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North Fork Foodie Tour kicks off this weekend

Amanda Gerry, 15, from Lake Grove gets up

Amanda Gerry, 15, from Lake Grove gets up close and personal with one of the many goats at Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic. Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

If you’ve ever wanted to get an exclusive peek inside a facility that grows heirloom microgreens for America’s top chefs, this weekend is your best bet. Koppert Cress’ 100,000-square-foot greenhouse in Cutchogue will be open to the public during the 11th annual North Fork Foodie Tour.

For the past 10 years, the North Fork Reform Synagogue has sponsored the tour, a self-guided exploration of local spots where distinctive foods and beverages are crafted and sustainable agriculture is practiced.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 20 North Fork food destinations will welcome ticket holders. A $25 ticket (kids under 12 are free) will get you a map of the tour and access to venues including vineyards, breweries, vegetable and dairy farms, a coffee roaster and oyster ponds.

WHAT YOU’LL SEE

Catapano Dairy, Peconic: Tastings of both goat and sheep cheeses, and the chance to sample the farm’s goat milk soap and creams. You’ll be able to go into the cheese kitchen and view the cheese-making process through a window. Kids will enjoy visiting and petting the goats. If you want to watch the goats being milked, arrive shortly before milking time at 4 p.m.

Macari Vineyards, Mattituck: Winemakers host a guided tasting of three different Macari wines outside on the crush pad, where grapes are processed during harvest. In years past, guests have watched as fruit is brought in from the vineyard, sampled raw grapes before they are pressed, and tasted freshly pressed grape juice.

Lavender by the Bay, East Marion: Owner Serge Rosenbaum will take groups around the fields and explain how lavender is grown, getting a look at the farm’s beehives along the way. They will also tour the greenhouse where lavender plants are started, and see how loose dried lavender is prepared.

Southold Bay Oysters, Southold: A tour showcases oyster farming on the North Fork, covering farming techniques used to bring local oysters to market and the various stages of growth from spawning to mature oysters, with a chance to learn the environmental benefits oysters bring to our waterways. Oystermen will pull some oyster cages out of the water and demonstrate the characteristics of delicious Eastern oysters.

Deep Roots Farm, Southold: Get a behind-the-scenes look at small-scale organic farming. In addition to growing vegetables, farmers Tom and Brianne Hart raise chickens and heritage breed pigs. You’ll be able to see the animals grazing amid the leftover vegetables in the fields.

Charnews Farm, Southold: Experts talk about a variety of food-related subjects, every half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Starting the day will be Cori Koke, an artisan pickle maker. Edward and Melissa Henrey of The Farm Beyond will focus on edible plants and foraged foods.

Sang Lee, Peconic: Talks at 11 a.m., 1 and 2 p.m. will explore medicinal herbs and growing specialty organic produce.

NORTH FORK FOODIE TOUR

WHEN | WHERE: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10 (self-guided) at particpating venues on the North Fork.

INFO: 631-722-5712, northforkreformsynagogue.org

COST: $25 (free younger than 12)

Tickets available online or at Gallery M in Greenport, Complement the Chef in Southold, Mattituck Florist and Barth’s Pharmacy in Riverhead. Tickets also available on the day of the tour at any featured location.

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