Wearing orange rain boots up to her knees, Emma Roner, 2, nibbled on an ear of corn in between sips of fresh lemonade as her mother picked kernels off her cheek.
“Emma loves it here,” said Cara Roner, 34, of Greenport. “She loves the sheep, pigs races and ponies. And I can’t get her away from the corn. We both just finished off two ears of corn. It’s so good.”
Despite the rain, Roner and her daughter, who took shelter in a gazebo, were among hundreds at Harbes Family Farm & Vineyard’s annual Sweet Corn Festival in Mattituck on Saturday.
Many took shelter underneath the awning covering the farm stand where vegetables and prepared steamed sweet corn on the cob, corn dogs and apple cider donuts were sold. People could also get their hands on fresh crepes, corn bread, salsa and North Fork wines.
The festival continues on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Farm owner Monica Harbes said the festival began 25 years ago as a way to promote their homegrown corn, even before the family-run farm stand started in 1989.
“So many people love our corn, so why not create a festival around what we offer,” said Harbes, 54, of Mattituck. “We also want people to see where they could be getting their vegetables from rather than at a supermarket that gets their corn from out of the area.”
Grayson Glowka, 8, and his brother Garrett, 4, were excited to pet the goats and ducks, ride a pony and watch pig races.
“We got drenched picking blueberries across the street," said their mother Sharon Glowka, 40, of Amityville. "But once the sun came out we stopped here so the kids could check out the barnyard animals. Now that the sun’s come out, our family’s having a great time.”
Carl Kooyoomjian traveled all the way from Beverly, Mass., just to try what he heard was “the best corn in New York State.” After two corn on the cob, he was ready for more.
“It’s unusual that I’ll have a second, but I just couldn’t help myself,” said Kooyoomjian, 66. “It tastes so fresh and sweet that it doesn’t even need butter.”
Kooyoomjian brought his wife, Phyllis, three daughters, their husbands and six grandchildren to spend a weekend on the North Fork, but they really came out for the corn.
“I’d have to say it is the best I’ve ever tasted,” said Kooyoomjian, who didn’t even know about the festival until he got there. “I think we can all agree that it was worth the trip.”