Yesterday we left off on Sang Lee Farm. From there we were headed to Shinn Estate Vineyards to hear owner Barbara Shinn give a guided tour of the vineyards. This had to be the most informative stop on our excursion. Shinn Estate is the first farm on Long Island to become biodynamic, which is a holistic way of farming. Shinn takes something that is seen as a burden by many, like weeds and finds a way to make them a benefit by letting them grow into a meadow underneath the vines. The meadow is mowed to keep them under control, and the clippings from the mower are piled underneath the vines and provide essential nutrients to the growing grapes. It’s pretty interesting stuff. After the tour through the vineyards, we sat down for a tasting. Aaron and Angela did the tasting and agreed that they were good stuff.
All full of information, we headed to the tip of the North Fork to visit an oyster farm. I think I’ve tried oysters once before, but since I can’t exactly remember, I considered myself a clean slate. In fact, I was a bit nervous about the whole thing because I knew if presented with one, I’d have to suck one of those puppies down. And sure enough, as we walked through the sand along Silver Sands Resort and up to a little stand, there were lots of oysters to be had. Oysterman and all-around-friendly-guy, Dean Yaxa made us feel like we were right at home. After I voiced my apprehension, he warmly instructed me on how to eat one like a pro. “Suck it out of the shell, then chew! chew! chew! Swallow some of that juice, then chew! chew! chew!”. It was like a sporting event and I was certainly the winner. And guess what? I liked it! I even had another, this time without the coaching. Even though I haven’t had many oysters in my day, I feel confident when I say these were really tasty. You could taste the ocean with each bite and while the little buggers look really slimy in the shell, I didn’t really feel that in my mouth.
The Foodie Tour was a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I think one of the best things I learned was that you don’t need a special tour to do these things. Farms and farm stands dot the landscape on the North Fork and would make for a lovely summer afternoon adventure.
Here are the farms we visited:
Catapano Dairy Farm
33705 Rt 48, Peconic
Sang Lee Farms
25180 Rt 48, Cutchogue
Shinn Estate Vineyards
2000 Oregon Road, Mattituck
Pipes Cove Oysters, at Silver Sands Motel
70930 Silvermere Rd, Greenport
Here are some others we didn’t get to:
North Quarter Bison Farm
1984 Roanoke Avenue, Riverhead
Golden Earthworm Organic Farm
652 Peconic Bay Blvd., Jamesport
certified organic farm with rare breed animals
59945 Main Rd., Southhold
vegetables grown biodynamically