Pile the family into the car for one of Long Island agriculture’s best events of the summer. On Friday August 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank, the Long Island Farm Bureau and a collection of farm-minded supporters will celebrate the fourth annual “Grown on Long Island Day” with a locally grown farmers market, wagon rides, farm crafts, a scavenger hunt (first 20 kids to complete the hunt get T-shirts) and room to roam around a working farm with real-live farm animals doing their livestock thing. Entrance is free!
Among the highlights for the grown-ups are the participation of craft distillers Long Island Spirits, Waters Crest Winery and Pindar Vineyards wineries and the Seafood Throwdown in which Chefs Kyle Romeo of Jedediah Hawkins Inn and Steven Amaral of North Fork Chocolate Company will go saucepan to saucepan Iron Chef-style. Our own Eileen M. Duffy will be one of the judges. You’ll want to get there right on time, because at 10 a.m. when the event opens, the chefs will get a surprise seafood component and enough cash to buy the fresh ingredients they need right from the farmers market. And just minutes later they will start chopping and sizzling to come up with original, locally sourced multi-course meals.
Long Island Farm Bureau promotions coordinator Natasha Beccaria tells us the event began four years ago to promote island agriculture. “The group wants to spread the word that we have a vibrant agricultural community,”she says. “We want to show that it is important to buy local in order to support Long Island as an agricultural region.” There are about 600 farms on 30,000 acres of land, about 15,000 of which are preserved.
Beccaria says to expect a wide range of products available for purchase from Divine Brine Pickles, Andrews Family Farm, Patty’s Berries and Bunches, J. Kings Food Service Professionals, Farm Credit East, Seemore Carnivorous Gardens and others. Last year about 1,500 cars parked in the lot for the Grown on LI event; even more are expected this year. Island Harvest will also be collecting for the food insecure.
The Suffolk County Farm is right off the LIE at Exit 67 South. For more information, visit www.grownonlongisland.com or call the Long Island Farm Bureau at 631.727.3777. Also partnering in this event are The Peconic Land Trust and Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District.