier, a grape expert from Cornell University’s Agricultural Experiment Station in upstate New York had given the exact opposite advice: Keep the thinnest wood and do not cut off the side shoots. (more…)