The first thing one notices when passing the barn on the Peconic Land Trust property in Cutchogue is the fortresslike security of the 8-by-16-foot greenhouse behind it.
The front door opens to another door, creating an airlock. The windows and floor drains are covered with plastic netting. The greenhouse is filled floor to ceiling with plastic shelving, each leg resting in a plastic container filled with salt water.
So, just what are these safety measures protecting? Snails — or, more accurately, escargots.
“The whole system we have here: the greenhouse, the enclosure; we can never let these loose in an outdoor environment,” said Taylor Knapp, co-founder of Peconic Escargot, the only snail farm currently operating on the East Coast.
The idea to create a snail farm came in part from Mr. Knapp’s experience working as a chef at First and South in Greenport, where he struggled to find farm-fresh snails.
Read more about Peconic Escargot at northforker.com.
Photo: Chef Taylor Knapp holds up a snail at his farm in Cutchogue. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)