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Rally for farm stand operator

East Meadow farmstand

East Meadow farmstand Photo Credit: Newsday file photo

A rally is planned for Saturday at one of Nassau County’s last farm stands, East Meadow’s Friendly Farms, to protest a county government decision handing over the operation to the not-for-profit Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The county owns the land, and the Cornell extension will continue to farm there and sell its produce at a roadside stand, the county says.

Supporters of the current, private operators of the Merrick Road stand have set up a website, www.friendly-farms.com, inviting others to join them. The stand’s current operators say it sells locally grown vegetables and fruit.

"You are welcome to come to the farm to get materials to make your signs (and) we will have extra signs the day of the rally," the website says.

The property was awarded to the Cornell extension after a process intended "to ensure that this property, which is one of the last substantial pieces of vacant land in the community, was protected from imminent development," County Legis. Norma Gonsalves said in a Nov. 5 open letter.

The private operators of the farm stand were allowed to operate only on an interim basis while the county process continued, Gonsalves said. Now, with the Cornell operation, "the land will be farmed and the produce that results will be sold on site," she said.

A Newsday listing this spring said the farm stand stays open from March to Dec. 23, selling local vegetables, fruits and some organic produce.

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