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Where to pick your own vegetables on LI

Irene Angelakis of Queens stands with a wagon

Irene Angelakis of Queens stands with a wagon of vegetables, which she has just picked at Cooper's Farm, which operates 25 acres in Mattituck. (July 30, 2011) Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Whether you want a bag of collard greens, a mess of okra or a bushel of tomatoes for Grandma's signature sauce, picking your own vegetables is a great way to get closer to your food source -- and save some money, too.

Sophia Gutherz and Marty Miller, Manhattanites who have a place in Mattituck, are regulars at Cooper's Farm, which also is in Mattituck. "We're there at the farm every weekend we're out there," says Miller, 75. "We pick some of everything. And, we bring produce back for the neighbors."

Farm owner Doug Cooper estimates his customers save as much as 50 percent by picking their own vegetables.

 

Good to know

Most farms have designated U-pick areas for customers to load up on ripe produce during the peak growing season. To avoid disappointment, call the farm before heading out to confirm which vegetables are available.

Many will provide containers for picking, but unless you want to buy them, bring your own shallow cardboard boxes for the drive home.

"I have some regulars who bring their own Bubble Wrap and line the backseat with boxes," says Pam Lewin Saviano, of Lewin Farms in Calverton.

Some area farms that participate in Community Supported Agriculture programs, such as Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett , also allow members to pick their own produce. Check with your local CSA to see if it allows u-pick.

 

What it costs

Expect to pay $1 or $2 a pound for heavy vegetables such as tomatoes and zucchini -- lighter produce (peppers, squash blossoms, okra, greens) often costs more per pound.

Prices tend to be higher at the beginning of August, dwindling as the harvest progresses. Farms generally are cash and carry. Few will have an ATM.

 

Where to pick

 

CONDZELLA'S FARM

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 6233 North Country Rd., Wading River

INFO 631-929-5058

PRICING Varies

CROPS Peas, tomatoes, beans

 

COOPER'S FARM

WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-dusk daily, 2200 Breakwater Rd., Mattituck

INFO 631-298-5195

PRICING By the pound

CROPS Tomatoes, muskmelons, watermelons, Oriental and regular eggplants, hot and sweet peppers, cucumbers, beans, okra, potatoes, onions, Swiss chard, beets, zucchini, zucchini blossoms

F & W SCHMITT FARMS

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily beginning in mid-September, 26 Pinelawn Rd., MelvilleINFO 631-271-3276

PRICING By the pound

CROPS Eggplant, string beans, tomatoes, peppers

HANK'S FARM STAND

WHEN | WHERE 9:30 a.m.-

5:30 p.m. daily, 324 County Rd. 39, Southampton

INFO 631-726-4667,

hankspumpkintown.comPRICING $3.50 a half pint, $7 a pint

CROPS Raspberries, blackberries

LENNY BRUNO FARMS

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily beginning third week in August, 740 Wading River Rd., Manorville

INFO 631-591-3592

PRICING By the bushel

CROPS Eggplants, hot and sweet peppers, plum tomatoes, flat beans

 

LEWIN FARM

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Monday (call for availability), 812 Sound Ave.,

Calverton

INFO 631-929-4327,

lewinfarm.com

PRICING Mostly by the pound; tomatoes also by the bushel

CROPSRound, plum and cherry tomatoes; green, Italian, hot and jalapeño peppers; eggplants, peaches, blackberries

PATTY'S BERRIES & BUNCHES

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, 410 Sound Ave., Mattituck

INFO 631-298-4679,

pattysberriesandbunches.com

PRICING $5 a person to enter field (includes one pint of fruit), $5 each additional pint

CROPSBlueberries, blackberries and raspberries

 

WINDY ACRES

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 3810 Middle Country Rd./ Route 25, Calverton

INFO 631-727-4554

PRICING Mostly by the pound

CROPS Peaches ($15 per quarter bushel), raspberries, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, nectarines

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