A locavore’s paradise

09/09/2010 12:00 AM |

Marilyn Psasierb tosses sunflowers – a favorite dish of her chickens at North Fork Egg Farm in Southold, one of the destinations on the Sept. 12 Foodie Tour hosted by North Fork Reform Synagogue.

Members of North Fork Reform Synagogue have a lot on their plates these days, planning for both the High Holy Days and their fourth annual tour of local food producers and purveyors, which gives the community a taste of what the land here provides and an understanding of how that makes the North Fork unique.

The synagogue’s North Fork Foodie Tour, to be held Sunday, Sept. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., features tours of farms and, for the first time, includes cooking demonstrations by two local chefs. The event kicks off at Charnews Farm on Youngs Avenue in Southold.

“Judaism’s mandate is to help to repair the world, and from there we get into the green movement, ecology and the local farming community, working with them to preserve the family farm,” said Sylvia Pafenyk, one of the event’s organizers.

Though this is the first year that chefs will participate in the tour, the number of growers and purveyors is similar to previous years. But four stops have been added: Sacred Sweets in Greenport, McCall Wines and Cattle Ranch in Cutchogue, North Fork Egg Farm in Southold and Krupski’s Vegetable and Pumpkin Farm in Peconic. Most of these are closer to tour headquarters than some of the previous years’ venues.

“We were trying to condense the distance. People were having trouble going all the way to the bison farm, and two other places in Riverhead,” said Ms. Pafenyk. “It was more than people could do in a day. But we still have as many choices for people.”

North Fork Egg Farm in Southold has free-range hens, which are fed organic grain and graze on untreated, unfertilized pastureland. There, visitors will be able to gather their own eggs and hear owner Marilyn Psasierb explain different chicken breeds and how they are raised. Krupski’s Vegetable and Pumpkin Farm is working to keep the family farm alive by diversifying crops, increasing its retail presence and using succession planting. McCall Wines, a 100-acre farmstead in Cutchogue, produces wines that are served at fine restaurants in Manhattan and also raises grass-fed Charolais cattle, a French breed known for its low-fat meat.

Sacred Sweets, a new confectionery in Greenport, is owned by Miche Bacher, who uses natural and organic ingredients to create unique cakes, cookies, chocolates and confections. She will give demonstrations of her craft.

“We want visitors to gain an appreciation of the hard work and the ethic of our local vendors who are trying to retain the natural order of things,” said Ms. Pafenyk. “All the members of the synagogue are docents at each location. We’re a very small congregation. It isn’t easy to staff the event, so our friends and neighbors help out.”

Tom Schaudel is the former owner and chef of the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport and is now chef at A Mano in Mattituck. At 1 p.m. he will demonstrate the preparation of his fettuccini carbonara with pancetta, taleggio, smoked duck and black pepper at Charnews Farm. He’ll be followed at 3 by John Ross, a restaurateur, chef, cookbook author and food columnist, who will speak on the evolution of the North Fork as a culinary region, and sign copies of his cookbooks. North Fork Table and Inn restaurant will prepare takeout lunch orders in its new parking lot wagon at Charnews Farm as well.

Also on the tour is Catapano Dairy in Peconic, where goats are raised for fresh milk cheeses, yogurts, fudge and goat’s milk skin-care products. Sang Lee Farms, also in Peconic, grows heirloom tomatoes of every color and shape, Asian vegetables, herbs, flowers and baby greens. Satur Farms, owned by New York chef Eberhard MÃ