Summertime doesn't just mean longer days and hotter weather. It also means fresher food, since it's prime growing season. On Long Island, farms are holding a variety of events to show off their produce and products. Here are three farm-to-table outings:
Yaphank Grown on Long Island Day
Celebrate local food on Long Island at this second annual farmers market, where about 35 vendors will have their produce and products on sale. You'll be able to get everything from just-ripe cucumbers and tomatoes to wine, jam and flowers. While parents are shopping, kids will be kept entertained with a petting zoo and scavenger hunt. There will be cooking demonstrations and a seafood throwdown. Last year, more than 1,000 people attended, says Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau. "People always ask 'How can we help the farmers?' The best way to help them is to buy their products," Gergela says.
SHARE: A Jamesport Field-to-Plate Dinner
COST $50 for cocktail party; $175 for cocktail party and dinner
This local-chef presentation supports the North Fork Education Initiative, a new nonprofit that is opening a K-3 grade school on Sept. 10 in Riverhead. The school will integrate arts and environmental learning into the curriculum. All the food for this family-style dinner is being harvested from the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm and will be cooked by three chefs: Gregory Ling from The Riverhead Project, Michael Meehan of H2O Seafood Grill in Smithtown and Noah Schwartz of Noah's in Greeport. Wine, dessert and beer will be donated by local businesses. The Steve Watson Trio will be playing jazz. And a farm tour and silent auction -- featuring everything from architecture consults to original artwork from local artists and cases of wine -- are slated for the evening. "It's an opportunity for the community to come together over what we care about -- sustainable local food," says Liz Casey Searl, manager of the benefit. All proceeds go to North Fork Education Initiative.
We Be Jammin'! Preserve produce in a jar out East
COST $25 a person
Take this class, We Be Jammin', which is part of the Farm-to-Table Classes for Adults series, to learn how to preserve your own food. You'll leave this event with a jar of preserves or pickles and a new set of skills. After harvesting all the necessary food from the farm, you'll get a lesson on how to prepare vegetables and fruits properly, how to do water-bath canning and how to set up a brine. Not only will this event teach you food-handling techniques, but you'll get a quick health lesson about food safety issues that may arise during the process.