Signs that you’re a Greenmarket junkie: You see nothing wrong with dropping $20 on four oddly formed, jewel toned tomatoes. You love pursalane — whatever it is. And the idea of visiting the farm where all this gorgeous produce is grown sounds like a great day trip to you.
Well, good news: next Sunday, September 9, the North Fork Reform Synagogue is hosting its first North Fork Foodie Tour, an entire day of demonstrations and tastings at various farms you may already be familiar with, like Garden of Eve, which supplies shares for the Williamsburg/Greenpoint CSA, and Satur Farms, whose leafy greens you’ve probably eaten if you’ve ever dined at Flatbush Farm, or ordered their food from Fresh Direct.
The self-guided tour, which costs $25 (the under-12 set gets in free), provides you with a map and a stamp so you can join each producer’s behind-the-scenes look at their operations, be it free-ranging bison at North Quarter Bison Farm or beekeeping at Lavender By the Bay, which makes all kinds of lavender goods: soaps, sachets, honey.
“The original idea was to focus on the wonderful producers out here and the fine local food, so people can appreciate what is available in this very small area,” says Kay Freeman, one of the tour’s organizers, and a Brooklynite by birth.
For years she lived at Ocean Parkway and Caton Avenue — Kensington to us, but says Freeman, “We didnâ€™t have a name for it when I was growing up.” She and her husband took a drive to the East End one Saturday ten years ago, and bought a house on a whim. Ultimately, they realized they enjoyed their weekends on the Island better than their weeks in the City, and made the complete move last year.
So, be warned. When shuffling from Pipes Cove Oysters, where you can shuck your own, to Catapano Goat Dairy Farm, where you can milk the goats responsible for their award-winning chevre, to Sang Lee Farms, whose ginger scallion dip, Shanghai Choy kimchee, and chilled beet soup are freakin’ amazing, to Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, where farmer-chef Matthew Kurek will be making fresh salsa and quinoa-lentil salad, you too may get an idea about staying, at least one night.
If so, most places on the North Fork have a two-night minimum on weekends, but don’t apply the rule to Sunday night stays. (You just have to wake up really early on Monday to make it to work). As of today, the Shinn Estate Farmhouse, the only North Fork inn on a vineyard (and the only vineyard on the tour), has rooms available on Sunday (each $225) as does the Mattituck Motel, which starts at $129 a night. (There are more lodging options here.)
For information on the tour and purchasing tickets, download the brochure here or visit northforkreformsynagogue.com. If you can’t make the tour, you can always use the guide as a reference for when you do go.
Photo of vineyard courtesy Shinn Estate Vineyards. All others courtesy Golden Earthworm Organic Farm.
Sent by Nicole.