Long Island Farmers Markets and Farm Stands. Another Reason to Love NY. Part 1.

farmersmarket

Long island is known for many things.

Beaches, nice “Lawng Eyelind” accents, Billy Joel, Blue Point Oysters, Montauk Point  and awesome farm stands.

Once you pass exit 63 on the LIE in the summer, if you can handle the traffic, you can easily find farm stands.

They are on the side of the road, hidden in the deep back roads, some easy to find and some hard to find. Some display their goods outside of pick up trucks, some are in home made box farm stands made of old scrap wood and some are just set up on a picnic table roadside.

Whatever way you choose to go, give as many a try as you can. Not only will you find some great fruits and veggies……you’ll meet some great people and hear some great stories along the way.

Agriculture is Long Island’s biggest industry claiming over $1 billion in annual revenue. That’s pretty impressive.

There are hundreds of farm stands and farmers markets from the Queens boarder to Montauk Point and I try to hit as many as possible throughout my travels on the island and I want to take you along for the ride.  Throughout the Summer, I will give you my top picks on who has the sweetest strawberries to who has the most rad rhubarb. The most magnificent melons to the most fragrant flowers. So, hold on tight and get ready to make frequent stops because by Labor Day we will count down the top 25 on Long Island.

 

Top Places on Long Island for Fresh Fruit and Veggies


(1) Condzella Farms. Wading River, NY.

Condzella Farms, located at 6233 North Country Rd, Wading River, offers the public a wonderful selection of season fruits and vegetables from May through October.

Peaking in late April/early May, the farm grows amazingly tasty asparagus. When you buy them by the bunch they look like perfectly cylindrical 6″ long green pencils. The taste……smooth, earthy and cook perfectly. Try them on the grill with a little evoo, garlic, salt and pepper…..or just raw for a super nutritious treat. If you are lucky you can try their pickled asparagus. Trust me……refreshing.

I have to say that I have never had a strawberry as luscious, sweet and memorable as the strawberries that Condzella’s Farm grows.  They are plump, juicy and quite addicting. One bite and you will be hooked. Forget Whole Foods, Wild By Nature…this place has the best berries on the island.

Imagine this….God comes down to earth and hands you a strawberry. Imagine what is would look like, smell like and taste like. Can you see the perfectly polished fruit in your hand?  Can you smell it’s candy-like sweetness? Can you taste the plump, sugary morsel of Heavenly delight? Is your mouth watering yet?

I hope not……strawberry season is over…so try their tomatoes. They are plump, sweet a delicious fruit as well. Yes, I said fruit……tomatoes are a fruit.

While you’re there say hit to John and Gina and their two awesome Lab mixes, Charley and Haley.

(2) Schmitt’s Farm. Sound Avenue and Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead, NY.

Located at the cross roads of Roanoke Ave and Sound Ave, Schmitt Farms is literally a breath of fresh air.

From the moment you step out of your car onto the gravel drive, you feel and smell the sweet breezes of wine country. Ahh, it’s good.

Whether you are in the mood for hanging baskets, potted plants or fresh herbs and veggies, Schmitt’s has it. The fresh cut flowers are a huge hit for many Long Island tables but my all out favorites are Deb’s Dressing. Debbie Schmitt, pictured above, makes her own salad dressings. One is a sweet oil and vinegar and the other a zesty balsamic. Both are incredibly fresh, delicious and will not last long in your house. Trust me…we go though one a week.

My favorite thing here personally….horseradish. They grow and make their own horseradish. It is fresh, tasty and hot just like it should be. Incredible. It’s so good that Gold’s Horseradish uses Schmitt’s horseradish. Nice, right?

Before you leave just take a moment and be. That’s right….be.  Be in the moment. Be in love..be in God’s presence…be healthy…be silly..be a child and investigate the farm..be the chef you always wanted to be. Look around at the views. The rolling farm land, the rows of crops, appreciate the effort it takes to get that food from the farm to your table. Take notice of the sweet smells of the flowers, of the fresh cut basil, the earthy scent of the tomatoes. Be appreciative and be thankful. This is almost as good as it gets.


 

(3) Garden of Eve 4558 Sound Ave. Riverhead, NY.

 

 

The Organic Superstore.

If organic is your thing..not just locally grown but certified organic, then The Garden of Eve may be for you.

They have a very large variety of flowers, vegetables, herbs and even a nice garden center where you can pick up those necessary bird houses or wind chimes.

 

 

 

While you are roaming around the grounds be sure to stop by and see the bunnies, turkeys and chickens running around the farm, pet the goats and go inside and shop for organic delights that will make your head spin.

Sometimes people think that eating organic food is like when a vegetarian tries to convince a super carnivore into switching to tofu steak cutlets and that they will never know the difference. Not at all. Infact, organic foods are usually sweeter, tastier and of course, more healthy for you. Now that’s a fact Jack.

Besides the healthy trail mix, soy beans and dried beans have a look at the home made sandwiches, mozzarella cheese, cakes and brownies. It’s fund to eat healthy.

(4) Port Jefferson Farmer’s Market

 

Port Jefferson is a harborside town about 50 west of  NYC.  A popular day trip destination for many, this beautiful town hosts a farmers market throughout May to November, every Sunday, rain or shine, in the big parking across from the Cross Sound Ferry.

People come from all over to gather and chat, walk around, pick from the finest local and organic fruits and seasonal veggies, herbs, plants, fresh cut flowers, cup cakes, bakery goods and much more.

 

Check out some local musicians or solo acts while you walk around sipping your coffee from Roast from Patchouge.

While you are shopping the market you need to stop by and see Kerri’s Kupcakes.

Kerri has some sweet confectioneries and if you have a sweet tooth, do yourself a favor and pick up a flavor. At $3.00 a cupcake or a box of 4 for $12, this is a steal. The quality of ingredients and the love that goes into each deliciously decadent bite can be tasted with each savory bite.

For the pickle lover in you….come see the folks at Pickle Packin Papa. Stupid name…killer pickles.

Whether your pickle passion takes you to the half sour or full garlic dills, these guys are the best in the biz. With 20 plus years of experience you can trust that even the pickled eggs are good! Go ahead and try them. Granted, I did it on a dare and had about 6 beers in me, they actually were good!

See you in 2 weeks 2 weeks with some farmtastic updates. Damn that was witty.

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