Category Archives: Farms

The Hamptons: Alec Baldwin and Neighbors Feast at Peconic Land Trust Quail Hill Farm Event

Alec Baldwin with Scott Chaskey, the director of Quail Hill Farm. Photo: Peter Cobb

Alec Baldwin, looking a bit ruddier and beefier than the suave Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock, sat amidst friends and neighbors at an event Saturday night to support Quail Hill Farm, the Peconic Land Trust’s 30-acre tract in Amagansett. Baldwin is a major supporter of the event.

East End dining hot spots like Nick and Toni’s got to strut their stuff at the annual fundraiser August 23. The Grill and Foody’s were among five Hamptons eateries showing off locavore dishes like Pork Loins with Open Minded Organic’s Mushrooms and Quail Hill Potato Gratin. All together, 180 people  gathered at 22 tables, stacked end to end to create a 176 foot long “Common” table that snaked for about eight feet through an Amagansett farm field lit by lanterns on a glorious summer night.

Quail Hill Farm Common Table. Photo: Peter Cobb.

“It was tough to get the tables set up in a straight line,” said Peter Cobb, one of the volunteers who helped stage the event.

Quail Hill, in addition to being one of the nation’s oldest CSAs, gives Hamptonites a chance to dabble at farming. You can harvest tomatoes or arugula a couple of times a week and take your pickings home with you.

When I mentioned to a couple of folks that I hailed from the North Fork, I got a bunch of quizzical looks, as if to say, “Why would you choose to live there?” Clearly, that quieter agricultural area just on the other side of Peconic Bay is off the radar screen for the group of Hamptonites who showed up for the event.

Next week, the Peconic Land Trust is hosting a tomato taste-off.  Given how fabulous this year’s tomatoes have been, it sounds like it’s worth the trip—-unless of course you live on the North Fork. In that case, you can stop by the dozens of farm stands peddling tomatoes.  Sang Lee’s?  or KK’s?  Or the ladies who put a few tomatoes out on card tables in the hopes that passersby will purchase some?

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Best Potato Chips in NY Area? Try Chips at Southold’s Piping Plover on the North Fork

Potato chips fall into two categories: natural, hand-cut varieties like those offered up at the Piping Plover in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island, or too-salty chips with a taste and texture like cardboard.

At Piping Plover, they make their own potato chips from hand-sliced potatoes. Owner Ken Myers says the dark russet potatoes come from Hallock Farms, a local grower. The potato chips are finished with “a light dusting of garlic, salty and pepper,” he said.  There’s also a vinegar and salt variety. The chips come packaged in a simple brown paper bag and cost a couple of bucks.

What we liked: buttery, crispy potatoey chips, with only the lightest sprinkling of salt. These are chips for folks who like their snack to taste like potatoes without much salt or seasoning, definitely my preference. They’re a tad too greasy, but you can take care of that with a paper napkin. Plus, I love how they come scooped into a plain brown paper bag.

What we didn’t like: Hubby: Not enough salt. Daughter: soggy.

The Piping Plover also serves salads, sandwiches and a variety of snack fare.

Piping Plover Cafe

maps.google.com

53345 Route 25
Southold, NY 11971-4643
631 765 5055

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Food Inc. to be Screened at New School

If you’ve been wanting to see Robert Kenner’s FOOD, INC, the documentary that explores the multi-billion dollar food industry, you can attend a screening plus a panel discussion afterward at the New School Thursday evening, Nov. 19.  Co-hosted by the New School’s Department of Food Studies, Media Studies and Film, and the Center for Communication, the event will feature noted author Marion Nestle, as well as other experts on the US food system.

What:  Screening of FOOD INC. and panel discussion.

Photo: Courtesy, FOOD INC.

Photo: Courtesy, FOOD INC.

When: 6pm,-9pm, Thurs., Nov. 19.

Where: The New School, Tishman Auditorium, First Floor, 66 West 12th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.

How Much: Register at www.cencom.org, or e-mail.

Panel:
Peter Pringle, author, Food, Inc.
Mendel to Monsanto- Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest
Bryan Walsh, staff writer, TIME
Marion Nestle, author, Food Politics and What to Eat
Moderator: Jill Richardson, food activist and author, Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and How to Fix It


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Upper West Side: 97th Street Greenmarket to Lose Organic Grain Seller

Is New York turning into Iowa? Well, not exactly. But wheat is being grown in New York State. And one company, Cayuga Pure Organics, an upstate New York grain and bean grower, has been selling freshly milled whole oats, barley, and rye at the 97th St. Greenmarket.  But hurry. The Ithaca New York concern, founded in 2003 by two area farmers, won’t be at the locale past next week, according to company founder Erick Smith.

Not just in Iowa: wheat grows in NY. Photo: by Bern@t

Not just in Iowa: wheat grows in NY. Photo: by Bern@t

On Friday, a woman selling at Cayuga’s booth said business at the 97th Street locale had been “slow.”  Asked whether the company, which grows its own grains like corn and spelt and then mills them in a nearby upstate town is decamping  to (ahem) greener pastures, Smith said: “It is true that we will not be at the 97th St market after next week.” Sales haven’t “been strong enough to justify it,” he added

However, Smith says that Cayuga will continue to market its wares in the neighborhood further uptown, at the Columbia greenmarket on Broadway at 114th Street.

While not exactly the heartland when it comes to grain production, NY does plant some bean and grain crops. The  state placed 10th in oat production, 32nd in wheat and 24th for soybeans, according to the NY Sate Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Here’s a list of Cayuga’s products:

  • Black beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Red beans
  • Navy beans
  • Soybeans
  • Clover seed
  • Cornmeal flour
  • Spelt Flour
  • Rye flour
  • Farro
  • Freekeh (roasted spelt)
  • Whole Wheat
  • Whole Otas
  • Whole barley
  • Whole rye
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Polenta
  • Cracked wheat
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Cocktails in the Morning: The Mixologist’s Greenmarket Tour

I don’t know about you, but I go for coffee, not cocktails in the morning. Still, this Slow Food Greenmarket and cocktails event is a chance to spend the morning roaming the Union Square Greenmarket with a mixologist to gather ingredients for cocktails to be served later in the day at Astor Center.

Watermelon cocktail is a refreshing summer drink. Photo: jspatchwork via flickr.

Photo: jspatchwork via flickr.at Astor Center.

Here are the details:

What: For early rising cocktail mavens, join Allen Katz, master mixologist and former Chair of the Slow Food USA Board, on his preparatory shopping tour at Greenmarket. Sample fresh, local vegetables, fruits, and herbs and imagine, with Allen, the mixology magic that he’ll work later during the evening at the Greenmarket Inspired Mixology event at Astor Place.

Space is extremely limited.

Where: Union Square Greenmarket – Meet at the George Washington equestrian statue at the south end of Union Square.

When: Wed., Aug. 12, 8:30 am – 10:00 am (rain or shine)

Tickets: Available ONLY On-line at:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/73283

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