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Orient farming family among earliest settlers of area
Danny Latham, 64, is the owner of the 160-acre Latham’s Farm in Orient. His family was among the earliest European settlers of the area during the first half of the 17th century. We caught up with him outside his farm stand on Main Road where he sells the fruits and vegetables he grows on the farm.
How long have you lived in Orient?
My entire life except when I went away to college.
What do you like about the community?
My farm has been here since 1806, my family has been farming here for 200 plus years. I studied to be a school teacher, but I thought that I would do better as a farmer.
Do you grow everything that you sell at your farm stand?
We raise about 90 percent of what they sell on the stand. I specialize in tomatoes.
What has changed about the town over the years?
It has gone from a rural community when I started farming back in 1971, back then there were 31 farmers. It has changed to a mostly suburban community.
What keeps you here?
At my age of 64, there’s not much that you’re going to do after you’ve spent your entire life farming. When you’re a farmer, you’re a farmer. I live here with my wife, I’ve been married for 44 years. I have two children, grandchildren. They come to visit every now and then.
How many grandchildren do you have?
Four. They live in New England.
What makes Orient a special place compared to other towns on Long Island?
Did you take a picture out there? It’s beautiful! The people are nice, the second homeowners. Most of them are retired, I’ve made friends with a lot of them. The community is nice.