New fall happenings at East End farms
With the desire to turn 1760 Homestead Farm in Riverhead into more of a “culinary farm,” co-owners Larry Kaiser and Margaret Feinberg are bringing in a rotation of guest chefs for their weekly farm-to-plate series this fall. It's just one way farms on the East End are switching up their offerings this season.
“Everyone is a little different; they all have a different take,” Kaiser says of the revamped chef series. The idea behind bringing in local chefs is that they "must take ingredients grown on the farm and incorporate it into some sort of dish … whether it’s a soup, salad, small plate, entree or dessert,” he adds.
Kaiser says this rendition of the series that launched this summer and takes place each Sunday is more of an experience rather than simply a meal. Attendees can walk up to the concession and meet guest chefs who are happy to talk about their contributions. It’s a “whole interaction,” he says. “It’s almost like a demonstration kitchen, where people can see how foods are converted from produce to meal.”
In addition to the updated series, here are other new happenings at Long Island farms this fall.
Farm-to-plate series; prepared farm foods and beekeeper workshops at 1760 Homestead Farm
Try a sweet or savory dish by local chefs like Aki Goldberg (Aki’s Kitchen), Ursula XVII (Disset Chocolates in Cutchogue), pitmaster Travis Kaiser and Christina Padrazo (The Treatery) every Sunday through Christmas. For now, the farm concession is held outdoors, but once the weather turns, it’ll be brought inside. The menu — offered a la carte — is posted to Facebook and Instagram by Wednesday morning each week for the upcoming series. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
Larry Kaiser has also recently launched a lineup of prepared foods and has expanded his offerings of sauces. The former includes eggplant stackers (their version of eggplant Parm); pulled pork with a side of its signature barbecue sauce; tomato pies; salads; bruschetta with housemade bread and "Nana’s" eggplant caponata. The latter now features a barbecue brine called Northville sauce, in addition to its signature “sticky No. 12” barbecue sauce (with red jalapeños, tomatoes, herbs and spices). All sauces are sold in 12- or 16-ounce jars.
There’s more. Larry Kaiser and master beekeeper Chris Kelly (Promised Land Apiary) are working together to bring a “farm bees series” to the toxin-free farm, where attendees can learn hands-on the ins-and-outs of the trade: how to prepare a hive for fall and winter, how to extract and spin honey and more over the course of several classes. Each workshop includes farm eats and beverages.
WHEN | WHERE Farm-to-plate series takes place Sundays at noon; honey harvest workshop is on Sept. 24 at 1 p.m.;; and prepared eats available daily during farm's operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5412 Sound Ave. in Riverhead; 631-831-1653.
COST The farm-to-plate series and grab-and-go meals are pay-as-you-go; beekeeper workshops vary in price (tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com).
Family Treasures with Tales to Tell exhibit at Hallockville Museum Farm
Learn about an 1829 candlewick bedspread, a spinning wheel, a collection of quilts, a variety of butter churns and more than 40 other items at this newly launched free exhibit located in an old farmhouse dubbed the Hudson-Sydlowski House. Most all items found in the self-guided exhibit connect the Hallock family to their North Fork community. Bring your own food and drink, meant to be had on picnic tables set up on the property.
Additionally, the museum-farm is revamping its lineup of offerings at its 41st annual country fair. The indoor/outdoor fete this year will include hay rides, a mini farmers’ market, an expanded children’s gaming area that will have tug of war and sack racing; story reading by North Fork author Maureen Sullivan, and in the Naugles Barn, a quilt exhibit. Like in years past, expect to see at least 30 crafters on the grounds, pony rides and a petting zoo, a handful of food trucks and drink vendors (serving both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages), live music by local acts and craft demos on rug hooking, basket weaving, woodcarving and the like.
WHEN | WHERE The exhibit is open daily through Oct. 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the country fair is Sept. 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; both are at 6038 Sound Ave. in Riverhead; 631-298-5292; hallockville.org.
COST The exhibit is free; tickets for the country fair start at $10 (2 and under are free) and can be purchased at hallockville.org or at the door. Family packs ($35) and all-inclusive passes ($85) are also available.
Apple cannons at Fink's Country Farm
Chances are, you've launched various fruits and vegetables from a cannon at Fink's Country Farm. But, not apples. That changes this year with the launch of its apple cannon game at its fall festival. An attendant is on deck to help launch the fruit from the machine to a target set up several hundred feet away. This joins the lineup of fall fun at Fink's: hay rides, corn mazes, play areas, live music, character appearances and more.
WHEN | WHERE The fall festival is weekends and holidays from Sept. 10 through the end of October at 6242 Middle Country Rd. in Wading River; 631-886-2272; finksfarm.com.
COST Tickets to the festival, bought at the door, are $18 per person for ages 3 and up; the apple cannon game can be played at an additional cost starting this weekend.