Hi Folks…and welcome back!
I learned something very interesting that I will incorporate into any future trips to anywhere. It may not be news to some of you, however staying off the beaten path has it’s rewards. When most of us travel we usually read about the destination(s) and go where the guide books say to go. In many cases it’s a must see destination by virtue of its historic significance or breathtaking architecture. I first experienced this, unknowingly, a couple of years ago in Italy. You can travel from one city to the next and many of the must see destinations are the houses of worship, however after seeing several of them. one can get the feeling you are seeing the same over and over again. The long lines in Florence and Venice used up quite a bit of time, and although the beauty inside was inspiring I found no lines on a visit to the beautiful city of Parma…and the same inspiration.
To the point…and back to Long Island.
For years we would take day trips to the the North Fork because we loved the vineyards, the farms, the antiques, the nurseries, vintage finds and our grandaughter Emma’s and our personal favorite stop, Lavender By The Bay. We endured the crowds in the summer and continued to visit on a regular basis places like Briermere, Peconic Herb Farm, our favorite nurseries and vineyards and ultimately “find”ing Cheryl’s Farm Stand, Shinn Vineyards & Sherwood House Vineyards.
It wasn’t, however, until the North Fork Foodie Tour did we realize how much more we were missing all of those years.
Back to Italy for a second. My point was there are sooo many beautiful churches all over Italy, why spend endless time waiting to get in? Why endure the crowds and waste time (precious time in the case of Italy) when you can go off the beaten path and find the same inspiration?
Of course there are “must see” places, however in many cases…no matter where you travel, they’re a lot of hype.
Now, back to Long Island.
The tour took us to places we had always seen…but never went in to see.
It was like listening, but not hearing.
We found TY LLWYD Farm (always saw the little black and white sign but never went in). “An active family farm since 1870, it raises DE Kalb Gold chickens…and grows vegetables and unusual varieties of potatoes”.
We were given a tour of the chicken coups and left with our own handpicked fresh eggs and fresh milk…you know the kind where a couple of inches of real cream sits on top of the fresh milk like in the “olden days”.
Serge and Susan Rozenbaum operate Lavender By The Bay in East Marion. Foodie Tour guests were given a tour and learned about the different kinds lavender they grow in the their beautiful fields as well as the bees they cultivate that produce lavender honey. They also have a shop on the property that offers all of these home grown products and more. It’s “trip”!
We were all mesmerized by Barbara Shinn with the walking tour we took on her vineyard. She has such a passion for the work that creates the grapes that produce her wines. Low impact organic sustainable farming is her mantra and I do not use that word loosely. Who else picks grapes by the position of the moon? She is a pioneer in her field that has proved the naysayers wrong.
Krupski’s Farm, a multi-generational family farm that thrives by changing their focus from a limited number of wholsale crops to a diverse offering of vegetables, fruits and free range poultry sold retail.
Koppert Cress searches the world for unusual varieties of aromatic herbs grown as micro-vegetables.
Satur Farms specializes in leafy vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, root vegetables and herbs.
Other stops included Sang Lee Farms specializing in organic vegetables and specialty Asian greens, Pipes Cove Oysters, Charnew Farms and the venerable Catapano Dairy Farm.
There are sooooo many wonderful fruit and vegetable farms, however…the one that stands out with some personality is Patty’s Berries & Bunches in Mattituck. There is actually a Patty and I think her mom works there too. It’s a family affair and all I can say is their white nectarines were the best we have ever tasted. You can pick your own strawberries in June, raspberries June through September, blackberries in August and blueberries in July and August or simply take home a pint or quart of berries from this picture perfect oasis of fruit.
Many of these location descriptions are taken from The North Fork Foodie Tour flyer.
The North Fork of Long Island has always been famous for delectable fare.
Think Peconic Bay Scallops, strawberries, potatoes , Long Island Duck and of course Long Island Wine. 2007 is being touted as possibly the best vintage ever for the vineyards!
The tradition of farming has expanded and now taken on another life as artisans have begun to produce distinctive foods and explore methods of sustainable agriculture.
If you would like to be a part of the 5th annual North Fork Foodie Tour in the summer of 2011 or would like more infomation, contact http://www.northforkreformsynagogue.org/ or call 631.722.5712. I can assure a wonderful learning and unique tasting experience.
Pix are coming!
Next Installment…Amish Country in Pennsylvania