Go straight to the source — or 20 of them if you have the time — on Sunday with the North Fork Foodie Tour, which offers behind-the-scenes access to small-scale farmers and food and wine producers on the easternmost region of Long Island.
Now in its 10th year, the self-guided event operates like a house tour and includes demonstrations and tastings along the way hosted by some of the area’s key producers.
“Events like this one give folks a chance to see the farms and meet the farmers in this area, beyond just the farm stand or the Community Supported Agriculture pickup area,” says Lily Dougherty-Johnson, owner of Lily’s Farm. “It allows people to really see where their food comes from and all the work that goes into it.”
That was the exact intent of Ellen Zimmerman and Kay Freeman, co-chairs of the tour’s organizing committee and members of the North Fork Reform Synagogue in Cutchogue, which benefits from the event. The tour brings 500 day-trippers to the area annually.
An active ingredient in the success is its guest speaker series, headlined this year by chef John Ross, who was instrumental in bringing the farm-to-table social movement to the North Fork.
Owners from The Farm Beyond, East End Mushroom, North Fork Smoked Fish and Lily’s Farm will also host talks, tours and tastings on their properties.
“The foodie tour is a fantastic opportunity for people who are excited to learn more about the diversity of great things being produced out here on the North Fork,” says Melissa Henrey, who co-owns The Farm Beyond in Southold with her husband, Edward. “The fact that it’s a self-guided tour is perfect because people can choose what they’re really excited about then and enjoy the day at their own pace.”
Dougherty-Johnson, 35, of Greenport is most excited about sharing her passion with fellow foodies. She works regularly with Melissa and Edward Henrey at a pop-up farm stand at 3005 Youngs Ave. in Southold on Fridays, where they sell their specialty goods. The Mattituck couple grows organic vegetables and edible plants that are typically foraged from the wild, such as fiddlehead ferns, ramps and stinging nettles. They attended the foodie tour for the first time last year.
On Sunday, the self-described North Fork newcomers will give a field tour of their farm at 11:30 a.m.
“We’re going to talk about how and why we are in the process of establishing a unique type of farm on the North Fork that is part edible landscape and part conservation-based row crop production,” says Melissa Henrey, whose farm is in its first season of production.
North Fork Foodie Tour
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 11, start at any of the 20 participating venues on the North Fork.
INFO 631-722-5712, http://northforkreformsynagogue.org
COST $25 (free younger than 13)
8 Hands Farm — 4735 Cox Lane. Pastured chickens, Icelandic sheep and vegetables
Koppert Cress — 23423 Rte. 48. Exotic microgreens
Satur Farms — 3705 Alvah’s Lane. Premium vegetables grown for New York restaurants
Lavender by the Bay — 7540 Rte. 25. Lavender, lavender products and honey
Browder’s Birds — 4050 Soundview Ave. Pastured poultry and vegetables
Macari Wines — 150 Bergen Ave. Biodynamic vineyard
MarGene Farms — 2230 Soundview Ave. Certified organic produce and eggs
Shinn Estate Vineyards — 2000 Oregon Rd. Low-impact viniculture
Catapano Dairy Farm — 33705 County Rd. 48. Sheep’s milk, cheese and skin-care products
Greenport Harbor Brewery — 42155 Rte. 25. Locally brewed beers
Krupski’s Pumpkin Farm — 38030 Rte 25. Vegetables and poultry
Sang Lee Farms — 25180 Rte. 48. Organic Asian vegetables & more
Goodale Farms — 250 Main Rd. Cows, goats, sheep, milk and cheese
Ty Llwyd Farm — 5793 Sound Ave. Eggs, vegetables and raw milk
Charnews Farm — 3005 Youngs Ave. Organic vegetables, herbs and flowers
Deep Roots Farm — 57685 Rte. 25. Pastured raised meats, heirloom vegetables and eggs
KK’s, The Farm — 59945 Rte. 25. Biodynamic vegetables
North Fork Roasting Co. — 55795 Rte. 25. House-roasted coffee and locally sourced goodies
Southold School Garden — 420 Oaklawn Ave. Ext. Growing new farmers
Surrey Lane Vineyards — 46975 Rte. 25. Tree fruits, grapes and vegetables