Some like it raw -- locally grown wheat and hops, fresh whole cow's milk, fleece and fiber straight off the backs of the animals. Farmers are selling these and other unprocessed goods to Long Islanders who want products closer to the source, closer to their original form.
"A lot of beer home-brewers are passionate about using local ingredients," says John Condzella of Condzella Hops in Wading River, who sells fresh hops to brewers who don't want to use a dried, pelletized product shipped in from out-of-state.
Here's a sampling of what's available straight from the sources:
Fleece and fiber
Rancher Tabbethia Haubold-Magee and husband Christopher Magee raise llamas, alpacas, sheep and angora goats. In addition to offering ready-to-use yarn, she sells unprocessed fleece and fiber that must be washed, combed and spun into usable yarn.
"Raw fleece and fiber is a couple of steps back from what you'd buy at a yarn store," says Haubold-Magee. "I sell mostly to spinners and weavers."
WHERE Long Island Livestock Co., 125 Gerard Rd., Yaphank
INFO 631-680-6721, lilivestockco.com
COST 50 cents to $2.50 an ounce for llama and alpaca fleece and fiber; $5-$35 a pound for wool or mohair
While fresh (wet) hops are available only during the late-summer harvest, dry hops are available year round. Hops enhance bitterness or add aroma to beer, explains Andrew Tralka of Farm to Pint, which grows four types of hops. Tralka sells mostly to home-brewers, passersby and craft brewers in Brooklyn.
Condzella Hops, 6233 North Country Rd., Wading River
INFO (631-875-0786); Farm to Pint, 39395 Rte. 25, Peconic (603-686-0232) and Wesnofske Farms, 36450 Rte. 48, Peconic (631-786-2241)
COST $7-$30 a pound wet; $7 for a 2-ounce bag dry
Known primarily as an egg farm, Ty Llwyd Farm each day also sells about 55 half-gallon bottles of unpasteurized milk that comes from grass-fed Jersey cattle.
"We get a lot people who grew up drinking raw milk," says owner Chris Wines, who's been licensed to sell raw milk for four years. "We also get moms who buy it for their kids. I believe raw milk has higher levels of calcium, vitamins and beneficial enzymes."
While there is debate as to the nutritional value of raw milk versus pasteurized, raw milk does have a creamier mouth feel and a more pleasing, creamier color than pasteurized, homogenized milk.
WHERE 5793 Sound Ave., Riverhead
INFO 631-722-4241, tyllwyd.wordpress.com
COST $6 per half gallon, plus $2.50 glass bottle deposit; must order at least a day in advance.
Amber Waves Farm, co-owned by Katie Baldwin and Amanda Merrow, grows three types of wheat. While some is ground into flour, much is sold whole as wheat berries.
"Home bakers are coming out of the woodwork, seeking our flour to make a truly locally grown loaf of bread," says Baldwin, whose nutty-tasting wheat berries are boiled and eaten as a grain. The fresh-ground wheat flour is used for baking.
In addition to offering the wheat berries as part of its Community Supported Agricultures shares, the farm also sells whole wheat berries and flour at farmers markets. Wheat berries, which have a nutty flavor, retain a firm texture, even after being cooked.
WHERE At the Springs farmers market (9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 780 Springs Fireplace Rd., East Hampton, 631-875-9130) and the Montauk farmers market (9 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays, Village Green, Montauk Highway, Montauk, 631-668-2428)
COST $5 a pound