Local farmstands are brimming with colorful, fresh bounty and a beautiful array of homegrown fruits and vegetables. Take a look at what's in season right now and available for both U-Pick and purchase around Riverhead and the North Fork.
According to Maggie Wood, owner the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport, there's a long list of fruit and vegetables to choose from right now including:
- summer squash
Wood says new potatoes are blossoming in an array of colors, including purple, and the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm features the first "hard neck" garlic, not found in stores. The season, she said, has been relatively dry and hot. "Everything has been growing really well. So far, so good."
Tom Wickham, owner of Wickham's Fruit Farm in Cutchogue, said the list of what's ripe right now on his farm includes:
"Peaches is our signature crop, and we have a huge crop this year," Wickham said. "This is the perfect time. Peaches are an August crop -- peaches go with August."
One unique variety offered at Wickham's is a donut peach, a peach that's not round but, instead, flattened on the top and bottom with an "almost" hole in the middle. "They are very good and quite sweet," Wickham said.
Wickham said the growing season this year has been unusual, with a warm winter and early spring that led to sap moving and buds swelling on fruit trees "quite early."
But while the fruit ripened early, in April, after seeds were planted for corn, melon and vegetable crops, there were some cold temps. "All these crops just stood there in the field without growing -- the seeds didn't fully germinate for two to three weeks," he said. "So all of those crops are late."
For example, Wickham said, tomatoes are just starting to ripen on his and many other farms, while normally, by August they are in high gear. Wickham grows many tomatoes in a greenhouse so they'll be ready earlier in the season, so the fact that this year's tomato crop was "a bit late in the field" is not a serious problem at the farm.